Staff Picks: Grabbing A Drink With A Prominent Penn Stater

Go to any downtown bar on a football weekend and you’ll hear Penn State parents regaling students with stories of their glory days. But if you had the chance to hear about Penn State from (or throw down at a State College bar for a night with) some of its most prominent figures, who would you want to grab a beer with?

We asked some of our staff members to choose a drinking partner from Penn State’s past:

Liam McCall: Bruce Banner

According to Marvel, Dr. Bruce Banner was educated at Penn State. I would love to have a beer with the Hulk — as long as I don’t piss him off.

Elissa Hill: Eric Walker

From Evan Pugh to Eric Barron, Penn State has a storied list of former university presidents. If I could only crack open a cold one with one of them, I’d choose Eric Walker. Walker was president from 1956 to 1970, so his tenure included plenty of uproar and protests of the Vietnam War. I’ll let you read all about that here, but trust me, this guy has some stories.

Derek Bannister: Milton Eisenhower

If I could have a beer with any figure in Penn State history, I’d probably have to go with Milton Eisenhower. Not only was he the brother of U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower, but he also had an interesting public life himself. Aside from serving as the president of Penn State from 1950 to 1956 (as if that wasn’t enough of a big deal), he was also the Director of Information from 1928 to 1941 in the midst of the New Deal. He was the director of the War Relocation Authority, the organization responsible for internment during WWII. Although that’s certainly a dark spot in American history, Eisenhower himself was opposed to mass internment and supported various policies to lessen its impact. I could imagine him enjoying a nice IPA.

Gabriela Stevenson: Old Coaly

Just me, Old Coaly, a six-pack (and a trough of water for Penn State’s favorite mule, of course), and a whole lot of silence under a nice, shady tree. Sounds like the perfect afternoon to me. 

Hayden Christ: The Willard Preacher

If I could have a drink with anyone in Penn State history, it would have to be the Willard Preacher. I know that man has a lot to talk about since he doesn’t stop talking for hours during the day. I suspect we have some different viewpoints, which would make for an interesting talk — all while staying hydrated.

Tim Reams: John Urschel

Why have a beer with any Penn State football legend when you can kill two birds with one stone and share a brew with a generational scholar? Urschel is a former Academic All-American, former Baltimore Raven, the Spring 2016 commencement speaker for the Eberly College of Science, and a Ph.D. candidate at MIT. Though he can definitely talk circles around me in theoretical mathematics, he and I will have to share a Labatt since he’s from Canada. John Urschel: If you’re reading this, @ me on Twitter — the beer’s on me.

Anthony Fiset: George Atherton

President Atherton is hands down the one person from Penn State history with whom I would like to crack open a cold one. There’s so much about him that I want to know. Did he decide to be buried on campus? Was Atherton Street still under construction before it was named after him? What was worse: fighting in the Civil War or working at Rutgers? I need answers.

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