Penn State To Celebrate 161st Birthday Next Week

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The Farmer’s High School of Pennsylvania was founded as a degree-granting institution on Feb. 22, 1855.

The university has come a long way in the 161 years since that momentous day — including the fact that it actually became a university — and will hold its annual Founders’ Day celebration next Wednesday on campus.

Hosted by the Lion Ambassadors — the Penn State student tour guides known for their backwards walk — Founders’ Day will include the usual birthday fare like cupcakes, party hats, music, performances, free food, and more.

Penn State dance troupes and musical groups will provide entertainment throughout the event, which runs from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Hetzel Union Building (HUB) on campus.

Traditional activities like “Pin the Tail on Old Coaly” are available as well. Old Coaly is, of course, the work mule who helped build the original Old Main building on campus and was an early mascot of the university. Old Coaly passed away in 1893, but his bones were preserved and are currently housed on the first floor of the HUB. But don’t worry, the game won’t involve pinning a tail on the actual Old Coaly.

“Founder’s Day is an event aimed at celebrating the creation of our University, which took place on Feb. 22, 1855,” said Lion Ambassadors President Brandon Johnson. “This year, the event is in honor of Penn State’s 161st birthday and will feature free food, music, performances and more.”

Stop by the HUB on Wednesday, Feb. 17, to celebrate what has in 161 years gone from a small farmer’s high school to a university with over 97,000 students, 23,818 acres of land throughout the Commonwealth, more than 645,000 living alumni, and more than 700,000 degrees awarded.

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Zach Berger

Zach Berger is a StateCollege.com reporter and Onward State's Managing Editor Emeritus. You can find him at the Phyrst more nights than not. If he had to pick a last meal, Zach would go for a medium-rare New York strip steak with a side of garlic mashed potatoes and a cold BrewDog Punk IPA. You can reach him via e-mail at [email protected] or on Twitter at @theZachBerger.

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