Some Images From Our Back Pages
We had our annual alumni reunions here at University Park this past weekend, and the Class of 1963 asked me if I’d be the speaker on Saturday night at the dinner marking their 50-year reunion.
The idea came from Donna Sutin Queeney ’63, who suggested that I present a slide show of images from The Penn Stater over the years, starting with fall of 1959—when she and her classmates arrived on campus as freshmen—and continuing through to the present. It turned out to be a fun and very engrossing project.
Back in 2010, as we prepared for our centennial issue, the magazine staff combed through just about every issue from 1910 to the present. Each person took a decade (or two) and looked carefully at each and every issue from that decade, compiling a list of the stuff that stuck out: stories or photos that looked quaint or goofy in retrospect, or that evoked the mood of the times, or that echoed recurring themes (“The state never gives us enough money”; “Tuition is going up again”; “Paterno says he’ll coach five more years”). I relied heavily on the staff’s notes for guidance, and ended up finding some great stuff. I thought I’d share with you a few of the images that I showed the Class of ’63 on Saturday night.
First, you should definitely click on the aerial photo at the top of the page in order to see it bigger—it shows a very different campus than the one we have today. In the upper left is a big chunk of green space left behind by the relocation of Beaver Field in 1959. To the right of that chunk of green is Hort Woods, which was huge back then but which has since shrunk, giving way to North Halls and a number of arts buildings.
Just to the right of the centerfold you can see the beginnings of East Halls, and way to the right of that, all alone in the distance, is Beaver Stadium.
People at the reunion also got a kick out of this photo from 1961 of football coach Rip Engle and his staff, including a 35-year-old Joe Paterno:
I’ve added the enlarged version of Joe on the right, and here again, you can best get the full effect by clicking on the photo to enlarge it.
While on the subject of football, I thought that these head shots of Galen Hall ’63 and Dave Robinson ’63 as young football players were fun:
Perhaps not surprisingly, when I put the images up on screen, just about everyone in the room could name the players—and several remembered that Robinson went on to be a first-round draft choice of the Green Bay Packers.
Something else that struck me as I paged through the back issues of the magazine was its courage in covering tough subjects. That’s very clearly a tradition with the Alumni Association’s flagship publication, going at least back to 1970, when it was simply called the Alumni News. I had known about the three-part series on “The Black Experience at Penn State” back in 1989, when then-editor Donna Symmonds Clemson ’55 showed a lot of guts in chronicling how difficult life could be for black students here. But I hadn’t realized that nearly 20 years before that, in 1970, the magazine did two separate features—one in January and one in May—on campus unrest. Below is the opening spread from the May 1970 story, about students occupying Old Main:
That kind of unflinching coverage wasn’t necessarily common in alumni magazines at the time, and in some ways it laid the groundwork for what we’ve been able to do in the magazine in more recent years.
Finally, on a lighter note, I came across this item from our July-August 2004 issue, about the birth of sextuplets at Hershey Medical Center:
They were the first sextuplets ever born at Hershey, and the proud parents were “Kate and Jonathan Gosselin of Wyomissing, Pa.” Gee, I wonder whatever became of them?
Tina Hay, editor