From Freshman Year To Now: What’s Changed?
It’s that time of year when seniors start getting incredibly nostalgic. Four years might seem pretty short, but even in that small amount of time, Penn State and State College have seriously changed. Get ready for a trip down memory lane as we take a look back at some of the places and programs that have transformed since August 2011.
Of course, the HUB has been going through massive renovations since freshman year. Joagies closed while Chick-fil-a, Burger King, a THON store, and Jamba Juice all opened. The bookstore closed and reopened again, and a whole renovation was completed to expand the HUB.
Au Bon Pain
In June of 2013, Au Bon Pain announced it would be coming to Penn State in three locations, taking over what used to be Otto’s Cafe in the Kern Graduate Building, Reese’s Cafe in the IST Building, and the Gallery Café in the Visual Arts building.
The new IM building opened in March of last year, with completely new gym facilities and a whole new look outside. The building is still undergoing some construction, but it is a huge upgrade to what the building was when we walked onto campus in 2011.
South Halls went through a major renovation and reopened at the start of the 2013 semester, adding air conditioning, wifi, sorority suites, and private bathrooms, just to name a few of the new features.
This summer, a new children’s garden opened up at the arboretum, so now you can literally stand at childhood’s gate.
The Lion Shrine
The Lion Shrine saw a renovation to the area surrounding it during the summer of 2013, thanks to the 2012 class gift. The shrine officially reopened in September of that year.
Old Main Trees
During 2012’s spring break, Penn State swept in and removed one of the iconic elm trees in front of Old Main because it was infected with “elm yellows,” an incurable disease.
The Veteran’s Plaza, a gift from the class of 2011, was dedicated in the name of Lt. Michael Murphy as a tribute to all veterans in Septemeber of 2012.
No More Joe Paterno Statue
Sorry, I had to.
We have also seen three different head football coaches lead the team in Beaver Stadium — Joe Paterno, Bill O’Brien, and James Franklin. Actually, it’s four if you count Tom Bradley’s interim head coach tenure.
The Pegula Ice Arena
The Pegula Ice Arena opened in 2013 thanks to a $102 million donation from Terry Pegula that was the largest in Penn State history.
Noodles and Company
This comfort food favorite opened in September of 2012, filling the spot on the corner of Burrowes Street and College Avenue that was vacant for years after 797 Lounge closed.
Primanti’s Replaced G-Man
This New Orleans-themed club was only open from from October 2012 to May 2013, months before most of this year’s seniors were of legal drinking age.
Levels Night Club
The popular Levels Nightclub opened in May 2012, taking the place of what once was The Mezzanine.
This increasingly popular Mexican restaurant opened toward the end of the fall 2014 semester where Taco Bell was once located before it relocated to its current East College Avenue location.
In one of the most unpopular changes over the past four years, Grillers, a drunk food favorite, officially shut down in July 2013. RIP $1 grilled cheeses.
Local Whiskey, affectionately known as ‘The Second,’ opened its doors above the Phyrst in Dec. 2012.
This location has gone through a few different changes during the past four years. When this year’s seniors arrived, it was Campus Candy. After that closed in the summer of 2012, The Attic, a vintage clothing store, opened in its place. The Attic shut down, and this past February Liberty Craft House opened its doors.
Bagel Crust jumped into the State College breakfast market just a year ago in April 2014.
Baja Fresh –> Nathan’s Famous –> Underground Burgers
Underground Burgers and Crepes‘ location was home to two other businesses in the past four years — Baja Fresh and Nathan’s.
The Pretzel Factory, which was once located on Allen Street, moved from its downtown location to Wal-Mart on Benner Pike in June 2013.
Mr. Charles Replaced By Aynthm
Clothing store Mr. Charles closed down and a brand new running store, Aynthm, took over in its place this semester.
Sandwich shop Quiznos, formerly located on Beaver Avenue, sadly closed in March 2014 and is now an apartment rental company’s office.
FTCAP Becomes NSO
Starting in the summer of 2013, the overnight New Student Orientation replaced the one-day First-Year Testing, Consulting, and Advising Program that current upperclassmen went through before coming to Penn State.
Old Main Bell
The Old Main Bell was changed from a recording of School of Music Professor Dan Armstrong playing a set of chimes to the automated, digital version of the bell in the winter of 2012.
Likely, countless other changes have occurred in the past four years. Did we miss anything? Tell us in the comments below.
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About the Author
Pat Freiermuth provided all of the offense that the Nittany Lions needed to take down Rutgers in Piscataway.
Parsons made seven tackles and recorded a strip sack in the Nittany Lions’ victory over Rutgers on Saturday.
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