Monday, January 31, 2011

Penn State Traditions; Some of the Best Moments are Unexpected

Art Fest: Street Art; State College, Pennsylvania 07.2007

Arts Fest: Arts Fest is an annual week-long art exhibition that takes place in July in State College. It is a great event and lots of students come back to campus for that week to see friends and enjoy Penn State without having to go to class.

Bell Tower Climb: Climbing the Bell Tower in Old Main is a Penn State tradition in which every student should partake. The Bell Tower is only open a few times a year and one of the best times to go is during the Old Main Open House that the Lion Ambassadors hold each semester. They will explain the history of Old Main, what it is used for now, and finish with the Bell Tower Climb. You will see a spectacular view of the Penn State campus and downtown State College.

Homecoming: Batman Float; State College, Pennsylvania 10.2007

Blue and White Weekend: Blue and White Weekend is one weekend close to the end of Spring Semester when all the alumni come back to campus and there is a football scrimmage, the Blue versus the White. The University works hard to beautify campus the week leading up to this and it is one of the most gorgeous sights you will ever see. Also, there are often service projects leading up to this weekend which tend to deal with waking campus up from the winter. Blue/White weekend is a fantastic affair and really marks the beginning of the end and the countdown to Summer Break.

Art Fest: Street Art; State College, Pennsylvania 07.2007

Guarding the Lion Shrine: Every Friday night before the Homecoming game there is yet another Penn State tradition, guarding the Lion Shrine. The Nittany Lion and football players shows up and plays their favorite music at night. It takes place after the Homecoming parade and lasts for a few hours, but you are more than welcome to stay and guard the Shrine the whole night if you want. Important note - You have to take a picture at the Lion Shrine before you graduate or on graduation day!

Did you know? Toward the beginning of JoePa's long and legendary tenure at the University his wife, Susan or us Penn Staters call her SuePa, was very upset by the lack of school spirit that students were displaying so the night before the homecoming game against Clemson University. She was so disappointed that she took a can of water-based orange paint and poured it on the Lion Shrine. The students were infuriated because they thought the Tigers had done it, but since it was water-based it washed right off. The Clemson students did not like that they had been outdone with their own colors, so the following year they took a can of oil-based orange paint and poured it on the Lion Shrine. For several weeks following there were activities like “sand the Lion Shrine” in attempt to get the paint off, but if you look carefully towards the bottom in the cracks some hints of orange can still be seen. Since that day the tradition of guarding the Lion Shrine the night before the homecoming game has been a staple of Penn State life.

Graham Spanier and Band; State College, Pennsylvania 07.2007

Homecoming: Lion Float; State College, Pennsylvania 10.2007

Homecoming: This is the second-largest event on campus and is also overseen by the Greek councils. You are most likely acquainted with the idea of Homecoming via your high school traditions; it is a weekend in which many alumni return to see the football game (always at home, of course!). Surrounding this at Penn State is the homecoming competition; generally, it is a competition to see which group has the most Penn State pride and spirit. The primary event that takes place (other than the football game) is the float parade and competition on Friday evening of that weekend. Many organizations build a large float centered on a theme. While there is an overall ―theme provided by the Homecoming committee, it is a pretty loose theme that can be interpreted in many ways for the purposes of building a float. Some of the floats get pretty elaborate, and even the more basic ones take a lot of manpower to construct. Nearly all Greek organizations compete, as do some of the other larger groups (like the Association of Residence Hall Students). Some smaller organizations like the Ski Team also enter, but those are the exception to the norm.

Sorority Mt Nittany Hike; State College, Pennsylvania 05.2007

Mount Nittany Hike: Every senior before they graduate takes this trek to the top of Mount Nittany. I did this a few days before some of my good friends were graduating; breath-taking views! I highly recommend you do this at least once during your years at Penn State!

Willard Preacher: The Willard Preacher is a Penn State legend. Every weekday in sun, rain or snow he is out on the steps of Willard Building preaching. Tradition states that during your freshman year every Penn State student needs to get into some kind of argument with the Willard Preacher, and trust us, there will probably be plenty you will want to argue with him about. Or if you don‘t want to argue, it is pretty fun to sit and watch as somebody else takes him on and tries to get him to see things a different way. We recommend you stop by when you have a little break in between classes.

Homecoming Monsters Inc Float; State College, Pennsylvania 10.2007

Movin’ On: The weekend before the last week of classes in the spring, the HUB Lawn turns into the home of the largest student-run concert in the country. Movin‘ On has been a tradition of Penn State for thirty-four years and is meant to be a swan song of sorts for the graduating seniors. It lasts for 12 hours (from noon until midnight) on the Saturday of that weekend, rain or shine, and is entirely free to the public. There are generally two types of bands featured – national-oriented acts and local bands. For the former, acts in the past several years have included Gym Class Heroes, Bowling for Soup, Piebald, The Spill Canvas, Talib Kwali, Fall Out Boy, and White Tie Affair. On the other hand, the local bands compete two weekends before Movin‘ On in a Battle of the Bands. Any band is able to enter; the only requisite is that at least one band member must be a current Penn State student. This provides a great way for bands to get exposure; the winner of this past year‘s Battle of the Bands opened for The Spill Canvas, the headliner.

Also check out "THON; One Hope, One Goal, One Mission, For The Kids!"