In order to celebrate the full spectrum of Central Pennsylvania history and university traditions, the Nittany Valley Society is seeking to promote stories, legends and current events that unite the Penn State community.
“There is so much amazing history to our school and the surrounding region that many students miss on their way to earning an education,” NVS board member Jon Hartland said. “Penn State is not a degree factory, nor is it just an awesome place to watch football. We are so much more.”
President of the NVS Board of Directors Chris Buchignani said there is a certain aspect of Penn State, State College and Central Pennsylvania that possesses a unique spirit and quality that helped create the Happy Valley mystique.
This spirit is something that the 11 members of the NVS board of directors refer to as “Old State spirit.”
“The NVS board is made up of people who just simply love Penn State, its history, its people and the area in which it was born,” Hartland said.
The non-profit organization was not founded in response to the Jerry Sandusky case and will not discuss President Rodney Erickson or the Penn State Board of Trustees, because the NVS board is contingent upon functioning as a non-political, positive and unifying force, Buchignani said.
“In light of what has happened, I believe there is no better time for an organization like the NVS to build unity around all the many things that make Penn State great,” Hartland said.
In order to promote the organization, the NVS is in the process of producing a DVD highlighting the legend of Mt. Nittany.
NVS is also planning to re-release the two books, “Is Penn State a Real University?” and “The Birth of the Craft Brew Revolution,” both republications of essays and columns written by former trustee Ben Novak.
“Ben Novak has written a lot of really compelling, eclectic stuff over the years, and he was generous enough to grant us the copyrights to two of his older collections,” Buchignani said. “We have tried to set reasonable price points, and all the revenue goes to covering production costs and will eventually go to fund online advertising for our publishing projects.”
Other projects the board is looking into include developing interactive lectures that can be delivered in group settings covering topics like the founding figures of Penn State such as Evan Pugh, William G. Waring and George Atherton.
“We want to find ways of bringing these fascinating subjects from our shared past to life in a vibrant, compelling way for a modern audience living in the same places, but in some cases, over a century later,” Buchignani said.
On Dec. 1, the NVS will hold a launch party for the first book they are re-releasing, “Is Penn State a Real University?”
For more information on future events, students and other members of the community can stay updated with details through the NVS website, nittanyvalley.org, and its Facebook page.
“I am absolutely confident that NVS will survive in the future,” Vice President of the NVS board of directors Anthony Christina (senior-history) said. “The ideals and values we seek to promote are timeless and are as old as this Valley itself.”