New Society Aims to Protect Old State Traditions

As students of the Pennsylvania State University, tradition is something that is instilled in us from the beginning. Tradition sends us out most Saturdays in fall for the Greatest Show in College Football. Tradition sends us up the slopes of Mount Nittany to overlook the beautiful Nittany Valley. Tradition is how we define our collective soul at Penn State. Tradition not only drives us, it defines us. That tradition is on display with the newly created Nittany Valley Society (@NittanyValley). The society plans to protect the culture and heritage in the central Pennsylvania Nittany Valley, and foster the spirit of community that every Penn Stater holds dear.

The mission statement declares that:

“The Nittany Valley Society fosters a spirit of community across time for Penn Staters, Central Pennsylvanians, and friends through a knowledge of our past, an appreciation for our present, and an affection for our spirit as a living treasury for our future. This finds expression through virtue, vigor, and soulfulness apparent in acts of honor, the cultivation of customs, and the Old State spirit.”

The society was created by student activist Chris Buchignani. Thomas Shakely, founder of Safeguard Old State, serves on the Nittany Valley Society board of directors and helped define the mission of the organization in a recent blog post:

“A lot of life in the Nittany Valley is fleeting, not simply because people are born and die but also because students come and go. Whether the magnetism and magic of the Nittany Valley is felt and carried with them in life is the perennial challenge of those who know and love the place, and it’s the central challenge to which The Nittany Valley Society commits itself.”

Indeed, it’s imperative that we accentuate the grand history of the Nittany Valley and Penn State now more than ever. I look forward to watching the Nittany Valley Society prosper in this climate.

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Matt Westlake

Toona '12. Main '14. Creamery for life.

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