Home at the Barn

Luther Coe has some unusual neighbors. Angela, Juliet and Micaela often have him up well before the sun rises.

The Penn State sophomore from Chester County, Pennsylvania, lives far away from the traditional University Park campus dormitories, and his day looks vastly different than that of an average student.

Luther Coe explains how the cows are milked twice a day, at 5am and again at 5 pm. ~ photo by Ben Sax

Instead, he lives with four other students in the Penn State Dairy Barns complex adjacent to the farm and earns his keep milking cows, tending to the young calves and generally keeping an eye on the facilities after the full-time employees go home for the day.

A Unique, Practical Experience

Coe, an agriculture systems management major at Penn State Altoona, is currently completing a summer internship at the Student Farm at Penn State at the University Park campus and working at the Penn State Dairy Barns before returning to Altoona for the fall semester.

“I’m right here, I can walk out to take care of the cows,” Coe said.

He described his dorm location as easy access to the student farm. Coe also said the cost of living is much lower than rent for a typical apartment.

To pay for rent, Coe must work on the farm for five hours per week, and he gets paid for any additional hours he works. Often times, money is tight for college students, and he liked the idea that he could save money while getting experience in his field.

“Staying in the barn over the summer is extremely convenient and it’s even better since I don’t have to pay rent,” Coe said.

Coe plans to continue his education, living arrangements and work at University Park next spring, once he transfers from Altoona.

A Day in the Life

At the Dairy Barns, the day begins at 5 a.m. to milk the cows — one of Coe’s favorite parts of the job. Workers then take a break around 10 a.m. after all the cows have been milked, then go back to cleaning up the facilities and feeding the cows.  A second milking shift begins around 1 p.m. each day, and the duties repeat.

Coe’s day looks a little different than his peers. On top of his work in the dairy barn, he works the mornings at his internship at the Student Farm at Penn State.

While the 13-hour Mondays are his least favorite part of living on the farm, another one of his favorite parts is working alongside his fellow students, who he said have become close friends.

Coe described the close-knit group as a team, which works well together.

“You have to hold up your end of the team,” he said.

Coe said he enjoys his experience on the farm and wouldn’t change anything about his decision to live there.

On the Job

There are two main dairy farms at Penn State. The main farm where Coe lives has anywhere from 250-275 cows, and the secondary farm has around 50 or 60. The Penn State Dairy Farm cows are born, raised, bread and milked all on the farm.

When the calves are born, they are immediately taken from their mother and brought to a separate barn with the other calves. After the cows are born, they are assigned numbers to prevent them from getting mixed up, but most are also named by the researchers working with them. The calves are bottle fed until they are four days old and then weaned off bottle feeding.

The breeding system is important to the milking process.

“Cows do not breed with one another; the farm uses artificial insemination because of its higher success rate,” Coe said.

He also stressed the importance of the consistent flow of the breeding system in order to continue the rotation of the milking cows.

Every other night, the milk from the dairy farm is transported to the Berkey Creamery, where it is used to make ice cream and other dairy products. Any milk that is leftover is purchased by Land O’Lakes.

The dairy barn has about 250 cows. At any one time about 180 are producing milk that is used by the Berkey Creamery. ~ photo Gabby Sabatose

Family Farm

For Coe, the dairy process is personal and his ideal way of life.

“I grew up on a farm,” Coe said. “Agriculture was all around when I was younger, so I thought, why not do it in college, too?”

He credits his grandfather for sparking his interest in agriculture. Growing up, his love for agriculture inspired his decision in both his career and college choices.

“I wanted to choose a school that had a great background in agriculture, and Penn State was just that,” Coe said.

In his studies, he is learning how ingrained agriculture is in life. In fact, nearly 70 percent of Pennsylvania jobs are related to the agricultural industry, Coe said.

After college, Coe hopes to pursue a career in the industry, but he will never forget his beginnings. One day, he hopes to run his own beef cattle farm in his spare time, just like his grandfather before him.

“He’s still teaching me lessons today,” Coe said.


Martial Arts Fest

~ by Traci Ivler

Every year at the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts, one of the stands includes promotion using balloons for Central PA Mixed Martial Arts. Instructor Elise Pone, of State College, has been training for over four years and explains all the different types of martial arts she practices and why Arts Fest is important to her.

