Tenth annual Penn State Military Appreciation Week celebrates Pa. National Guard

August 31, 2021

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State will celebrate its 10th annual Military Appreciation Week by honoring the Pennsylvania National Guard with in-person and virtual festivities for University and local community members, including military families and those who serve or have served in the U.S. armed forces.

The series of events will kick off on Nov. 11 with a slate of Veterans Day programming and will conclude on Nov. 20 with a tailgate celebration in the Bryce Jordan Center on the University Park campus followed by the Penn State football game against Rutgers in Beaver Stadium. Select events also will be offered virtually to give all community members, including those at Penn State’s campuses, an opportunity to participate.

“For the past decade, Penn State has proudly honored the service and sacrifice of service members, veterans and military families with a special weeklong celebration. Without the support of students, faculty, staff and community volunteers, Military Appreciation Week would not have grown into the annual University tradition it is today,” said Col. Eugene McFeely, senior director for Veterans Affairs and Services and chair of Penn State’s Military Appreciation Committee.

The University’s annual military appreciation celebrations have been among the largest of their kind in the Big Ten year after year. Penn State Military Appreciation began in 2012 with a donation of 100 football tickets to veterans and service members and has continued to expand over the years — with more than 500 volunteers and 7,000 tickets donated in 2019 through the Seats for Servicemembers program.

“This year, our military appreciation festivities will celebrate the members of the Pennsylvania National Guard, who are among the many Pennsylvanians who stepped up in special ways to serve the citizens of the commonwealth during this COVID-19 pandemic,” McFeely said.

At Penn State, there is a vibrant community of students, faculty and staff members who are currently members of the National Guard.

The Pennsylvania National Guard, which was established by Benjamin Franklin in 1747 to defend the colony, is comprised of the Pennsylvania Air National Guard and Army National Guard and continues to serve communities across the commonwealth and the United States. Throughout the pandemic, members, including trained medical specialists, have aided in a variety of efforts, including assisting food banks, delivering meals and food to distribution centers, and supporting COVID-19 testing and vaccination sites across the state.

Event and health and safety information

Veterans and service members will be able to request complimentary tickets to the Nov. 20 military appreciation game on a first-come, first-served basis through Penn State Athletics beginning at noon on Monday, Sept. 13. 

In addition, fans and season ticket holders are now able to purchase tickets in advance to be donated to military members and their families through the University’s Seats for Servicemembers program online or by calling 1-800-NITTANY.

Additional details about this season’s planned Military Appreciation Week events, including the annual Veterans Day Ceremony, student veteran panel conversation and more, will be provided later this fall.

Due to the evolving COVID-19 conditions around the country and in Pennsylvania, Penn State will require all students, faculty, staff and visitors — including those who are vaccinated and unvaccinated — to wear masks indoors at all campuses. In accordance with University measures, all individuals will be required to wear masks at indoor military appreciation events that take place on campus this fall.

With the health and safety of the community as the University’s top priority, Penn State will continue to monitor the impact of the pandemic and is prepared to adjust Military Appreciation Week events in line with changing pandemic conditions or state and federal guidance.

Supporting service members and veterans

In total, more than 5,600 students have direct military ties as either service members, veterans or military dependents across all of Penn State’s campuses, including World Campus.

To support Penn State’s military community, the University provides a range of ongoing programs throughout the year. For these efforts, Penn State has consistently been recognized as a military-friendly school.

University services and resources for student service members and veterans include:

Among the opportunities to support Penn State veterans and service members, community members can make a donation to the Penn State Military Student Fund or Veterans Service Support Fund. To learn more about services and resources for veterans at Penn State, visit veterans.psu.edu.

More information about military appreciation at Penn State, including event information as it is available, visit militaryappreciation.psu.edu

Last Updated September 03, 2021