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The Founding of a Land Grant University

Have you ever wondered how Penn State came to fruition?
View of Mount Nittany

View of Mount Nittany

Penn State first started under the name of "The Farmers High School." On February 22, 1855, Governor James Pollock signed the charter that would become the birth of the agricultural school. However, in order to establish the school, the board of trustees needed to find a location for the school.

In June of the same year, the board heard a proposal for a 200-acre tract of land in Centre County belonging to James Irvin from Bellefonte. By 1856, the board of trustees had accumulated $25,000 in savings from different cash assets, and was able to purchase an additional 200-acres from Irvin. This photograph shows the purchased land that would become the home of Penn State, looking toward the confluence of Nittany and Penns Valleys.