If you’ve ever wondered what molded the first leader of Penn State, now is your chance to find out.
The Hintz Family Alumni Center will host an exhibit on Penn State’s real first president, Evan Pugh, until June 10. Located in Robb Hall, “No Nobler Effort: Evan Pugh, Penn State’s First President” will detail the life of Pugh, a native of Chester County.
Pugh became the original president of what was then the Farmer’s High School in October of 1859 after leaving work at the Rothamsted Agricultural Research Station in Harpenden, England. His leadership allowed the school to produce the first graduates in the nation with a degree in Scientific Agriculture in 1861. In all, Pugh held 11 university positions, including his duties as president.
In 1862, Pugh changed the name of the Farmer’s High School to the Agricultural College of Pennsylvania in order for the school to qualify for land-grant status under the Morrill-Land Grant Act. He was ultimately instrumental in the school’s selection as the sole land-grant institution of Pennsylvania in 1863. Pugh died a year later from typhoid fever but ultimately set up the basis for what would become the modern-day Pennsylvania State University.
The exhibit includes documents and photographs from Pugh’s life and even includes his genealogy and information on his wife, Rebecca. It will run until June 10 at the Alumni Center and is open to the public. The Hintz Family Alumni Center is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday, and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.