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Brainstorming The Real Meanings Of Penn State Statues

As students walk from class to class, they may notice various statues located on campus and wonder, “What does that mean?”

While some seem rather random and out of place, others hold traditional values that reside in the hearts of every Penn Stater.

Although every piece has significant value, we thought it would be fun to brainstorm what these statues could ~potentially~ mean.

If you’re a business student, you’ve definitely walked past this statue of a woman on your way into the Business Building. You may have even mistaken it as a real person… I know I have.

Given that the statue stands near the doors to the building and that she’s dressed professionally, it’s safe to say that she represents the future of Smeal students. Once you walk out those doors for the last time and graduate, you’re ready for the real world as a business professional.

Or maybe, it represents the embodiment of a girlboss, since the statue is equipped with a briefcase and radiates hustle energy.

This might be the most unique and intriguing statue on this list. This piece of art stands on the path right off Eisenhower Chapel on your way toward the Chambers and Kern buildings.

At first look, it gives “Stranger Things” vibes. Maybe the artist is a huge fan?

Ah, the good old “We Are” sign. As our school’s motto, every Penn Stater knows what this means. However, many may not know the deeper meaning of this masterpiece.

The team that planned for the creation of this statue definitely had Penn Staters in mind when making this, since it’s essentially a full-standing mirror.

Given its reflective abilities, this statue makes Penn Staters look beyond the “We Are” mantra. Rather, it makes them see who YOU ARE. Stand in front of this bad boy and you’ll [hopefully] see who you really are, inside and out.

At first look, one may see this as some eye candy for Old Main. However, this piece is much more than that.

If you look closely, you’ll see a turtle at the bottom of the globe-like structure. As we all know, turtles move pretty slowly.

With that, the statue certainly pays homage to the cult classic “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.” The most memorable (and quotable) moment from the film is Bueller’s line “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”

We all know this guy. The beloved Nittany Lion shrine. As a matter of fact, this very shrine holds the original mountain lion within its limestone. That would explain why it looks so realistic!

This tall boy sitting right next to the Willard Building is definitely Penn State’s version of the Washington Monument. Sure, it’s not as tall or noticeable as its counterpart, but it stands strong and is certainly an eye-pleaser.

These lil’ piggies can be found in the alleyway of The Tavern, right by the Yallah cart.

Given that in 1855, our favorite college town wasn’t formed yet and was primarily farmland, it’s safe to say these pigs represent the animal life that used to roam the fields of what is now known as State College. On the other hand, maybe it represents Penn State’s go-to tailgating staple…

Better yet, maybe these pigs are supposed to represent the nursery rhyme “The Three Little Pigs.” Hopefully, none of them made a straw house in State College…

This one is pretty obvious. Clearly, there is a giant Nittany Lion stomping around campus. These paws totally belong to him (or her).

This collection of statues sits right in front of the Pattee and Paterno Library and is Penn State’s newest installation.

With four tall, pillar-like statues forming what seems to be a diamond, this one is sure to represent the four ~personalities~ of the average Penn State student: football, partying, academics, and THON. Why else would they be in front of a building that is filled with thousands of students day in and day out?

Penn State students really make the best of both worlds.

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About the Author

Evan Halfen

Evan Halfen is a junior broadcast journalism major from Newark, DE, and is one of Onward State's writers. Evan loves all things Penn State, tailgating, being loud, just about any beach, and his puppies, Butterscotch and Wentzy. You can direct all your suggestions, roasts, and jokes to his Instagram: @e.evan.halfen.n or email: [email protected]

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