What Happened While You Were Away…
Welcome back to Happy Valley, folks! The 2022-23 school year is upon us.
While you were tanning in the sun or working your internship this summer, there’s a good chance you missed out on some news back here at Penn State or in the State College area.
Here’s a quick refresher of what you missed this summer:
- Several Penn State landmarks, including the Lion Shrine, Old Main, and the Hintz Family Alumni Center, were the targets of a vandalism attack. Penn State alum Julia Cipparulo was charged with the vandalism, and she shared her motives for why she allegedly did so.
- Penn State announced that it will begin to recognize Martin Luther King Jr. Day and Juneteenth as official university holidays beginning in 2023. The policy vows to give Penn State students, faculty, and staff members the day off for both holidays.
- Penn State students raised $29,840 through the “Swipe Out Hunger” campaign to benefit the university’s Student Emergency Fund.
- After nearly five years of work with Penn State’s budget, Penn State Associate Vice President For Budget Mary Lou Ortiz left the university to become CFO and vice chancellor of the University of California, Irvine, the university announced.
- The university announced it was pausing its COVID-19 clinic operations. However, COVID-19 testing still remains available for symptomatic students by scheduling an appointment with University Health Services.
- Eight-time Grammy Award winner Carrie Underwood is bringing her “The Denim & Rhinestones” tour to Happy Valley on February 10. The Bryce Jordan Center is one of 16 stops Underwood will make during February 2023 for her tour.
- Penn State’s Market East now accepts SNAP and EBT cards. The move, which was spearheaded by UPUA, Lion’s Pantry, and Housing and Food Services, comes in an attempt to tackle food insecurity and student poverty at University Park.
- Comedian Nate Bargatze will perform at the Bryce Jordan Center on Thursday, November 17. Bargatze received a Grammy nomination for his Netflix special “The Greatest Average American.”
- A federal judge dismissed a North Carolina woman’s lawsuit that alleged Penn State and fencing coach Wes Glon attempted to cover up sexual misconduct by a former assistant coach.
- THON officially announced THON 2023 will kick off on February 17 and last through February 19.
- At the time, nearly 2,000 people signed a petition to reopen the case surrounding Penn State student Justine Gross’s death. Gross died after an 11-story fall down a Beaver Terrace Apartments trash chute on November 10, 2021. As of August 21, over 4,500 people have signed the petition.
- The downtown Amazon pickup store, located at 134 S. Allen Street, permanently closed.
- The car-sharing company Zipcar ended its service at University Park on May 27.
- A new Hawaiian restaurant, Poke Fresh, opened on East Calder Way and is selling signature and custom poke bowls, burritos, and bubble teas.
- Downtown State College’s Raising Cane’s finally opened its doors on June 14.
- After originally sending spring 2022 graduates diplomas with then-President-elect Neeli Bendapudi’s signature, Penn State announced it would reissue diplomas with Eric Barron’s name on them.
- A new bubble tea shop, ‘The Whale Tea,’ opened at 262 E. Beaver Ave. in the former location of Frutta Bowls.
- President Neeli Bendapudi announced that professor Oliver Baker won’t be fired following his altercation with a student at a pro-vaccine rally. Baker was charged with misdemeanor counts of simple assault and disorderly conduct for the scuffle with the student.
- Former Penn State football player and current board of trustee Brandon Short launched an anti-gun violence foundation in honor of his daughter, Karli, who lost her life to gun violence last September.
- Jose Sajbin, a State College resident, died after being struck by a driver while riding his bicycle in June.
- A former Penn State student was charged in June for allegedly raping another student while she was unconscious in her dorm room last August.
- Penn State Provost Nick Jones stepped down from his position. Justin Schwartz, the former Harold and Inge Marcus Dean in the College of Engineering, took over as the interim executive vice president and provost following a transitional period in mid-July.
- Way Fruit Farm announced it was expanding to a second location in downtown State College.
- Anthony Atchley took over as the acting dean of the College of Engineering. Atchley had previously served as the senior associate dean of the college.
- Penn State’s Board of Trustees unanimously approved for the university to enter into a ground lease and purchasing agreement for the Penn Stater Hotel and Conference Center and the Nittany Lion Inn. Both hotels are expected to maintain their services once the contract is signed as part of the ground lease agreement.
- THON 2023’s fundraising window opened July 1 with its “Ignite the Fight” campaign.
