Penn State University is actually the commonly used abbreviated name for the Pennsylvania State University, which is a public research university, spreading its campuses and facilities throughout the US state of Pennsylvania. Its main campus is known as University Park and, being the largest of 24 campuses, lies within the Borough of State College and College Township, Pennsylvania. The university itself was established in 1855, stressing on a mission of teaching, research, and public service.
A notable point about Penn State is that it established itself as a leader in diversity, when it accepted two women in 1871 and an African-American student in 1899. Furthermore, Penn State was one of the first schools to insist on integration in athletics. Consequently, it would not be a surprise to mention that the university prides the largest student-run philanthropy in the world, the Penn State IFC Dance Marathon, also known as THON. It also has one of the top intercollegiate athletic programs in the USA.
Penn State University is one of America’s Public Ivy universities; it is ranked among the top 15 public universities in the US, and offers more than 160 major degrees on its campuses. Annually, about 44,000 students are enrolled at the institution, while in 2008 it was ranked 11th among US universities in research income by the National Science Foundation.
In 2000, Penn State merged with the Dickinson School of Law, which was founded in 1834 and is the oldest law school in Pennsylvania. Currently students can choose between classes in either Carlisle or University Park, with lectures teleconferenced between the two locations using high-tech audiovisual equipment. The school is ranked among the top 100 law schools nationally, having produced a number of governors, members of congress, and judges.
Penn State has clearly set a vision for the future, which stresses on advanced global presence and sustainability, enhanced student success, improving diversity, serving the community, and applying the latest technology to expand opportunities.