Making Art

~ by Gabrielle Sabatose

The Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts in State College is crazy. Olivia, Grace, Helena, and Jacinta explained the process to create their products, and they loved every second of it. “It took us from February until July to make these” says Olivia.


Beads Bon Voyage

~ by Claire Lee

Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City’s rising freshman Isabella Notartomaso shares her love for the arts at the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts. Her boutique, Bella Beads, draws in customers of all ages with a large variety of colorful accessories. Her ten-year journey all started with a simple craft done at her cousin’s birthday party and ever since her love for the arts only grew from there.

Inside Arts Fest: Schaver’s Creek Environmental Center Booth

“We’re bringing nature to children’s day,” said Carolyn Muse, who works at the Shavers Creek Environmental Center. Photos by Emily Vogel.

~ by Emily Vogel

Schaver’s Creek Environmental Center held its annual booth at Children’s Day of the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts on Penn State’s campus. The center focuses on teaching children and families about the different kinds of animals they could find in their backyards, and what to do if they encounter them. Representatives from the center teach through interactive props and examples of live animals from the center.

In addition, Schaver’s Creek was there to advertise its grand opening after the center had to undergo major renovations the past few years. The center will be opening back up to the public on Labor Day Weekend with updated facilities and many more tools to teach the public about the nature around them.

Carolyn Muse, who has been working at the center for eleven years, got her first bird identification book when she was eight years old, and continued to study animals in college, earning a wildlife and fisheries degree from Penn State.

“The children and the adults get to know not only the reptiles and amphibians, but the faces associated with the center,” Muse said. “Nature is interactive, and nature is all around us, so it’s important that people like us can educate the public about it at a young age so they get to know and respect nature. It is my pleasure to bring this information to people.”

Jason Beale, a representative of the center, described his favorite part about teaching the kids as “seeing the reactions to the reptiles and amphibians. We are actively trying to let them know all these amazing things live in our backyard and if we take the time to look we can discover some amazing things.”

The educational component was very important to volunteer Taylor Ely, who takes great pride in teaching people about her passion and curiosity with nature.

“We want kids to go outside and play, and these are species that they could bump into while doing so. We want them to know the importance of them as well as wheat to do when they find one of these animals. We talk to kids and parents about this, for example we often explain to families that if you see a turtle crossing the road to help it get all the way across and not taking it to where it came from but helping it get where it needs to go,” Ely said.

The volunteers, children and parents all take interest in the booth and are able to interact with real animals while simultaneously learning about them through the children’s day booth.

Self Taught

~ by Sam Vervoort

17-year-old Ezra Raupach-Learn has been creating spray paint artwork since the age of 11 and has been selling it at the annual Chlidren and Youth Sidewalk Sale at the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Art.

Ezra learned how to spray paint by watching YouTube videos. He has been selling his work at the arts festival for six years, since he began making it, and only sells it at the arts fest.

Next year will be his last year at the festival as he will be too old after that.

Spray paint artist Ezra Raupach-Learn looks on at the hundreds of people passing by in hopes of seeing a new customer come to his tent. Photo by Sam Vervoort

Customer Chris Moyer and his daughter talk to Ezra and learn about his artwork. “It’s really amazing,” says Moyer. Photo by Sam Vervoort

Ezra talks to the many people that are interested in his work. His tent rarely has a lack of intrigued customers. Photo by Sam Vervoort

Learning to make all of these works of art is not easy. “You definitely have to do a lot of work to actually get the technique correctly,” says Ezra. Photo by Ben Sax

Ezra has not always created the great spray paint pieces he makes today. “In my first couple years they definitely weren’t as good as they are now,” he says. “There’s definitely been a lot of improvement.” Photo by Sam Vervoort

“Most of my inspiration is from trying to work with different colors and different color combinations and being experimental with that,” says Ezra. It is clear to see how the different color combinations are shown in his work. Photo by Sam Vervoort

While the smaller paintings take only 10-15 minutes to make, the larger paintings can take up to 20 minutes for Ezra to create. Photo by Sam Vervoort

Ezra has some of his best work displayed on the table to show to people walking by. These impressive paintings draw in lots of customers. Photo by Sam Vervoort

Ezra uses stencils, magazine paper, and wipes to create his paintings. He says that he makes multiple smaller ones at time to be more efficient. Photo by Ben Sax

Ezra has been selling his paintings at the Penn State Arts Fest for the past six years. However, next year will be his last year selling his work at the festival. Photo by Ben Sax




Spray in Space

~ by Ben Sax 

Ezra Raupach-Learn is a 17-year-old who spray paints art and sells it at the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts. He has been selling his designs for six years now.

