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Penn State Great Valley: School of Graduate Professional Studies

30 East Swedesford Road

Conference Center

Malvern, PA 19355

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An evening with Roger Williams

A talk on Penn State’s early history and its two founding presidents

This is co-sponsored by the Penn State Great Valley Alumni Society and the Penn State Grassroots Network

When: Wednesday, March 1

Reception at 5:30 p.m.| Talk at 7 p.m. | Book signing to follow

Heavy hors d’oeuvres and drinks will be served during the reception

Where: Penn State Great Valley Conference Center, 30 East Swedesford Road, Malvern, PA

Free community event, however, registration is necessary.

Early Crises and Challenges at Penn State: Evan Pugh and George Atherton, Penn State's Washington and Lincoln

This illustrated talk on Penn State’s early crises and challenges, by retired Penn State Alumni Association executive director Roger Williams, will provide fascinating insights and perspectives on the challenges Penn State faces today. Just as George Washington set the precedents and standards for the U.S. presidency and Abraham Lincoln reconciled the nation to its original purpose, Penn State presidents Evan Pugh (1859-64) and George Atherton (1882-1906) accomplished similar ends for Penn State. Pugh, the founder, and Atherton, the second founder, built and strengthened the foundation for what eventually emerged as one of the world’s truly great universities. Pugh set an incredibly high standard for the fledgling institution, and secured and defended its land-grant status. Atherton, facing many years of stagnation and backsliding under the five presidents after Pugh, restored Penn State to its original mission as a land-grant college and set it on course for growth and success in the 20th century and beyond.

Our speaker, Roger Williams, is also an affiliate professor of higher education at Penn State. He has written a book on Atherton and the land-grant college movement and is currently working on a biography of Pugh.

The Penn State Grassroots Network is the Alumni Association’s legislative education and advocacy program. The Network helps the 30,000 volunteer members (alumni, students, parents, and friends) learn about legislative issues important to Penn State and advocate for Penn State with legislators, government officials, policymakers, community leaders, and others.

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Penn State Great Valley: School of Graduate Professional Studies

30 East Swedesford Road

Conference Center

Malvern, PA 19355

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