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Penn State 2011 Senior Class Gift Revealed

Senior Ben Witt, Overrall Committee Chair, reveals the 2011 Penn State Senior class gift of a plaza dedicated to Lt. Michael Murphy/Alumni Veterans.

The winning entry in the voting for the Penn State 2011 Senior Class Gift was a plaza dedicated to Lt. Michael P. Murphy and other Penn State veterans. More than 3000 Penn State seniors voted in the poll.

The plaza, which will be the 150th senior class gift, was revealed this morning at a celebration in the HUB, complete with cakes, t-shirts, and distinguished guests. Penn State seniors have been donating gifts to their alma mater since 1861, including landmarks such as the Lion Shrine, the Allen Street Gates, and different scholarships.

The voting, which took place last week, was between:

  • Lt. Michael P. Murphy/Penn State Veterans Plaza
  • “Old Willow” Tree and Class of 2011 Trustee Scholarship
  • Penn State Alma Mater Display

Lt. Michael Murphy was a 1998 graduate of Penn State and the first ever alumni to receive a medal of honor. Murphy died in 2005 while fighting in Afghanistan. The plaza is also to memorialize and honor all other PSU veterans, from the civil war to present day.

Here’s the description the Senior Class Gift Committee posted on

Lt. Michael P. Murphy/Penn State Veterans Plaza

The Class of 2011 would create a plaza that honors Lt. Michael P. Murphy (’98 Lib), the only Penn State alumnus ever to win the Medal of Honor, and all other Penn State veterans. Lt. Murphy perished in Afghanistan in 2005 while leading a Navy Seal Team behind enemy lines and was the first American awarded the Medal of Honor for actions in Afghanistan. The plaza would also visibly recognize alumni veterans for their service. Penn Staters have bravely served in the military dating back to the Civil War and the University now has the largest ROTC program of any non-military institution. The plaza also would serve to beautify a prominent campus location and provide a functional gathering space.

About the Author

Caitlin Silver

Caitlin is from a small Pennsylvania town called Unionville, which is by West Chester, which is by Philadelphia. She is a sophomore in the Smeal College of Business and will probably major in accounting. Caitlin loves "How I Met Your Mother" and dougnuts.


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