“My inspiration comes from experimenting with different colors,” Raupach-Learn said.

Ezra Raupach-Learn is 17 and loves to spray paint. Photo by Sam Vervoort.

Ezra has been selling his spray paint art since he was 11 years old. Photo by Ben Sax.

Ezra learned how to spray paint by “watching Youtube videos.” Photo by Ben Sax.

Ezra says it takes him “about 15 minutes to make each design.” Photo by Sam Vervoort.

Ezra uses “circular stencils, magazine papers, and wipes” in order to make his designs and gets his inspiration by “experimenting with different colors.” Photo by Ben Sax.

The Real Story Behind ‘We Are’

A stainless steel sculpture of the chant was gifted by the Class of 2013. Photos by Traci Ivler.

~ by Traci Ivler 

Every school has their own unique chant, and Penn State’s ‘We Are’ may be one of the most iconic. But where did it come from?

Some fans believe the famous chant heard at sporting events or just walking the streets of State College began in the 1946-47 football season.

Decorative ribbons with the famous chant are displayed across the ceiling at the museum.

It is said that when the Nittany Lion football team headed south to play Miami, Wallace Triplett, who would later become the first African-American football player to play in the NFL, was advised to stay home because of the color of his skin, according to Ken Hickman, director of the All-Sports Museum.

As a result, the team allegedly chose to refuse to play the game. When the issue resurfaced the following year to decide if they would have to cancel yet another game — this time the Cotton Bowl — a team meeting was called.

Team captain and All-American player Steve Suhey supposedly responded by saying, “No (meeting), we are Penn State” to show unity, and the rest is history. Or is it?

A glass wall at the museum showing Penn State’s football team marching out together in unity.

Hickman said the origin story of the chant was not even brought up until 2000. He does not dispute the fact that something along those lines happened. However, he thinks it’s possible that the story has morphed over time.

“It’s hard to remember a direct quote (like that) from decades ago, especially when there is no evidence of it being said until the ’80s,” Hickman said.

Hickman also explained how this story “drives coach (James Franklin) crazy, and credit (for the chant) is due to the cheerleaders.”

An old cheerleader uniform from the ‘80s when the chant was becoming popular is on display at the museum.

Penn State historian Lou Prato also said the story is a myth in his article, “The Origins of We Are!”

According to Prato, Penn State cheerleaders devised the chant, specifically during a game against Ohio State. He said the chant was intended to simply to add life to the games during the 1976-77 season but didn’t truly take off until the ’80s.

While there may be different beliefs behind where the famous ‘We Are’ chant came from, there is no doubt it has become significant to fans of Penn State athletics and the university as a whole.

Bilingual Matters

~ by Jeffrey Bobb

At the Children and Youth Sidewalk Sale at the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts, there are many different interactive booths where children can create arts and crafts.

At the Bilingual Booth children got a taste of what different languages sound and look like. Students who study different languages volunteered to show how to speak a few words in foreign languages and painted faces. Through creative activities children learn the importance of diversity in our culture.

The bilingual booth was created to give children a fun, hands on experience while at the same time exposing them to foreign languages.

“I forget how I got Involved,” said the head of the booth, Katy Vanamvurg, “but when I first heard about it I immediately wanted to get involved.”

“I visit this booth every year,” said visitor Verina Gad, “I’m always interested to see what kinds of languages they have.”

One of the activities was to trace “Hello my name is” on a name tag in Chinese, German, Russian, Spanish, and Arabic.

Katy Vanamvurg has helped at the bilingual booth for two years. She helped with its organization and creating the activities.

When asked about what she would like children to gain from the booth, Katy Vanamvurg said, “I hope they gain an intrest in learning diffrent languages. That would be a great skill for them to have in the future.”

Another activity at the booth was face painting. A child would choose an animal then spin a wheel to choose a language that the animal’s name would be written in.

“As for someone who knows Arabic, I was surprised how acurrately they spoke it – especially pronouncing the hard “h”, english speakers usually have difficulty with that,” said Verina Gad.

