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Penn State All-Sports Museum To Open ‘I Am A Penn Stater: Nittany Lions In World War II’ Exhibit

The Penn State All-Sports Museum announced the opening of a new exhibit Wednesday.

I Am a Penn Stater: Nittany Lions in World War II will recount the contributions of Penn State lettermen and Women’s Recreation Association athletes during World War II.

“Utilizing a variety of photography, letters, diaries, and artifacts, I Am a Penn Stater offers visitors a firsthand understanding of the service provided by more than 1,200 former Nittany Lions who entered the military and American Red Cross,” Penn State Athletics said in a release.

The exhibit will feature experiences of various Penn Staters, such as those of wrestler Frank A. Gleason, who served with the Office of Strategic Services, Emma Jane Foster, a State College native who served as a civilian nurse with the Flying Tigers in China. Men’s basketball player Jack Reichenbach, who flew bombers for the US Fifteenth Air Force over Europe, and wrestler Clair L. Hess, who jumped with the 101st Airborne Division on D-Day, will also have their stories featured, as well.

It will also recognize the 27 former lettermen who lost their lives during the war, including soccer star Donald Megrail, Navy Cross recipient W. Garfield Thomas, boxer James W. Wright, and more.

The title of the exhibit comes from a letter written by 1941 Penn State graduate and track letterman Sergeant Max S. Peters. As he went through his list of democratic beliefs and reasons for fighting, he instead felt it was simpler to say “I Am a Penn Stater” since he believed the phrase encapsulated everything he believed.

Visitors can find the exhibit on the second floor of the museum. It will run from June 10, 2022, through June 1, 2025.

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About the Author

Frankie Marzano

Frankie is a senior accounting and economics major from Long Island, NY. You can probably recognize him as the typical Italian-American with slicked back black hair. He is an avid fan of the New York Rangers and Mets, along with every Penn State Athletics team. Follow him on Twitter @frankiemarzano for obnoxious amounts of Rangers and Penn State content or email him at frankie@onwardstate.com.

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