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The 2017 Class Gift: A Brainstorm

Every class gift inherently carries something special with it: It connects the future to the past.

Penn State’s past classes have done an exceptional job leaving their mark on campus ever since the graduating class of 1861 met for a reunion in 1890 and gifted a portrait of our first president, Evan Pugh, which still hangs in the lobby of Old Main. Class gifts like the Veterans Plaza and the Gates on College and Allen have become campus staples at this point.

While remonscing over slass gifts past, including the ever-supported 2016 glass gift of a CAPS endowment, we thought of some ideas we’d like to see on campus. Gifts like benches and murals are cool and spirited and all, but we figured we’d come up with a few of our own:

Reinstate Higher Grounds

We’re college students, why would we ever get rid of a coffee shop?

Mini Golf

Let’s be real; There is one glaringly obvious thing missing from campus and it’s embarrassing we haven’t realized it yet. We need a mini golf course. If you haven’t looked at the HUB lawn and thought ‘wow that would make a great mini golf course,’ then clearly you need to reevaluate your priorities.

Besides the involvement fair, the HUB lawn is rarely ever entirely occupied and its central location to campus makes it perfect for a little put-put in-between classes. Why do we need one you ask? After all the insane things that have happened this past year, why not?


Hub Lawn Trees

The HUB lawn is a huge, green, open space filled with college kids. The only thing that makes this lawn different from any other spot on campus is the unfortunate absence of massive trees decorating it. While they probably wont be massive until the seniors are senior citizens, we have to start somewhere, and this year seems as good as any. The only real question here is which kind of trees. White Ash trees, which populate the area, are dying off in huge numbers so planting some of those while we can could be a good way to tell their story to Penn State generations that otherwise won’t ever see them. We could take a hint from the class of 1986, who dedicated its gift to six new elm trees when a disease in the trees caused some to die off.

  south tree


Be honest, you’ve been a little bit jealous when you see kids hanging in a hammock from the old trees on Old Main. Instead of being jealous, let’s be proactive and install hammocks from as many trees as possible on campus. What’s the only thing better than a 30 minute power nap on Tuesdays and Thursdays when you have a three hour and 15 minute break between classes? A thirty-minute power nap in a hammock. An added bonus is a perfect hiding spot in the tree when you spot that one person on campus you don’t want to see.

Ski Lodge

Penn State’s 1939 senior class donated $2,000 to build a ski lodge near present day Tussey Mountain. Unfortunately, it burned down in 1948 and was never rebuilt. To honor the legacy of Penn State and hopefully help the class of ’39 sleep better at night, we should rebuild the lodge as part of Tussey Mountain. If we’re going to live in 20 degree weather for most of the year we might as well have some fun in the snow.


Olympic Rings

Penn State set a school record for Olympians at the 2016 Rio Games with 25 Nittany Lions including players and coaches. The class gift could be a statue of the Olympic Rings to commemorate their achievements and even the achievements of Olympic Nittany Lions before them and to come.

What do you think the class gift should be? Let us know in the comments!

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About the Author

James Turchick

James is a senior majoring in digital and print journalism, James enjoys writing about anything weird and is deadly allergic to bees. Onward State people are very nice to him.


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