“The big focal is to show our youth how important diversity is. Anyone who watches the news knows we need that now more than ever,” said Katy Vanamvurg.


The Nittany Lion: Lasting Legacy of the Pennsylvania Mountain Lion

The original Nittany Lion — the Brush mountain lion from 1856 — resides on the second floor of the Penn State All-Sports Museum. Photo by Jeffrey Bobb.

~ by Jeffery Bobb

When someone mentions Penn State football, what are some of the first images that form in your mind? Maybe it’s the roaring students or the athletes fighting tooth and nail for that sweet victory? The coach standing at the sideline, shouting out new tactics into his tiny microphone?

No matter your experience, one key component stands out above all others: the Nittany Lion mascot.

At every game, fans watch the lion running across the field, doing pushups when Penn State scores a goal, and being lifted up into the student section. Many love this tradition, but few know of its origins.

When did we get a mascot? Why is it the mountain lion? How did it become this university’s symbol? The answers to many of these questions start back at Susquehanna County in 1856.

The Last Lion

That year, farmer Samuel Brush shot a mountain lion – one of the last in Pennsylvania due to settlers slaughtering these animals out of fear — and made it into a mount.

That mountain lion was passed down the Brush family tree before eventually coming to campus, where it stood in Old Main and served as a reminder of the importance of protecting the natural wildlife.

In 1893, it was loaned to the city of Chicago for the World’s Fair. It reappeared in the 1950s when it was taken to the Carnegie Museum in Pittsburgh as part of a display with other endangered species. The lion was finally returned to Penn State in the 1990s and had its DNA sequenced as part of a student project in 2015.

Today, it resides in the All-Sports Museum.  

Creating Excitement 

In the early 20th century, Penn State baseball player Joe Mason, inspired by the taxidermy, suggested that the mountain lion should be the university’s symbol. Before then, Penn state did not have a mascot.

Here is a costume of the familiar Nittany Lion located in the Penn State All-Sports Museum. Photo by Jeffrey Bobb.

“The Nittany Lion was created to increase excitement for the students as well as the athletes and cheer,” said Penn State All-Sports Museum tour guide Jock Welesk. For the mascot, students used an African lion costume that was previously in a performance of “Androcles and the Lion”.

That version of the Nittany Lion was used only during football games until the football coach at the time, Hugo Bezbeck, thought it brought bad luck and banished the mascot.

After World War II, the gymnastics coach became the new mascot, using a mountain lion costume. This leads to the classic Nittany Lion we all know and love.

“It has just expanded since then,” said Welesk. “Today, the Nittany Lion not only appears in football games, but also in just about every major event happening in Penn State.”

After a year-long competition in 2017, the Nittany Lion was selected to be inducted into the Mascot Hall of Fame along with the best professional and collegiate mascots from around country.

‘Essential Part of the Game’

So, how this mascot has endured for so long?

“It looks natural,” said Lee Stout, author of “Lair of the Lion: A History of Beaver Stadium.”

“You see so many schools with mascots constructed of foam, and it looks kind of artificial. Also, the person who is the Nittany Lion is a secret. It isn’t revealed until the end of the year. He is such an essential part of the game. He doesn’t talk; he’s silent. So, when he is the lion, he expresses everything through his athletic ability and hand gestures.”

Underneath Beaver

~ by Ben Sax


Ken Hickman is the director of the Penn State All Sports Museum which is located underneath Beaver Stadium.

Ken Hickman, director of the Penn State All-Sports Museum. ~ photo by Ben Sax


The three items Hickman likes the best in the museum are the full Nittany Lion costume, the Casey Bailey hockey jersey and the exhibit about the 1912 football game against Ohio State. Penn State beat the Buckeyes by a score of 1-0 because the Buckeyes forfeited the game.

Hickman also explained the process of installing an exhibit at the museum. He gave an example of a World Wall I exhibit.

Hickman said, “it took a couple of weeks to pull up the images, nine months of research and a couple of weeks to contact the living family members.”

Another member of the museum is Lee Stout, a retired university archivist.

He said the museum was built around the 2000-2001 season during the expansion of the stadium.

Stout said the original plan was that the museum was going to be a hall of fame honoring the greatest Nittany Lions and it would be located in a separate building.

