Exhibit celebrates 'Penn State Across the Commonwealth'

June 24, 2011

"Realizing their Dreams: Penn State across the Commonwealth," a Penn State University Archives photographic exhibit, is on display through Sept. 9, in Robb Hall, Hintz Alumni Center, University Park campus. The exhibit celebrates the breadth and depth of Penn State's impact on people across Pennsylvania. The exhibit is open to the public from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday.

As a land-grant institution, Penn State’s mission has been to make education accessible to all, including the working classes, and to teach useful subjects such as agriculture and engineering.

As early as 1912, a number of cities across the state were benefitting from technical classes taught by Penn State instructors. After the Great Depression, many residents longed for educational opportunities, but simply could not afford to leave their homes for extended periods. The need for local educational centers beckoned.

In the early 1930s, Penn State’s reputation as one of the nation’s best agricultural and engineering schools brought community leaders to Penn State to ask that educational opportunities be brought to their areas. Under the direction of Penn State President Ralph Hetzel, a number of campuses were established across the state.

More campuses were founded as the years passed, and today Penn State reaches one out of every two households in Pennsylvania. The University continues to fulfill its mission of teaching, research and outreach -- every county in the commonwealth has a Penn State presence, whether a Commonwealth Campus or an Agricultural Extension office, or a Justice and Safety Institute training location.

For more information, contact Paul Karwacki, archives assistant, at 814-863-9870 or ppk107@psu.edu.

  • IMAGE: Penn State University Archives collection
Last Updated June 30, 2011