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Onward State Presents: The ‘Best Penn State Place’ Bracket, Round 1

This is March.

As March Madness fans prepare for yet another chaotic tournament, we here at Onward State have devised a bracket of our own to answer an age-old question: What’s the best Penn State “place”?

The answer, of course, depends on your perspective. When thinking of a Penn State place, you might imagine your favorite classrooms or infamous dorm rooms. Perhaps you think back to fond memories of watching the Nittany Lions play at Beaver Stadium and Rec Hall. You might even jump to campus staples like the HUB or the Berkey Creamery.

We polled some of our staffers to jot down a four-region, 32-place bracket of some of Penn State’s most beloved buildings, venues, and areas across campus. Not included are smaller and more limited outdoor areas like the Nittany Lion Shrine, the “We Are” statue, and so on.

Now, it’s up to you to use the Google Forms below to vote for your favorites and get this bracket challenge rolling. Preliminary voting will close on Sunday, March 20. We’ll be back with our bracket’s second round on Monday!

Without further ado, here’s a breakdown of this year’s tournament:


Whether you came to Penn State decades ago or are struggling through midterm season as we speak, you’ve probably got some strong opinions about the university’s most commons classrooms.

This region of the bracket is dominated by the Thomas Buliding, which is a campus staple in its own right thanks to possessing the largest classroom on campus. Thomas has a first-round matchup against the Hammond Building — an ugly, far-too-long facility that many Penn Staters would love to do away with. The good news? It’s coming.

Common classroom spaces like the Forum Buliding, Osmond Lab, and Willard call this region home, too. It’s hard to imagine many Penn Staters feel too fond of these classrooms, but they’re quintessential parts of the Penn State experience at this point.

Athletics & Recreation

Now, the fun begins. In this region, you’ll need to choose between some of Penn State’s most beloved atmospheres, including top-seeded Beaver Stadium, the Berkey Creamery, and even the Arboretum. This round is quite the wild card, but if something fun is happening on campus, it almost certainly fits into our Athletics & Recreation region.

We’re interested to see which places get far in this bracket. Do our readers love IM or White Building more? Is Pegula Ice Arena better than the Bryce Jordan Center? That’s for you to decide.

Dorms & Commons

Ever lived on campus? This region is for you.

Here, you’ll need to choose between some of Penn State’s housing options, dining halls, and student centers. The HUB is an obvious No. 1 seed, but there’s surely some room for chaos in the middle of this bracket.

Will West’s famous cookies carry Waring Commons to a first-round win? Will the Schreyer scholars unite to take down Pollock’s legendary breakfast buffet? Cast your votes today to find out.

Campus Classics

Some Penn State places just don’t fit the mold of other categories, but they simply can’t be excluded. Enter “Campus Classics” — a one-stop shop for some of Penn State’s most iconic sites.

Here, you’ll find Penn State buildings like Old Main, the Pattee & Paterno libraries (molded into one combined seed), and Eisenhower Auditorium. Newer places like Smeal College of Business are here, too. How will they stack up against some of Penn State’s most classic sites?

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About the Author

Matt DiSanto

Matt proudly served as Onward State’s managing editor for two years until graduating from Penn State in May 2022. Now, he’s off in the real world doing real things. Send him an email ([email protected]) or follow him on Twitter (@mattdisanto_) to stay in touch.

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