Penn State Alumni Association affiliates with Princeton Club

July 31, 2007

University Park, Pa.-- In April 1904, a baseball game between Penn State and Princeton resulted in the birth of the Nittany Lion mascot. A century later, that competitive spirit has morphed into one of collaboration and collegiality, as the Penn State Alumni Association has affiliated with The Princeton Club of New York.

"Through this new affiliation, Alumni Association members and University faculty and staff will be eligible to join The Princeton Club of New York as associate members," said Roger Williams, executive director of the Penn State Alumni Association. "For Penn Staters who live in or near the city, or those who travel there from time to time, this affiliation provides a 'home away from home' in midtown Manhattan."

Located at 15 W. 43rd St., The Princeton Club is minutes away from Grand Central Station, Times Square, Rockefeller Center, Fifth Avenue shopping and the Theatre District.

The facility offers 50 hotel rooms at reasonable rates for members as well as a fully equipped fitness center, a 10,000-volume library and business center. Catering, conference and meeting facilities are available as well. The Princeton Club also offers a series of cultural, social, networking and educational programs.

Members and guests have access to a lounge, a free WiFi network, casual and formal dining, and complimentary hors d'oeuvres in the Tiger Bar and Grill. In addition, members have access to more than 110 private clubs worldwide.

Currently, The Princeton Club membership consists of alumni from Princeton, Columbia University and other top-rated universities. Penn State has more than 22,000 alumni living in the New York metro area alone.

Penn State Alumni Association members, University faculty and staff wishing to join The Princeton Club of New York City can do so by going to online. They must submit an application, to be approved by the club's membership committee. Membership rates vary, based on proximity to New York City and career field. Those who work at an educational institution or as clergy, for instance, are eligible for discounted membership fees.

The relationship between Penn State and Princeton goes back to the late 19th century, when Penn State played various Ivy League schools -- then the bastion of "big-time" college sports. From 1896 through 1900, Penn State played Princeton in football, losing all five games without scoring a single point.

But it was on the Princeton baseball diamond that the Nittany Lion mascot was born. On April 20, 1904, road-weary Penn State faced formidable Princeton -- the final game of the season on the eastern leg of the season. During a morning tour of campus for the Penn State team, a couple of tour guides couldn't resist a pre-game boast.

According to "The Nittany Lion: An Illustrated Tale," by Jackie R. Esposito and Steve L. Herb, Penn State third baseman "Joe" Mason recalled it this way: "As you students know, sophomores are generally pretty cocky chaps, and when these two escorted us into their beautiful gymnasium, they stopped us in front of a splendid mounted figure of a Bengal tiger. One chap spoke up 'See our emblem, the Princeton Tiger, the fiercest beast of them all.' An idea came to me, and I replied, 'Well, up at Penn State we have Mount Nittany right on our campus, where rules the Nittany Mountain Lion, who has never been beaten in fair fight. So, Princeton Tiger, look out!'"

Penn State went on that day to beat Princeton, 8-1. Before he graduated in 1907, Mason would transform his spur-of-the-moment boast into the Nittany Lion mascot.

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated March 19, 2009