Penn State is in the top 1 percent of universities worldwide. It has the largest alumni network in the nation. Founded in 1855, it combines academic rigor with a vibrant campus life. Granted the highest rating for research universities by the Carnegie Foundation, Penn State teaches students to be leaders with a global perspective. It provides undergraduate programs offer students a range of knowledge and skills as they prepare for careers in the global arena also it provides graduate programs give students opportunities for course work and research with all-star faculty as well as teaching.
The Pennsylvania State University (commonly referred to as Penn State or PSU) was founded in 1855, the university has a stated threefold mission of teaching, research, and public service. Its instructional mission includes undergraduate, graduate, professional and continuing education offered through resident instruction and online delivery. Annual enrollment at the University Park campus totals more than 45,000 graduate and undergraduate students, making it one of the largest universities in the United States. It has the world's largest dues-paying alumni association. The university offers more than 160 majors among all its campuses and administers $2.03 billion (as of June 30, 2013) in endowment and similar funds. The university's research expenditures exceeded $753 million for the 2009 fiscal year and was ranked 9th among U.S. universities in research income by the National Science Foundation.
The school was founded as a degree-granting institution on February 22, 1855, by act P.L. 46, No. 50 of the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania as the Farmers' High School of Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania, donated 200 acres (0.8 km2) of land – the first of 10,101 acres (41 km2) the school would eventually acquire. In 1862, the school's name was changed to the Agricultural College of Pennsylvania, and with the passage of the Morrill Land-Grant Acts, Pennsylvania selected the school in 1863 to be the state's sole land-grant college. The school's name changed to the Pennsylvania State College in 1874; enrollment fell to 64 undergraduates the following year as the school tried to balance purely agricultural studies with a more classic education.
George W. Atherton became president of the school in 1882, and broadened the curriculum. Shortly after he introduced engineering studies, Penn State became one of the ten largest engineering schools in the nation. Atherton also expanded the liberal arts and agriculture programs, for which the school began receiving regular appropriations from the state in 1887. A major road in State College has been named in Atherton's honor. Additionally, Penn State's Atherton Hall, a well-furnished and centrally located residence hall, is named not after George Atherton himself, but after his wife, Frances Washburn Atherton. His grave is in front of Schwab Auditorium near Old Main, marked by an engraved marble block in front of his statue.
In the years that followed, Penn State grew significantly, becoming the state's largest grantor of baccalaureate degrees and reaching an enrollment of 5,000 in 1936. In the 1970s, the university became a state-relate institution. As such, it now belongs to the Commonwealth System of Higher Education, and is now part of the fully public Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education.
In 2011, the university and its football team garnered major international media attention and criticism due to a sex abuse scandal in which university officials were alleged to have covered up incidents ofchild sexual abuse by former football team defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky. Two university administrators, athletic director Timothy Curley and Gary Schultz, Senior Vice President for Finance and Business, were indicted for perjury. Sandusky was indicted and in June 2012 convicted on 45 counts for the abuse. Coach Joe Paterno was fired, and school president Graham B. Spanier was forced to resign by the Board of Trustees late in the evening of November 9, 2011. In response to Paterno's ouster, thousands gathered outside in State College on the night of the Trustees meeting and some caused damage to property.
The main University Park campus is centrally located at the junction of Interstate 99 and U.S. Route 322, and is due south of Interstate 80. Before the arrival of the Interstates the University was a short distance from a Lock Haven - Altoona branch line of the Pennsylvania Railroad. The last run of long distance trains from Buffalo or Harrisburg through Lock Haven was in 1971. Today, the nearest passenger rail access is in Lewistown 31 miles to the southeast. The University Park Airport, serving four regional airlines, is near University Park.
Penn State is a "state-related" university, part of Pennsylvania's Commonwealth System of Higher Education. As such, although it receives funding from the Commonwealth and is connected to the state through its board of trustees, it is otherwise independent and not subject to the state's direct control. For the 2006–2007 fiscal years, the university received 9.7 percent of its budget from state appropriations, the lowest of the four state-related institutions in Pennsylvania. Initial reports concerning the 2007–2008 fiscal year indicated that Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell is recommending a 1.6 percent increase in state appropriations. Penn State's appropriation request, submitted to the Pennsylvania Department of Education in September, requested a 6.8 percent increase in funding.
The university is governed by the 32-member board of trustees. Its members include the university's president, the Governor of the Commonwealth, and the state Secretaries of Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources, and Education. The other members include six trustees appointed by the Governor, nine elected by alumni, and six elected by Pennsylvania agricultural societies.
Penn State lives close by no matter where you are. Our campuses are located from one side of Pennsylvania to the other. Through Penn State World Campus, students can take courses and work toward degrees online from anywhere on the globe that has Internet service.