Lion Shrine or Scholarship? Hear from Penn State Students in the 1930s (and before)

Our Lion Shrine, circa 1945. Image courtesy Penn State University Libraries.

For many Penn Staters, the Lion Shrine symbolizes Penn State pride. Every commencement, hundreds of students put on their cap and gown and wait in line for photo opportunities with the giant limestone icon! It’s hard to imagine Penn State without the Lion Shrine!

But in the late 1930s, when the shrine was first proposed as a class gift, many students didn’t want to build the shrine. Instead, they favored a scholarship as a class gift, and they voiced their concerns by writing letters to the student-run newspaper of the time.

Penn State students have been reporting news since 1887, when the publication known as the Free Lance was started. Today the paper is known as the Daily Collegian.

As Penn State students, you have access to a digital archive of the Daily Collegian and its predecessors, courtesy of the Penn State University Libraries. The archive contains scanned, searchable reproductions of most issues of each newspaper, including photographs and advertisements.

View the Historical Digital Collegian!

Looking through this archive can give you some perspective — from other students — on how Penn State has changed over the years.

If you’re not sure where to start, select “browse archive” in the left-hand menu. Or, you can search for information on the Creamery, Joe Paterno, THON, or anything else Penn State that fits your fancy!

Dan Marino (now an NFL hall of fame quarterback) was one of our chief rivals when he played for the University of Pittsburgh from 1979 to 1983. Photo by Chip Connelly.