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While You Were Away…

Welcome back to campus, Penn State. The spring semester is finally here, and if you’re like us, you’re excited to get back to campus following a refreshing winter break.

Now that the holidays have come and gone, you’ll need to reconnect with Dear Old State and catch up on all the news that might’ve slipped by while you were back home. Luckily, that’s where we come in.

Here’s a breakdown of everything you missed in State College and at Penn State while you were home for winter break:


  • Back in mid-December, State College police arrested a Penn State student for allegedly stealing more than $5,000 worth of items from apartments at The Standard downtown. He’s set for arraignment on January 19.
  • Penn State’s Schreyer Honors College established a new scholarship to honor Neil Patel, a student who died from COVID-19 complications in 2021. The endowment will provide annual awards for Schreyer students who exemplify Patel’s dedication and passion.
  • A Penn State student died in a vehicle crash on I-78 while driving home for winter break. Thanks to countless generous Penn Staters, a GoFundMe campaign raised more than $73,000 to support his family.
  • Another medical marijuana dispensary will soon open in State College. At some point this year, it’ll set up shop in the former Citizens Bank building at 1248 S. Atherton Street.
  • Penn State officially detected COVID-19’s omicron variant on campus. A few weeks later, the university said it observed a 14.5% positivity rate through a few thousand tests that were administered over winter break.
  • The State College Borough Council unanimously voted to rename a portion of McAllister Alley after longtime Tavern owner Pat Daugherty, who died in 2021.
  • State College police accused a bus station employee of fabricating a reported armed robbery on Halloween.
  • A Centre County judge ruled that a nearly century-old deed provision gives Penn State the right to acquire the Beta Theta Pi fraternity house. The university and the alumni-run house corporation that owns and manages the property have six months to negotiate a selling price.
  • Despite suggesting virtual learning could be in play, Penn State announced plans to hold an in-person spring semester. Hopefully, you’d know that by now.
  • State College inaugurated a new era when it swore in several new public servants, including Mayor Ezra Nanes and three Borough Council members. The addition of the progressive slate produced one of the most diverse governing boards in borough history.


  • Penn State football signed a massive 22-prospect recruiting class back on National Signing Day. The Nittany Lions’ Class of 2022 was fueled in part by a strong emphasis on in-state recruiting, especially in Philadelphia.
  • Penn State’s men’s and women’s lacrosse teams both released their 2022 schedules. They’ll begin their seasons with respective matchups against Lafayette on February 5 and Drexel on February 16.
  • A handful of Penn State football stars declared for the 2022 NFL Draft, including:
  • Penn State baseball released its spring schedule, which includes a pit stop at PNC Park to face off against Pitt on May 17.
  • Former Penn State linebacker Micah Parsons punched his ticket to the 2022 NFL Pro Bowl. He finished the Dallas Cowboys’ regular season with 84 total tackles, 13 sacks, and three forced fumbles.
  • Legendary women’s volleyball coach Russ Rose retired following a 43-year career with Penn State. Over his time in Happy Valley, Rose led his program to seven national titles, 17 Big Ten championships, and a 1,330-229 (.853) overall record.
  • Penn State picked up a commitment from wide receiver Mitchell Tinsley, who’ll transfer to the Nittany Lions following a strong season with Western Kentucky. In 2021, he dramatically ramped up his production and compiled 87 catches for 1,402 yards and 14 touchdowns.
  • Penn State couldn’t keep up with No. 21 Arkansas in the Outback Bowl. Ugly play from the Nittany Lions’ offense ultimately led to a 24-10 win for the Razorbacks in the first-ever meeting between the two teams.
  • Penn State wrestling picked up a handful of commitments, including top-10 Class of 2023 prospect Josh Barr and top-40 Class of 2023 prospect Braeden Davis. Cael Sanderson’s program also landed a surprise transfer from two-time All-American Drew Hildebrandt.
  • Penn State women’s lacrosse star Olivia Dirks officially transferred to UNC. Last season, she racked up 31 goals and 12 assists as one of the Nittany Lions’ top contributors.
  • Legendary Penn State linebacker LaVar Arrington punched his ticket to the College Football Hall of Fame. He’ll join other honorees when he’s inducted on December 6, 2022.
  • Penn State men’s basketball earned the biggest win of Micah Shrewsberry’s tenure when it defeated Northwestern 74-70. Late game heroics from Seth Lundy helped the Nittany Lions take down the then-8-3 Wildcats.
  • Penn State men’s hockey rang in the new year with a 5-3 win over Army. The fun came to an end with a series against Notre Dame, though. The Nittany Lions fell 4-2 in game one and lost a 5-4 overtime thriller when the Fighting Irish scored with just 0.2 seconds left on the clock.
  • Penn State wrestling’s undefeated season remains intact. The team earned three wins at the Collegiate Wrestling Duals over Northern Iowa, Cornell, and Arizona State. Later on, the Nittany Lions dominated Maryland 46-0 to open Big Ten play and took down Indiana 29-11.

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About the Author

Matt DiSanto

By day, Matt is a senior majoring in journalism. By night, he's Onward State's managing editor. He's a huge Philadelphia sports fan, fantasy football lover, and washed-up drummer hailing from Collegeville, Pa. The quickest way to his heart is Margherita pizza and "Arrested Development" quotes. Follow him on Twitter @mattdisanto_ if you hate yourself or email Matt at [email protected] if you hate him.


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