- All full-time Penn State faculty members are now eligible for at least six weeks of paid parental leave.
- State College is getting its first Crumbl Cookies dessert shop. It’ll open at 19 Colonnade Way in the former location of Jos. A. Bank.
- 38-year-old Jeffrey Fields was sentenced to 29.5 to 61 years in state prison for raping four Penn State students between 2010 and 2017.
- Penn State’s general support appropriation will remain level at $242.1 million for the third consecutive year. Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf previously called for Penn State to receive a 5% funding increase.
- An 18-year-old Penn State student, Preston J. Brindle, was arrested for allegedly assaulting and strangling a woman in a University Park residence hall.
- Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band will perform at the Bryce Jordan Center on March 18. His stop in State College will be one of 30 on his tour.
- A whistleblower lawsuit filed against the University of Louisville alleges the school’s then-president, Neeli Bendapudi, retaliated against a high-ranking employee for reporting a former assistant basketball coach’s extortion attempt to law enforcement.
- THON announced the creation of the “Giving Society” stewardship program. Individual donors who contribute above $1,000 will automatically be eligible for tiered benefits and rewards.
- The U.S. Department of Labor is investigating Lupita’s Authentic Mexican Food. The Labor Department’s lawsuit alleges Lupita’s transported employees from outside the U.S. and intimidated them into working off debts for unjustly lowered wages.
- The Board of Trustees officially raised tuition for the 2022-23 school year. However, undergraduate students with household incomes of $75,000 or less did not see a tuition increase.
- The Board of Trustees approved final plans for improvements to the school’s field hockey complex. Additionally, the board approved final plans and expenditure of funds for the Susan Welch Liberal Arts Building.
- Penn State implemented a “strategic hiring freeze” as the university aims to balance an operating budget that had a nearly $200 million deficit for 2021-22.
- Oeuf Boeuf et Bacon french diner will tentatively open in September in the former location of Baby’s Burgers & Shakes.
- Four Diamonds Mini-THONs raised $5.7 million For The Kids.
- CATA is expanding services to Boalsburg, Bellefonte, and Pleasant Gap.
- Najee Rodriguez resigned from his position as the UPUA president. He had previously announced that he’d be temporarily stepping down from his position in accordance with his health and well-being. Vice President Syndey Gibbard was sworn in as the next student body president.
- Tony Hawk’s organization, The Skatepark Project, donated $30,000 toward the expected skatepark at High Point Park.
- Lululemon launched licensed Penn State apparel at Family Clothesline. Folks were in line early on launch day to get their hands on the new apparel.
- Chew Chew Bun Asian Bakery will move to 115 E. Beaver Ave., the former location of Crust & Crumb, by the end of August.
- The owner of Little Szechuan, Yean Ngan, faces 13 felony and 26 misdemeanor charges after allegedly withholding more than $600,000 in taxes dating back to 2017.
- Penn State men’s basketball teased new uniforms via social media. The look is expected to be released prior to the season.
- Penn State women’s basketball added three coaches to its staff, including Terri Williams, Sharnee Zoll-Norman, and Maggie Lucas. Lucas was named an assistant coach later in the summer.
- After 10 seasons in the NFL, former Penn State football player Jack Crawford retired. He played with fives teams during his career.
- Penn State’s then-vice president for intercollegiate athletics Sandy Barbour was named Sports Business Journals Athletics Director of the Year. Penn State’s athletic, academic, and financial success from 2020-2021 helped earn Barbour the win over four other finalists.
- A handful of Penn State football stars inked their rookie deals with their new NFL teams, including Jahan Dotson with the Washington Commanders. Furthermore, we learned what jersey numbers those rookie Nittany Lions will don.
- Penn State wrestling legend David Taylor partnered with sports merchandise company FOCO to produce the company’s first-ever Olympic Wrestling collectible bobbleheads. On Sunday night, Homecoming announced that Taylor will serve as the event’s 2022 grand marshal.
- The Denver Nuggets hired Penn State men’s basketball alum Calvin Booth as their head of basketball operations. Booth, who played at Penn State in the 1990s, had been Denver’s general manager since 2020.
- Rutgers hired former Lady Lions head coach Coquese Washington to fill the same role. Washington was Penn State’s head coach from 2007 to 2019, compiling a record of 209-169.
- Penn State wrestling’s Brandon Meredith transferred to South Dakota State.