However, Stout said it would be “more appealing to have a sports museum.”

Stout recently released his book titled Lair of the Lion, which focuses on the history of Beaver Stadium.

The Penn State Football Experience

Photographs by Emily Vogel


“Going to a Penn State football game isn’t just a football game, it’s an adventure.” – Jack Welesko, All-Sports Museum volunteer

From tailgating to gathering together, to cheering for a favorite player — game day at Penn State is a unique and special experience for everyone involved.

“I’ve been to at least one game every year since 1960,” Welesko said.

As a part of Penn State culture, football also influences applications, which “after the teams Big 10 Championship win, had a 25 percent increase,” said Jack Welesko, All-Sports Museum volunteer.

The economic importance of the sport is also important to the school. As game day approaches, State College develops into the third-largest city in Pennsylvania. Hotels are booked a year in advance and the city’s economy thrives with all of the ‘hustle and bustle’ a football game brings.

The sense of community surrounding football at Penn State is an important aspect of the school and something that brings together current and future students, alumni and faculty.
“It’s the sense of everyone coming together for a common cause and supporting those individuals who have put forth so much effort,” Maclay said.

“I’ve gone to lots of college games and it’s rare to see the kind of comradery, the kind of togetherness, that is present around the stadium on game day,” Mike Maclay, All-Sports Museum employee, said.

Football at Penn State impacts both the community and the school from an economic standpoint.

The feeling of a Penn Stater on game day has been described as “joyous” and “festive” throughout all aspects of the experience.

Even before joining the Big 10 conferences in 1993, game day at Penn State has always been a fan favorite.
Beginning as pink and black in 1887, the school’s team has grown into a major competitor in the United States, winning the Big 10 Championship in Pasadena, California, in 1994. As the team has evolved, so has it’s ever-growing fanbase.

A Closer Look at Penn State Swimming and Diving

~ by Claire Lee

The lengthy history of sports at Penn State has been documented since the nineteenth century at the All-Sports Museum in Beaver Stadium. The descriptive, attention-grabbing visuals send visitors back in time through the journey of athletic success throughout history.

Impressive athleticism and sportsmanship of these college athletes contribute to the prestige of the athletics program at Penn State. Today, we took a closer look at one of the many NCAA Division I sports teams exhibited at the All-Sports Museum: the women’s and men’s swimming and diving teams.

~ photo by Claire Lee

With three women’s Eastern titles, three Men’s Atlantic Ten Crowns and one men’s Big Ten Championship title, both swimming and diving teams possess a strong reputation over their athletes and success.

Throughout the exhibit, success stories of a variety of college athletes, both men and women, are displayed. Features of the exhibit range from highlights of each type of stroke, along with displays of awards and honorable mentions received by recent and past athletes, to short history lessons on the background of the swimming and diving teams.

Ally McHugh, a rising star for the women’s swim team last season, has school records in the mile and 400 individual medley (IM). McHugh placed tenth in the mile at the NCAA championships, earned a silver in the 400 IM at the Big Ten Championships and finished in the Top Twelve at Nationals four times. With her very successful season, she greatly contributed to the success of the women’s swim team.

One of the most decorated swimmers in the history of Penn State’s swimming and diving teams is Shane Ryan, a 2016 Rio Olympian. He broke three school records, he won Big Ten medals in each color and he was awarded All-American three times and placed sixth at the NCAA championships in the 100m backstroke.

Former student-athlete Ashok Jain said his experience as an athlete signified the importance of the connection sports bring to the college experience.

“Special moments make sports memorable,” Ashok said as he visited the museum. “The bond amongst alumni through sports is amazing.”

~ photo by Claire Lee

The success stories of the swimmers and divers aren’t the only highlights mentioned in the exhibit. The importance of the pool and its history in which these significant events happened is also emphasized to its viewers. Glennland Pool was the original pool where the swimming and diving team practiced.

World War II was a major global event that shaped the history of Glennland Pool and the swimming and diving program as it stood as an obstacle for both the teams and their families.

In 1968, Penn State transitioned to a new pool called McCoy Natatorium after a seventeen-year hiatus. During their time spent at McCoy, Lou MacNeil and Peter Brown coached Penn State Aquatics.

“The history shows us our past and how we overcame previous struggles,” said Jennifer Dahlke, a staff member at the All-Sports Museum.

