Happy Birthday To Us: Onward State Turns 14

Holy crap. We’re going to high school!

Fourteen years ago, three freshmen in 43 Simmons Hall changed the course of Penn State student media forever. What started with a 29-word post titled “Rumor mill” has turned into the most-followed student media organization in the world. Crazy how that works, huh?

Ever since our founding in 2008, we’ve published over 35,000 posts, gained more than 163,000 Twitter followers, and amassed a following of nearly 57,000 people on Instagram. We’ve become Penn State’s blog, simply put.

Over the course of our history, we’ve had our fair share of ups and downs. You have or will eventually hear all about the downs in your COMM 260 class.

However, we’ve covered some of the most turbulent moments in Penn State’s history, too, ranging from the Sandusky Scandal to the case surrounding Tim Piazza’s death during a fraternity hazing event.

All in all, our entirely student-run staff has been committed to telling the Penn State story above all else. That may include covering THON, criticizing the university, or doing deep investigative work to find out more about Penn State’s secret societies…or James Franklin’s Starbucks order. Oh, we’ve also broken the story the last two times Penn State hired a new university president (Eric Barron and Neeli Bendapudi), by the way.

We pride ourselves in generating honest conversation in the hopes of enriching the Penn State community and experience. Not only do we do our best to keep our audience informed, but we have a ton of fun doing it.

We’re so appreciative that you, the reader, have allowed us to tell the Penn State story these past 14 years. Thank you for letting us be a part of your lives. At the end of the day, we do this for you.

Here’s to many more years of angry comment sections, death-threat emails, Drunk-Sober-Highs, 409 jokes, and exchanges about our one common denominator and shared love: Dear Old State. We wouldn’t want it any other way.

For the blog, always.

But, before we wrap up here, let’s take a look back at 14 of our most notable posts from the past year.

Beaver Stadium White Out Crowd Control Proves Unacceptable, Dangerous

At the 2022 White Out, getting into the student section was absolute chaos for many. Students were being crushed, security guards were pushing students, and some involved even had panic attacks. Two days after the publication of our story, Beaver Stadium implemented new security protocols and procedures that included giving out “non-transferable” wristbands that are required to be shown to get into the student section.

Penn State Landmarks Targeted By String Of Vandalisms

Back in May, Penn State campus landmarks, including the Lion Shrine, Old Main, and the Hintz Family Alumni Center, were the targets of a vandalism attack. The next month, Penn State alum Julia Cipparulo was charged with the vandalism and explained her motives in a letter emailed to Onward State.

Mark Zuckerberg Seemingly Grabs Lunch In State College

This was so incredibly random. According to an eyewitness account from an employee at The Tavern, Mark Zuckerberg was spotted grabbing lunch at the aforementioned downtown staple. A Twitter account that tracks his private jet also showed that Zuckerberg flew into either the University Park or Bellefonte airport.

Sources: The Outback Bowl Is Dead, And It’s Penn State’s Fault

You gotta love April Fools’ Day! Penn State played in the last-ever Outback Bowl, which is now the ReliaQuest Bowl. Totally real sources close to the ReliaQuest Bowl Association indicated the Nittany Lions’ uninspiring performance on New Year’s Day embarrassed Outback Steakhouse and shattered its relationship with the bowl beyond repair. Heartbreaking.

‘I Am Iowa’s Daddy:’ Bo Nickal Destroys Iowa Wrestling Fans On Twitter

Death, taxes, and Bo Nickal owning Iowa.

Earlier this year, when responding to a fan on Twitter, Nickal absolutely destroyed the Hawkeyes’ fanbase.

“My college record vs Iowa is 3-0 with 3 first period pins including one in the middle of Carver,” Nickal wrote. “My teams were undefeated against Iowa as well. Not competitive. Check the stats, I am Iowa’s daddy.”

Tough to argue that, folks.

Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity Suspended Through Fall 2025

Penn State suspended Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity back in August through fall 2025 following “multiple and repeated violations” of university policy over an extended period of time, which includes prohibited alcohol use and a failure to comply. The university said the suspension came after “more than two years of repeated violations.” 

Penn State Cancels Uncensored America Event, Calls Gathering An ‘Unlawful Disturbance’

After Uncensored America, a registered student organization, was set to bring the founder of the Proud Boys to campus, Penn State released a statement on the night of the scheduled event to announce the cancellation of it. This was after the pre-event protests and gatherings turned violent and people were pepper sprayed. The whole ordeal created a dangerous environment on campus that night.

Blake Gillikin Summoned For ‘Random’ Drug Test After 81-Yard Punt

Blake Gillikin punted the ball really far. The NFL scheduled him for a “random” drug test two days later. Make your own conclusions.

‘The System Breeds Corruption’: Secret Societies’ Influence On UPUA

One of our staffers recently took a deep dive into how three well-funded, influential societies have turned UPUA’s operations into a real-life “House of Cards.”

Source: Louisville’s Neeli Bendapudi To Serve As Penn State’s Next President

Onward State broke the news that Dr. Neeli Bendapudi, then Louisville’s president, will serve as Penn State’s next president. Later that morning, Bendapudi was officially introduced as Penn State’s next president.

Penn State Student Died Following 11-Story Fall, Police Say

Last November, State College police confirmed that 19-year-old Penn State student Justine Gross died following an 11-story fall down a Beaver Terrace trash chute. In February, the investigation of her death was closed, and it was labeled an “accident.” A few months later, a petition was started to convince the District Attorney in Centre Country to reopen the case. To this day, over 5,000 people have signed the petition.

‘Who’s Getting Fired?’: Most Penn Staters Disappointed Over Minnesota White Out Announcement

When Penn State called for a Minnesota White Out, it’s safe to say fans weren’t thrilled. The announcement came after much speculation due to FOX picking up the rights to the Ohio State game. As it turned out, Penn State-Ohio State ended up being featured on FOX’s “Big Noon Kickoff.”

Despite the noon kickoff for Penn State’s matchup with the Buckeyes, there continues to be debate as to whether Penn State should’ve prioritized opponent over time for this year’s White Out.

Penn State History Lesson: Wiz Khalifa’s State College & Delta Upsilon Fraternity Connections

Did you know Wiz Khalifa has some serious Penn State roots?

Before the Grammy-nominated rapper was selling out stadiums, he was performing at Penn State fraternities. For seven years, Khalifa was known to frequent the State College area.

THON 2022 Raises $13,756,374.50 For The Kids


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About the Author

Gabe Angieri

After a four-year career with Onward State, Gabe is now a college graduate and off to the real world. He shockingly served as the blog’s managing editor during the 2022-23 school year and covered football for much of his Onward State tenure, including trips to the Outback Bowl and Rose Bowl. For any professional inquiries, please email Gabe at [email protected]. You can still see his bad sports takes on Twitter at @gabeangieri.

Penn State Board Of Trustees Approves 2025-26 Fiscal Budget

The budget features increases between 1-4% for tuition, housing, and food for most students.

Reintroducing Onward State’s Penn State Football Student Ticket Exchange

Whether you’re trying to offload a ticket you don’t want or make sure you get to sit with your friends, Onward State’s ticket exchange is here to help.

Penn State Trustee Sues Board Of Trustees

Alumni-elected trustee Barry Fenchak is claims he has been turned down from viewing documents relating to the university’s $4.6 billion endowment.

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“By taking a step-by-step journey through a Frank Sinatra classic, I’m going to tell the story about how I went through these past four years ‘My Way.'”

Penn State Hoops’ Jalen Pickett, Seth Lundy Earn NBA Combine Invites

Four-Star Offensive Tackle Garrett Sexton Commits To Penn State