- Penn State football’s clash with Auburn will kick off at 3:30 p.m. on September 17 live on CBS. This game will take place at Jordan-Hare Stadium, as this past season, Penn State downed Auburn 28-20 in the annual White Out game at Beaver Stadium.
- Penn State baseball won its first Big Ten Tournament game since 2008 when it upset Iowa 5-2 in the opening round of the tournament.
- Penn State football’s game against Minnesota will kick off at 7:30 p.m. under the lights at Beaver Stadium. This prompted the team to make Minnesota the official White Out game, which left many fans disappointed.
- The Penn State All-Sports Museum announced the opening of a new exhibit, I Am a Penn Stater: Nittany Lions in World War II. It’ll recount the contributions of Penn State lettermen and Women’s Recreation Association athletes during World War II.
- Bo Nickal had quite the summer, folks. He dominated in his MMA debut by knocking out his opponent in 33 seconds. Later in the summer, in his first-ever “Dana White’s Contender Series” match, Nickal defeated his opponent via first-round submission. He has another fight scheduled in the contender series for September 27.
- Three Penn State football greats — Ki-Jana Carter, DJ Dozier, and Paul Posluszny — are listed on the 2023 College Football Hall of Fame ballot.
- Former Penn State men’s soccer coach Bob Warming announced his retirement. Warming led the Nittany Lions to two Big Ten titles and four NCAA appearances in his seven-year stint with the team.
- Penn State entered an agreement with Fanatics Collectibles to produce official trading cards for current student-athletes and former players. The impact of NIL is real, folks.
- Former Penn State women’s soccer star Sam Coffey was called up to the United State Women’s National Team.
- The amendment requiring Penn State to reveal the whereabouts of the Joe Paterno statue in order to receive its annual state funding failed 38-162. Sad!
- The Bryce Jordan Center is undergoing a reseating process ahead of the 2022-23 basketball season. The change will relocate the student section to sections 101L-110L, placing the group directly behind the home and away benches.
- USC and UCLA will officially join the Big Ten in 2024. When USC and UCLA officially enter the Big Ten, they’ll do so with just 16 combined all-time games against Penn State. The Nittany Lions own a 4-6 and 2-4 record against USC and UCLA, respectively.
- Penn State Athletics hired two new deputy athletic directors. Both new executives, Vinnie James and Adam Miller, previously worked under Patrick Kraft at Boston College and Temple.
- Greatness is staying in Happy Valley. Legendary wrestling coach Cael Sanderson signed an extension with the team.
- Former Penn State men’s hockey captain Brandon Biro signed a two-year deal with the Buffalo Sabres with an average annual value of $762,500. Another former captain, Alex Limoges, signed an entry-level deal with the Winnipeg Jets.
- The Milwaukee Brewers selected Penn State baseball catcher Matt Wood with the No. 132 overall pick in the 2022 MLB Draft. Less than two weeks later, Wood signed his contract with the Brewers for $347,500.
- Several, and we mean several, Penn State football players were named to preseason watch lists. Sean Clifford is on four of them.
- Both Penn State men’s and women’s soccer are ranked in the top 25 preseason rankings. The Nittany Lions are ranked No. 2 nationally in combined preseason rankings for their men’s and women’s soccer teams.
- Former Penn State men’s basketball star John Harrar inked a deal with Grupo Alega Cantabria CBT of the Spanish Basketball Federation.
- Homefield Apparel launched licensed Penn State merch in August. Nittany Nation helped break the sales record for Homefield’s “Big New Saturday” drop, a day when the company launches apparel for a new school.
- Ji’Ayir Brown and Tyler Warren were named among The Athletic‘s Bruce Feldman’s top college football “freaks.”
- Penn State football was unranked in the preseason AP Top 25 Poll.
- Penn State women’s volleyball was ranked No. 20 in the 2022 preseason poll.
- The Big Ten finalized a new media rights deal with FOX, CBS, NBC, and Peacock that’ll begin in 2023 and run through the 2029-30 season.
- Carl Nassib signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, while Troy Apke was released by the Commanders.
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About the Author
A visit from Pat Freiermuth and “We Want Drew” chants highlighted another busy Saturday in Happy Valley.
A visit from Pat Freiermuth and “We Want Drew” chants highlighted another busy Saturday in Happy Valley.
The Nittany Lions move up three spots from No. 14 last week.
The Nittany Lions overcame a slow start to beat the Chippewas by three scores, improving to 4-0.