Better Know a Branch Campus: Penn State Brandywine

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There are 24 campuses in the Penn State system. The one that gets the most attention is University Park, but what about the other 23? That’s where we come in with our newest 23 part series, Better Know a Branch Campus, inspired by Stephen Colbert’s Better Know a District. Next up: Penn State Brandywine.

Name: Penn State Brandywine, The Fightin’…uh…Brandys? Wines?

Chancellor: George W. Franz, who is the interm chancellor while the school searches for a permanent chancellor.

Enrollment: 1,630 students. Brandywine is the sixth largest branch campus in the Penn State system and the largest school competing in the Penn State University Athletic Conference. We’ll get to that in a second.

Location: Media, PA. Use discretion as you make “Hey Media, PA, We Know the Truth!” jokes. Brandywine is 22 miles from Philadelphia, 178 miles from State College, and 289 miles from Pittsburgh.

Sports: As previously mentioned, Brandywine is the largest branch campus in the PSUAC. The school has twelve intercollegiate teams: baseball, men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s cross country, men’s golf, men’s hockey, men’s soccer, softball, men’s and women’s tennis, and women’s volleyball.

Fun Fact: Brandywine has a bi-weekly student newspaper. Also, it is the only campus named after multiple kinds of alcohol (not really).

History: The school originally opened in September of 1967, with more than 230 students taught by 11 faculty members. The school operated in Chester, PA until 1970, when it moved to Media. Brandywine also used to operate under the name “Penn State Delaware County” and “Penn State Lima.” However, after realizing it wasn’t in Peru, the campus became known as Penn State Brandywine.

Right Now: Penn State Brandywine does not offer on-campus housing. There are off campus apartments that students can rent, but there’s nothing on-campus.

Brandywine offers 11 baccalaureate degrees and two associate degrees. There are also multiple certificate programs.

Story Time: There are two stories this week. One person really liked Brandywine. The other not so much.

  • “Attending Penn State Brandywine was one of the best decisions of my life. Penn State Brandywine does a great job of displaying the mass amount of resources you have available to you as a student in order to get involved and make decisions regarding your future. The first week of my first semester in Fall 2006, I signed up for almost every club on campus and soon found myself involved in Lion Ambassadors and THON, which I eventually served as Overall Chair at Penn State Brandywine in 2007. I was fortunate enough to meet a great group of friends that I am still close with today, years after graduating. It was through Penn State Brandywine that I also studied abroad in Italy and volunteered to help rebuild homes affected by Hurricane Katrina in Gulfport, Mississippi. The campus also has a very intimate and excellent Schreyer Honors program, which allowed me to present research on dinosaur specimens and complete a thesis on living walls, in which Dr. Laura Guertin served as one of my Thesis Supervisors and whom I still stay in touch with today. Because I attended Penn State Brandywine, I am thankful and lucky to have taken advantage of the opportunities that were provided to me. These opportunities have enabled me to understand what is truly important in life: education, research, charity organizations, and contributing to society in whatever career path you choose.”
  • “To start with, it’s basically an extension of high school. There are no dorms and everyone commutes. Very few people actually stay on campus to hangout and study. The campus tries to get students to stay by hosting lectures by local business owners or authors, but c’mon what kind of incentive is that to keep students around on campus after being in class all day? There is a small lounge area in the main classroom building that was just renovated along with the classrooms, but it lacks personality. The Lions Den is where most people spend their time. Although I’ll confess I’ve never actually spent more than 5 minutes there because again nobody stays on this damn campus. It’s great if you want a smooth transition into college with small class sizes and intimate relationships with your professor. There’s also a mall right down the street that literally has four stores in it, so again not much to do around here. Overall, it wasn’t a terrible experience, just not particularly engaging. I felt like I was in high school, except with the Penn State name attached.”

Next Time: Penn State DuBois! It’s smaller than my high school and my high school was tiny. I’m sure people who attended have fantastic stories from that place. If you do, let me know.

Previous Better Know a Branch Campus features: Abington, Altoona, Beaver, Berks.

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