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Better Know a Branch Campus: Penn State Abington

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. First up: Penn State Abington.

Name: Penn State Abington, THE FIGHTIN’ ABS.

Chancellor: Karen Wiley Sandler.

Enrollment: 3,400

Location: Abington, Pennsylvania. Approximately 13 miles from Philadelphia, 200 miles from State College, and 300 miles from Pittsburgh. Abington is the hometown of Bob Saget, which means that Abington is the best city to house a branch campus. This is not debatable, and if you try to debate it, please watch this.

Sports: Abington competes in Division III under the nickname the Nittany Lions. There are 13 total men’s and women’s teams in Abington that compete in the North Eastern Atlantic Conference: baseball, men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s cross country, men’s golf, women’s lacrosse, men’s and women’s soccer, softball, men’s and women’s tennis, and women’s volleyball.

Fun facts: Amelia Earhart was once enrolled at Abington when it was known as The Ogontz School for Girls (we’ll get to that part later). Also, the #1 returning rebounder in Division III basketball is a rising junior for the men’s basketball team named Mike Marvin. Marvin also had the second most double-doubles last year of any returning DIII player with 17. I submit that he is good at basketball.

History: Abington was formerly called Penn State Ogontz. The name came from the Civil War era (not unlike the old, old wooden ship Diversity), when a banker for the Union named Jay Cooke convinced the local all-girl academy — The Chestnut Street Female Academy of Philadelphia, which was designed for 12-18 year olds — to move to his estate, which he called Ogontz after a Sandusky (yep) Indian Chief. The school was named The Ogontz School for Girls, and at one time, Amelia Earhart attended. The campus became a Penn State school in 1950 and became Penn State Ogontz, adopted the name Penn State Ogontz-Abington in 1995, and became Penn State Abington in 1997.

Right Now: Abington has about 3,400 students — making it the fourth largest branch campus in the Penn State system — and 107 full-time faculty members. Of course, students can choose to do the 2 + 2 program at this campus, but Abington also offers two associate degree programs and 16 baccalaureate degree programs.

Story Time: Unfortunately, since this is the pilot edition of BKABC, there are no student stories about Abington, but don’t fret! If you have any stories about Abington, send them to my email ([email protected]) and they will run in our next edition before we dive into our next school. They can be about good times at the school, bad times, academics, partying, sports, IM, anything. Your submission can be completely anonymous, if you’re in to that sort of thing.

Next Time: The next BKABC will highlight Penn State Altoona. As stated above, if you have any fun Altoona stories to run in the next edition — and if you went to Altoona, you absolutely have fun Altoona stories — shoot me an email.

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