Nalani Almaguer

Written by Nalani Almaguer

Modified & Updated: 28 May 2024

Jessica Corbett

Reviewed by Jessica Corbett


Pennsylvania State University, commonly known as Penn State, is a renowned institution that has a rich history, vibrant campus life, and a prestigious academic reputation. As one of the largest universities in the United States, Penn State has a diverse student body and offers a wide range of programs spanning numerous disciplines. Beyond its stellar academics and sprawling campus, Penn State is also bursting with interesting and fun facts that make it even more intriguing. In this article, we will uncover 10 fascinating fun facts about Penn State that will not only entertain you but also showcase the university’s unique features and accomplishments. So, let’s dive in and explore the amazing world of Penn State!

Key Takeaways:

  • Penn State has a rich football history, winning four national championships and boasting one of the largest stadiums in the country, creating an electrifying atmosphere for fans.
  • The university offers diverse academic opportunities, a famous ice cream shop, and a vibrant student community, making Penn State a fun and exciting place to learn and grow.
Table of Contents

Penn State Nittany Lions have won four national championships.

With a rich history of success in college football, the Penn State Nittany Lions have claimed four national championships in their storied program. Led by legendary coach Joe Paterno, the Nittany Lions won titles in 1982, 1986, 1994, and 2000, solidifying their status as one of the top football programs in the country.

The Penn State Creamery is famous for its ice cream.

The Penn State Creamery, also known as Berkey Creamery, is renowned for its delicious and diverse range of ice cream flavors. Visitors flock to the Creamery to indulge in unique and tasty treats, produced by the university’s own dairy farm. From fan favorites like “Peachy Paterno” to classic flavors like chocolate and vanilla, the Creamery offers something for everyone to enjoy.

Penn State’s football stadium is one of the largest in the country.

Beaver Stadium, the home of the Penn State Nittany Lions football team, boasts a seating capacity of over 106,000, making it one of the largest stadiums in the United States. The stadium’s electric atmosphere has earned it the nickname “Happy Valley,” as fans come together to cheer on their beloved team in a sea of white and blue.

Old Main is a historic landmark on campus.

Old Main, the iconic administrative building at Penn State, holds significant historical and cultural value. Constructed in 1863, it serves as a symbol of the university’s rich heritage. The building’s distinctive stone façade and towering bell tower make it a beloved centerpiece of the campus.

Penn State is known for its strong alumni network.

Penn State has an expansive and influential alumni network that spans the globe. Graduates from the university can be found in almost every field of industry, including business, entertainment, politics, and more. This extensive network provides opportunities for mentorship, connections, and professional growth for current and future students.

The Penn State Blue Band is one of the oldest collegiate marching bands.

The Penn State Blue Band has a rich tradition and is one of the oldest collegiate marching bands in the country. Known for their electrifying performances and precision choreography, the Blue Band brings energy and excitement to football games and other events on campus.

Penn State offers over 275 majors.

With a wide array of academic offerings, Penn State provides students with the opportunity to explore and specialize in various fields of study. From engineering and business to the arts and sciences, the university offers over 275 majors, ensuring that students can pursue their passions and shape their career paths.

The Penn State Arboretum features beautiful gardens and natural landscapes.

Nestled within the campus of Penn State, the Penn State Arboretum showcases stunning gardens and landscapes, offering a peaceful retreat for students and visitors alike. From vibrant flowering plants to serene pathways, the Arboretum provides an oasis of nature in the heart of the university.

Penn State is home to the Pennsylvania Space Grant Consortium.

The Pennsylvania Space Grant Consortium, based at Penn State, is a prestigious organization that supports and promotes space-related research and education. Through scholarships, internships, and outreach programs, it helps students pursue opportunities in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) with a focus on space exploration.

Penn State has a vibrant and active student community.

Penn State boasts a lively and engaged student community, with over 1,000 student organizations and clubs to cater to diverse interests and passions. Whether it’s joining a sports team, participating in community service, or exploring cultural and academic groups, students at Penn State have ample opportunities to get involved and make lasting connections.


In conclusion, Penn State University is not only a prestigious institution known for its academic excellence, but it also has a rich history and fascinating facts that make it stand out among other universities. From its beloved Nittany Lion mascot to its diverse range of programs and vibrant campus life, there is something for everyone at Penn State.Whether you’re a proud Penn State alumni or just curious about this iconic university, these 10 fun facts offer a glimpse into the unique culture and traditions that make Penn State truly special. From its massive ice cream production to its famous tailgating scene, Penn State exemplifies the perfect blend of academic rigor and a lively community.So, next time you find yourself cheering on the Nittany Lions or exploring the stunning beauty of Happy Valley, keep these fun facts in mind and appreciate the fascinating history and spirit that permeates through Penn State University.


1. What is the origin of the Nittany Lion mascot?
The Nittany Lion mascot is inspired by the mountain lions that once roamed the region surrounding Penn State. The rock formation known as Mount Nittany, located nearby, is said to resemble a crouching lion, hence the choice of this iconic mascot.

2. How many ice cream flavors does the Penn State Creamery produce?
The Penn State Creamery, a beloved institution on campus, produces over 100 different flavors of ice cream. From classics like chocolate and vanilla to unique creations like “Monkey Business” or “WPSU Coffee Break,” there is a flavor to satisfy every ice cream lover’s craving.

3. When was Penn State established?
Penn State University was established on February 22, 1855, making it one of the oldest universities in the United States. Its founding mission was to provide a quality education for the working class and has since grown into a globally recognized institution.

4. What is the significance of the Nittany Lion Shrine?
The Nittany Lion Shrine, located on campus, is a beloved symbol of pride and school spirit. It is made entirely of limestone and is often referred to as the “second most photographed landmark in Pennsylvania,” after the Liberty Bell.

5. What is the capacity of Beaver Stadium?
Beaver Stadium, the home of the Penn State Nittany Lions football team, has a seating capacity of over 106,000, making it one of the largest college football stadiums in the country. The electrifying atmosphere on game days is truly a sight to behold.

6. Does Penn State have any notable alumni?
Yes, Penn State University boasts an impressive list of notable alumni, including former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, filmmaker/screenwriter Rama Burshtein, and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Michael Chabon.

7. What is the origin of the “We Are Penn State” chant?
The “We Are Penn State” chant originated in the late 1940s during a football game between Penn State and the University of Miami. The Penn State fans started chanting “We Are” in response to the Miami fans cheering “They are.” It has since become a rallying cry and symbol of unity for Penn State students and alumni.

8. How many campuses does Penn State have?
Penn State University consists of 24 campuses across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, including the flagship University Park campus in State College. Each campus offers its own unique programs and opportunities for students.

9. What is the symbol of Penn State?
The symbol of Penn State University is the Nittany Lion, which represents strength, pride, and a fierce spirit. It is prominently featured in the university’s logo, merchandise, and athletic events.

10. How does Penn State contribute to research and innovation?
Penn State is known for its groundbreaking research and innovation across various fields. The university has been awarded numerous patents and is at the forefront of cutting-edge discoveries and technological advancements, contributing to global progress and development.

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