A History Lesson in Penn State Squirrels

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It’s been a great year for the Penn State squirrel. The Squirrel Whisperer article on Onward State remains as one of the most read posts in our history. Sneezy the Penn State Squirrel has become a household name around campus and its Facebook page has almost as many likes as The Daily Collegian.

But just how did the Penn State squirrel come to be?

Their story is well-documented. Back in 1928, the Penn State Collegian wrote an epic monologue about a squirrel fight outside of Schwab Auditorium.

As recently as 1987, a Daily Collegian columnist even wanted to BE a squirrel (despite the obvious fear of stampeding “mad Greeks screaming ‘Lunch! Lunch!’ in the middle of the night”).

As it turns out, the history of Penn State squirrels goes back 88 years. The Penn State squirrel got its humble beginnings in 1925 when the university purchased four pairs of eastern grey squirrels and planted them on campus in the hopes that they would populate the area and create a charming addition to campus life. The squirrel population has multiplied exponentially since then as the critters have become a ubiquitous part of Penn State student life.

That $32 could be one the best investments Penn State has ever made.

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About Author

Kevin Horne was the editor of Onward State from 2012-2014, and currently holds the position of Managing Editor Emeritus. He graduated from Penn State with degrees journalism and political science in 2014 and is currently seeking his J.D. at the Penn State Dickinson School of Law. A third generation Penn Stater from Williamsport, Pa., Kevin is a director of the Nittany Valley Society 501(c)(3) and is involved in student government.

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