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A Timeline Of Penn State’s Undocumented Snow Days Over The Years

The university’s own records of weather-related closures begin with the closure on Valentine’s Day in 2007, leaving a significant amount of time between Penn State’s founding in 1855 and the first documented snow day.

In an effort to fill in some of the gaps, we asked our alumni readers to report any snow days from their time on campus, and they delivered. Using all of the responses to our Google form and Facebook comments, we were able to put together this imperfect* timeline of Penn State’s closures:

  • 1977 — Campus closed for a half-day on Friday, but the Gaff remained open. Thank God.
  • Spring 1993 — A huge Nor’easter made traveling back to State College after Spring Break nearly impossible. The first two days of class after break were cancelled.
  • March 1994 — Negative 20-degree weather led to the governor declaring a state of emergency, and Penn State was forced to close.
  • Spring 1996 — Widespread power outages due to a blizzard shut campus down.
  • January 1999 — Classes were cancelled in the second week of school, much to one freshman’s delight after his professor had lectured his class about there never being snow days.
  • February 2000 — Classes were cancelled the Friday of THON weekend.
  • February 2003 — Classes were cancelled thanks to three feet of snow in 24 hours.

*Most of the cancellations on this timeline were confirmed by multiple sources, but there may still be some discrepancies over the frequencies of closures in these windows. For example, it is difficult to tell if two people mentioning a closure in 1996 are talking about the same closure or two different events. Furthermore, it’s possible that months/years were misremembered. To be fair, I couldn’t tell you how many closures we had last year, let alone recall closures 20 years ago.

Are there any closures we missed? Let us know in the comments below!

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About the Author

Anthony Fiset

Anthony is a senior *gasp* majoring in Economics and a lifetime Costco Executive Member. If you are an employer, please hire him. Otherwise, direct all complaints to [email protected]


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