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Pennsylvania State University

Pennsylvania State University is a comprehensive institution of higher education located in University Park, Pennsylvania. The concept of University was first forwarded by the local iron tycoons with the well-being of Centre County, along with the support of agriculture and education. In 1855, the Pennsylvania Agricultural Society established Farmers' High School on the 200 acres donated by James Irvin of Bellefonte. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania chartered the school at the request of the Society. The goal was to promote and apply scientific principles to farming. The first president was Evan Pugh, who conceived a broad education based on his own European education. In 1862, the school's name was changed to the Agricultural College of Pennsylvania. In 1863, with the passage of the Morrill Land Grant Act, the school became the state's sole land grant college. The name changed again in 1874 to the Pennsylvania State College. Also in the 1930s, during the tenure of George Atherton, the school broadened its curriculum; introduced engineering studies; and expanded the liberal arts and agriculture programs to what is commonly known as Penn State. Around this time, Penn State grew significantly, becoming the state's largest source of baccalaureate degrees. In 1953, President Milton Eisenhower officially changed the school's name to the Pennsylvania State University. Under the leadership of Dr. Eric Walker, the university added hundreds of acres of surrounding land, and nearly tripled enrollment to 40,000. Over the decades, PSU has grown from an agricultural college to world-class learning community. Today, the University is a multi-campus, land-grant university serving the citizens of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the world through high-quality programs in teaching, research and service.