Penn State has become a home away from home for thousands of students every year. It’s true, like many institutions, we’ve had some ups and downs as a university. Some people might poke fun at our pitfalls and find ways to scrutinize us, but that’s just because they’re jealous, right? Just last week, Penn Staters were insulted by ESPN commentator Keith Olbermann. He decided to call penn state students “pitiful” and our education “mediocre.” Well, all of us here at Valley know that neither of these remarks are true. Don’t believe us? Well, here are some reasons why every Penn Stater should be Penn State proud.
Let’s start here. Penn State is continuously ranked among the best universities in the country, and in the world, for its academic success. In 2014, Penn State was ranked 46 in the Center for World University Rankings. Our Landscape Architecture school was ranked number one by DesignIntelligence in 2014. Our “World Campus” online program was ranked as the best online bachelor program in the country according to U.S. News. Our College of Communications school was the first to win three consecutive national championships in the overall category of the William R. Hearst Foundation’s Journalism Awards Program. Need we say more? If you want to check out more of our success and rankings, click here.
The school spirit doesn’t stop after graduation for Penn Staters. We have the biggest alumni network of any college in the U.S. There are approximately 631,000 Penn State alumni around the world according to Penn State’s Alumni Association. There are 174,379 members of the association. Networking is amazing for Penn Staters – no matter where we want to work, there’s likely to be a former Penn Stater working there who we can connect with. Plus, wherever you travel to, if you’re wearing a Penn State shirt, you’re likely going to get a “We Are!” from someone. It’s pretty cool to feel camaraderie with someone even if you’re in an unfamiliar place.
As Penn Staters, we love our sports teams. According to ESPN.com, “There’s simply no better student section in the country than the one at Beaver Stadium.”
While football is probably the most popular sport here in Happy Valley, we have 15 men’s sports teams and 14 women’s sports teams including volleyball, soccer, fencing, wrestling, gymnastics, golf, hockey and so many more. With rivals like Ohio State and Michigan, as well as being a part of the BIG 10, every sports game is intense and fun. Win or lose, Penn Staters always support their Nittany Lions.
Sophomore RPTM major Shelby Wells is a midfielder for the women’s lacrosse team here at Penn State. Wells has wanted to play lacrosse at a high level since she was little. The Penn State sports program and overall school atmosphere has made Wells’ division one experience awesome.
“I absolutely love playing lacrosse for Penn State. The team is incredible and all of us bring such a positive attitude to practice that motivates the whole team to work hard for each other. The coaches are extremely encouraging and supportive. This has made my experience awesome so far, and I am so grateful to be a part of such a great program with so much school spirit.” says Wells.
With a large campus and fun college town, the atmosphere here at State is unlike anything else. Surrounded by mountains, the campus is gorgeous (the sunsets make for great Instagram photos), and the town is just as scenic. With so many shops and restaurants, you never have to be bored here.
THON is the largest student run philanthropy in the world. $13 million for the kids. Enough said.
Greek Life and Other Clubs
With 49 fraternities and 21 sororities, greek life at Penn State is huge. But, it isn’t everything. Penn Staters who choose not to participate in greek life have a multitude of clubs to join across many different interests. You’re more than likely going to find a club that fits whatever you want to do in your free time. If you can’t find one, start one!
We could go on and on about all the reasons why Penn State is such a great place to go to college, but this story would be too long. So Penn Staters, keep being Penn State proud, regardless of scrutiny. They don’t call it “Happy Valley” for nothing. Besides, we’ll just keep continuing to be successful in the classroom, out of the classroom and well beyond after graduation.