Thursday, June 9, 2011

New Exhibit, "Realizing their Dreams: Penn State Across the Commonwealth"

On display, June 8 – September 9, 2011
Robb Hall, Hintz Alumni Center, University Park campus

As a Land Grant institution, part of Penn State’s mission has been to, “without excluding scientific and classical studies, to teach agriculture and the mechanical arts… the industrial classes in all the pursuits and professions of life”. A new University Archives photographic exhibit, titled “REALIZING THEIR DREAMS: PENN STATE ACROSS THE COMMONWEALTH”, shows how for nearly 100 years, Penn State has been fulfilling its mission across the Commonwealth.

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 were longing 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 1930’s, Penn State’s reputation as one of the nation’s best Agricultural, as well as Engineering schools, had community leaders knocking on Penn State’s door, asking to bring more educational opportunities to their area. Under the direction of Penn State President Ralph Hetzel, a number of “branch campuses” were established around the state.

Over the decades, more campuses were founded, and today Penn State can boast that it reaches 1 out of every 2 households in Pennsylvania. There is not a single county across the state that is without at least 1 Penn State “Outreach Door”. Whether it is a Penn State Commonwealth Campus, a Cooperative Extension Unit, a JASI (Justice and Safety Institute) Training Site, or other “Outreach Door”, Penn State continues to fulfill its mission of teaching, research, and public service. Add to the extensive offerings across the Commonwealth PSU’s World Campus and it’s difficult to come up with yet another way for PSU to teach, reach, and help its constituents.

The exhibit is free to the public and is open Monday - Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and on Saturdays from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. 

For more information, contact Paul Karwacki, Archives Assistant, at 814-863-9870, or email

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