Onward State Presents: The Penn State Class Gifts Bracket, Round 1

It’s March and we’re ready for some madness.

Everyone and their mother fills out a bracket for the NCAA Tournament, but why limit the fun to just college basketball?

You’ve already decided Bradley’s is the best State College drunk food…you know, for after your trip to the best downtown bar, The Phyrst. You’ve also crowned Joe Paterno the best “Penn State thing” and decided the best Wings Over flavor is honey barbecue.

Now, it’s time to choose the best class gift in Penn State history.

What defines “best”? That’s up to you. You can vote for your favorite, for a sentimental memory, for your own class gift, or even for which thing you think would win in a wrestling match with Cael Sanderson. It’s all subjective. It doesn’t matter to us how you decide…just vote.

We’ve set up four regions for the bracket, each with 16 seeded class gifts that will compete head-to-head for their regional crown and a spot in the Final Four. You can learn more about some of the older class gifts here.

Without further ado, here’s a breakdown of all four regions.

Region One

The Nittany Lion Shrine is an obvious one-seed when it comes to class gifts. Every Penn Stater — and everyone who’s ever visited Penn State — has a photo at the Lion Shrine. How does it stack up to an oil portrait of Penn State professor Josiah Jackson? Only time will tell.

The first round seems pretty predictable in this region otherwise, though we could see the East courtyard of the Creamery giving the Schwab organs a run for their money

Region Two

The Pennsylvania State University sign next to Beaver Stadium has become a popular grad photo spot during the last 25 years and change, and for good reason. You can climb to the top or just pop champagne in your cap and gown in front of it, but there’s no better place to capture the official name of the university. This round’s matchup pits the sign against “class ivy,” which was planted during commencement at various buildings around campus.

This region also features a few other exciting matchups, like the Allen Street Gates vs. the not-yet-built wildcard HUB Alma Mater Display. What’s more, wrestling and women’s volleyball fans may have something to say about the Rec Hall Celebration Garden vs. the Granite Monument at George Atherton’s Grave.

Region Three

Though many students have never stepped foot inside of Old Main, the Land-Grant Frescoes are a sight to behold in Penn State’s famed administrative building. It should pull out an easy victory over the Ski Lodge at Bald Knob, which burned down after less than a decade near Tussey Mountain and was never rebuilt.

History fans can battle it out over the Restoration and Display of the Old Main Bell vs. Portrait of George Atherton, while environmentalists might have themselves a field day with a matchup between the HUB Green Roof Terrace and the Pollinators’ Garden Entry Gate.

Region Four

Before the clock was added to the Old Main Bell Tower, sophomores would climb up to paint their class numerals in the black circular space on the tower. When George Atherton suggested to seniors that it might be suitable for a clock, the class presented the time piece at graduation and later created a maintenance fund. Compared to the Winter Sports Park at Thompson Spring, which was never actually created due to the Great Depression, the clock seems to hold a place much closer to Penn Staters’ hearts.

The first round is rather predictable in this region, which also features the Winchester Chimes in the Old Main Bell Tower. The chimes remain in the tower but were long ago replaced by a recording.

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About the Author

Elissa Hill

Elissa was the managing editor of Onward State from 2017-2019. She is from Punxsutawney, PA [insert corny Bill Murray joke here] and considers herself an expert on all things ice cream. Follow her on Twitter (@ElissaKHill) for more corny jokes.

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