As Ken Hickman, director of the All-Sports Museum, stated, “athletics help build a sense of unity amongst the school and an idea of school pride.”

The powerful bond between the athletes, coaches and their environment built a foundation of pride and teamwork for future athletes to look up to and build upon.


Spotlight on Mary Ellen Clark

The uniform worn by Penn State alumni diver Mary Ellen Clark. This colorful outfit was worn in the opening ceremony of the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona. ~ photo by Claire Lee

Mary Ellen Clark, four-time All-American athlete and recipient of two Olympic bronze medals in women’s diving at the 1992 and 1996 Olympics, was one of the biggest contributions to the success of the Penn State women’s diving team. Despite health obstacles she had faced in her competition career, she overcame them to become one of the most successful Penn State athletes.






~ by Sam Vervort

When you look at the Penn State athletic program, the first thing that comes to mind may be championships or great individual accolades from incredible alumni. However, strong character and a rich history of success is what Penn State Athletics really embodies, and this is shown at the Penn State All-Sports Museum.

“Our student-athletes are just that. They’re students and athletes,” said Penn State All-Sports Museum Director Ken Hickman. “There is an expected level of behavior and commitment to academics.”

The museum website even has an entire page acknowledging its student-athletes and their off-field accomplishments. While inside the museum, every exhibit either displays the ideals and great mindset of the athletes and coaches, or it shows off all their championships and awards and explains how they got them.

A banner displays the aspirations for the Penn State athletic programs. ~ photo by Sam Vervort

The first things you see when you walk in are quotes hanging from the ceiling that embody the character of Penn State student-athletes, as well as coaches and faculty, such as: “Respect each student as an individual.” “Responsibility for public service.” “We believe in the primacy of the athlete as a student.”

While character is certainly a large part of the storied Penn State athletic program, it is not complete without its longest tradition: Winning.

After exploring the main lobby, visitors walk into a room filled with trophies and historic artifacts that display the great history of the program, as well as a giant statue of a Nittany Lion waiting to welcome visitors to the museum. There are self-guided tours where visitors can see the plethora of accomplishments that Penn State teams and individual athletes have attained throughout the years. All of these exhibits make sure that Penn State’s winning tradition is shown throughout the museum.

Good character and a history of winning are both great, but what makes Penn State Athletics exceptional is its ability to tie them together. Penn State’s All-Sports Museum does a great job at showing how winning and character go hand-in-hand.

“The idea of sports building character really came into fashion,” said Lee Stout, a Penn State historian and retired University Libraries archivist.

No other program embodies the idea of sports building character like Penn State does, and the All-Sports Museum does an excellent job of displaying that for all of its visitors.

More than a museum

~ by Shaylon Walker

From the beginning of humanity sports have always remained an engaging topic. Whether it was in the ancient Olympic arenas of Rome, or in the modernized stadiums and courts all around the country today, the mix of emotion, adrenaline, and entertainment that sports offer its viewers is undeniably intriguing and has yet to be matched by any other activity.

“People are inherently competitive,” Penn State’s All-Sports Museum Director Ken Hickman said. “We tend to find it compelling to see a story that is being written as it takes place, and that is essentially what happens in sports; it entices us and fills us with a sense of pride, loyalty, passion, and community.”

Track and Field exhibit in the All-Sports Museum. ~ photo by Shaylon Walker

Here at Penn State, it appears that many others on campus agree with the statement above. In fact, the university is so proud of its athletic past that it has constructed an entire museum devoted to highlighting all of Penn State’s greatest athletic moments, records, and memories. Penn State’s All-Sports Museum first opened in 2002 and has been functioning beautifully since its start over fifteen years ago. In 2017 alone, the museum hosted over 20,000 visitors, and is projecting even larger number of visitors in the upcoming years.

“The museum is a place that displays the history of our sports while providing us with a perspective of where we started, where we are, and how far we could strive athletically as a school,” Penn State’s All-Sports Museum Operations Coordinator Jennifer Dahlke said.

To an outsider, the All-Sports Museum may present itself as a simple collection of banners, trophies, jerseys, and artifacts crammed into a small building on the outskirts of the famous Beaver Stadium. However, anyone that truly takes the time to walk the dimly lit, color filled, sports inspired exhibits of the All-Sports Museum will realize it symbolizes so much more than just that. This museum serves as a snapshot in Penn State’s history and a reflection of how sports have helped to shape the inclusive, loving, and united atmosphere of this great institution.

