PSU news by
Penn State's student blog



Lion Shrine’s Ear Broken Off On State Patty’s Day

Update 9:33 a.m.: Campus police say they believe the broken ear was an accident and not a result of vandalism. We’ve also received notes from alumni describing the ear in various states of attachment over the past few weeks.

Original Story: State Patty’s Day is almost notorious for the debauchery it brings to State College each year between THON and Spring Break — but this time it’s gone too far. Sometime during the day’s festivities, the right ear was broken off the Nittany Lion Shrine.

Penn State campus police said they are aware that the ear is broken, and they have the missing piece in their possession as of 2 a.m. Sunday.

This is the fourth time the Nittany Lion has lost its right ear; the shrine was vandalized in 1978 and again in 1994. The original sculptor, Heinz Warneke, returned to campus in 1979 to repair the Symbol of Our Best and to make a cast of the shrine in case of additional future damage. The ear was put in place in both instances by master carver Vincenzzo Palumbo from Washington’s National Cathedral.

Most recently, the ear was damaged in 2003, this time appearing accidental. Police did not comment on whether this damage appeared to be accidental or as a result of vandalism.

You can see the damage below:

Photo: Kevin Horne
Photo: Kevin Horne
Photo: Kevin Horne

We’ll continue to update this post as the situation develops.

Editor’s note: A previous version of this post said sculptor Heinz Warneke repaired the ear in both 1978 and 1994. While Warneke prepared the cast in 1979 that was used in both repairs, carver Vincenzzo Palumbo put the ear in place in both instances. We apologize for the error.

About the Author

Elissa Hill

Elissa is a junior public relations major and the managing editor of Onward State. She is from Punxsutawney, PA [insert corny Bill Murray joke here] and considers herself an expert on all things ice cream. Send questions and comments via e-mail ([email protected]) and follow her on Twitter (@ElissaKHill) for more corny jokes.


More by Elissa

Penn State Joins Common App For 2018-2019 Admissions Season

The Common App won’t replace the MyPennState application, but will be just another option for prospective students.

McLanahan’s Self-Serve Beer Taps Open For Business

PA House Committee Moving Forward With 3% Funding Increase For Penn State


Tony Carr Experienced ‘Greatest Feeling Of His Life’ At NBA Draft

“Just to be able to hear my name called at the NBA Draft, it’s just a dream come true.” Penn State men’s basketball guard has reached the pinnacle of the sport — entering the NBA pro ranks after getting drafted Thursday night in Brooklyn by the New Orleans Pelicans. Carr, who had to wait around […]

Pelicans GM Excited To Bring In ‘Crafty’ Tony Carr

[VIDEO] New Orleans Pelicans Select Tony Carr In 2018 NBA Draft

Tony Carr First Nittany Lion Selected In NBA Draft Since 1999

Bundling Student Tickets And Offering Options: What Penn State Can Learn

Student Life

Student Farm To Commemorate Summer Solstice With Second Annual Celebration

Penn State’s Student Farm will celebrate the longest day of the year with tours and live music Thursday evening.

Penn State Love Stories: A Chance Meeting At Beaver Stadium

Virtual Reality: Changing The Game At Penn State

Plans Submitted For New KFC In State College

Developers have submitted preliminary land development plans to build a new KFC restaurant at 1780 S. Atherton St. in State College.

Tony Carr First Nittany Lion Selected In NBA Draft Since 1999

He averaged 19.6 points and five assists per game in the 2017-18 slate — leading Penn State to an NIT title in its first postseason berth since a CBI appearance in 2014.

McLanahan’s Self-Serve Beer Taps Open For Business

Carry-out beer will be available in the coming weeks in coolers along the south side of the store.

Be the first to know

  • Top posts and the best Penn State stories

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.

Don’t Like Penn State Student Ticket Policies? Change Them.

That potential lies as much in the hands of active, informed, and opinionated students as it does in those of the profit-driven athletic departments.

Send this to a friend