The Penn State All-Sports Museum celebrates Penn State athletics, both past and present. ~ photo by Shaylon Walker

“When I attended Penn state the culture was a blend of both academic ability and athletic talent,” alumnus Ashok Jain said. “Academics pushed us to be more efficient and hard-working, but the athletics never failed to bring us together and constantly reminded us that we were Penn State.”

The history and items compacted together within these walls is not only an indication of the school’s success over the years, but it is also a depiction of the unity, support, and love that radiates throughout the Nittany Nation both academically and athletically.

The All-Sports museum has created a legacy on the campus of Penn State and will continue to excel for years to come.

The Nittany Lion mascot on display in the museum lobby. ~ photo by Shaylon Walker

“It’s hard to know where you want to go if you don’t know where you’ve been,” Hickman said. “The past can serve as inspiration to keep going forward.”

Although the museum may be a fairly recent attraction, the memories, experiences, and moments it conveys to its guests will last for a lifetime.

Museum Made into a Community

~ by Curtis Trowbridge

A look into the involvement of students, student athletes and alumni in the Penn State All-Sports Museum.

National sports titles, polished trophies, old photographs of star athletes. These are just the surface of what the Penn State All-Sports Museum has to offer.

Walking into the exhibits of the museum gives visitors a trip of nostalgia. From pictures of Joe Paterno on the walls of the football section, to a plaque outside the building dedicated to his football legacy, this museum is filled with history.

A display of trophies in the All-Sports Museum. ~ photo by Curtis Trowbridge

The equipment held in the museum once used by students and the numerous photos of the student athletes really begged one question: What part do Penn State students play in a museum dedicated to student-athletes?

Kelly Beck, a museum employee and current Penn State student at, described working at the museum as an “interesting” experience.

“I knew the history of Penn State. I knew about the sports — I grew up around it,” said Beck, who is also native of State College, Pa. “But adding in the fact now that I am a Penn State student and I have been working here at the museum has added another layer of understanding.”

Kelly Beck at the museum. ~ photo by Curtis Trowbridge

She said by working there she now knows the history behind the beginnings of the athletic, as well as academic, programs at Penn State, adding that there are many names affiliated with the Penn State athletics programs that most people have immortalized.

However, Beck has her own view of these big names.

“Them being part of the community, you’re just like, ‘There’s Joe Paterno’ … They’ve really made themselves part of the community, so it’s not as big of a deal for me to see them.”

The value of the museum is also shared by former student-athletes.

“We’ve had a couple of the all-stars come through and they tell their kids, ‘There’s my name on this wall, I was an NCAA all-star academic athlete,’ ” Beck said.

Ken Hickman, the director of the All-Sports Museum for over 12 years as well as a Penn State alumnus, described the museum as a tool for recruitment where college coaches and prospective high school students can connect.

Hickman said current student-athletes have community service requirements that can be met at different community events held by the museum. He said the museum holds a number of different events, including a large event for Halloween.

Museum director Ken Hickman talks to student reporters in the lobby of the All-Sports Museum. ~ photo by Curtis Trowbridge

“We’ll have student-athletes come out from each team in their exhibit area and they’ll give out candy … and things like that count toward their hours,” Hickman said.

Finding a community creates a level playing field and a common theme that all involved can relate to. And the museum has created its own community — something that is very valuable for alumni, State College residents, current students, student-athletes, and those who are looking to go to college for athletic reasons. Being such a large university, a community can help college students like Beck find a middle ground and meet new people.

The Penn State All-Sports Museum has generated a wealth of history and sentiment to the university, but more so a place where people can connect.


The Ants Go Marching


Penn State Data Visualization Specialist Daryl Branford explains the importance of communicating world-class research to the general public. He is leading a team of artists and developers as they finalize “The Zombie Ant Experience”, an interactive display that combines physical artwork, augmented reality and award-winning life science research in the Huck Institute for the Life Sciences at Penn State. The installation is the first in a series of “SciArt@TheHuck” exhibits. It opened in the lobby of the Millennium Science Complex on May 21.

For this group multimedia project, photos were contributed by the 2018 Multimedia Journalism campers.