State College, Pennsylvania

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State College
Borough of State College
Home Rule Municipality
The Corner of College Avenue and Allen Street in downtown State College, taken from the gates of Campus.
The Corner of College Avenue and Allen Street in downtown State College, taken from the gates of Campus.
Nickname(s): Happy Valley, Lion Country
Location of State College
Location of State College
Coordinates: 40°47′29″N 77°51′31″W / 40.79139°N 77.85861°W / 40.79139; -77.85861Coordinates: 40°47′29″N 77°51′31″W / 40.79139°N 77.85861°W / 40.79139; -77.85861
Country United States
State Pennsylvania
County Centre
Incorporated August 29, 1896
 • Mayor Elizabeth Goreham
 • Borough
Home Rule Municipality
4.5 sq mi (11.8 km2)
Elevation 1,154 ft (352 m)
Population (2010)[1]
 • Borough
Home Rule Municipality
 • Estimate (2013)[2] 41,757
 • Density 9,259/sq mi (3,574/km2)
 • Urban 87,454 (US: 335th)
 • Metro MSA:158,742 (US: 257th)
CSA: 236,577 (US: 124th)
Time zone EST (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
Zip 16801, 16803, 16804, 16805
Area code(s) 814
School district State College Area School District
Website Borough of State College

State College is a home rule municipality in Centre County in the state of Pennsylvania. It is currently the largest designated borough in all of Pennsylvania.[3] It is the principal borough of the six municipalities comprising the State College, Pennsylvania Metropolitan Statistical Area, the largest settlement in Centre County and is one of the principal cities of the the greater State College-DuBois, PA Combined Statistical Area with a combined population of 236,577 as of the 2010 U.S. census. As of the 2010 census, the borough population was 42,034, and approximately 105,000 lived in the borough plus the surrounding townships often referred to locally as the "Centre Region." Many of these Centre Region communities also carry a "State College, PA" address although are not specifically part of the borough of State College. The borough's population density based on its 5 square mile footprint makes it comparable to some big cities in the world such as Rome, Berlin, and Toronto.[3]

The community is a college town, dominated economically and demographically by the presence of the University Park campus of the Pennsylvania State University (Penn State). "Happy Valley" is another often-used term to refer to the State College area, including the borough and the townships of College, Harris, Patton, and Ferguson.

In 2010, State College was ranked as the third-safest metropolitan area in the United States by the CQ Press.[4] In 2013, it was ranked third best college town in the United States by the American Institute for Economic Research.[5]


Students sit outside of Pennsylvania State College (c.1922)

State College evolved from a village to a town in order to serve the needs of the Pennsylvania State College, founded as the Farmers' High School of Pennsylvania in 1855. State College was incorporated as a borough on August 29, 1896, and has grown with the college, which was renamed The Pennsylvania State University in 1953.

In 1973 State College adopted a home rule charter which took effect in 1976;[6] since that time, it has not been governed by the state's Borough Code, although it retains "Borough of State College" as its official name.

The Hetzel Union Building at Penn State University

The university has a post office address of University Park, Pennsylvania. When Penn State changed its name from College to University in 1953, its president, Milton S. Eisenhower, sought to persuade the town to change its name as well.[citation needed] A referendum failed to yield a majority for any of the choices for a new name, and so the town remains State College. After this, Penn State requested a new name for its on-campus post office in the HUB–Robeson Center from the U.S. Post Office Department. The post office, which has since moved across an alley to the McAllister Building, is the official home of ZIP code 16802 (University Park).


Aerial view of State College.


State College is situated at an elevation of approximately 1,200 feet (370 m) above sea level.[7] According to the United States Census Bureau, the borough has a total area of 4.5 square miles (12 km2), all of it land. It is surrounded by large tracts of farmland, and an expanse of mountains and forests.[citation needed]


State College has a humid continental climate (Köppen Dfa). Temperatures average 27.2 °F (−2.7 °C) in January and 72.1 °F (22.3 °C) in July. Annual precipitation averages 39.8 inches (1,010 mm), and 46.3 inches (118 cm) of snow a year falls in the city (Based on official 109-year average of snowfall at State College as per National Weather Service's State College office). With a period of record dating back to 1893, the lowest temperature recorded was −20 °F (−29 °C) on February 10, 1899 and the highest was 102 °F (39 °C) on July 17, 1988 and July 9, 1936.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1900 851
1910 1,425 67.5%
1920 2,405 68.8%
1930 4,450 85.0%
1940 6,226 39.9%
1950 17,227 176.7%
1960 22,409 30.1%
1970 32,833 46.5%
1980 36,130 10.0%
1990 38,923 7.7%
2000 38,420 −1.3%
2010 42,036 9.4%
Est. 2014 42,100 [8] 0.2%

According to the 2010 census,[11] there are 42,034 people, 12,610 households, and 3,069 families residing in the borough. The population density was 9,258.6 people per square mile (3,574.3/km²). There were 13,007 housing units at an average density of 2,865.0 per square mile (1,106.0/km²). The racial makeup of the borough was 83.2% White, 3.8% Black or African American, 0.2% Native American, 9.8% Asian, 1.0% Other, and 2.0% from two or more races. 3.9% of the population were of Hispanic or Latino ancestry. 22,681 or 54.0% of borough residents are males and 19,353 or 46.0% are females.

Of the 12,610 households, 9.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 18.2% were married couples living together, 3.8% had a female householder with no husband present, 2.4% had a male householder with no wife present, and 75.6% were non-families. 33.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 5.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.30 and the average family size was 2.71.

The age distribution of the borough, overwhelmingly influenced by its student population, was 5.1% under the age of 18, 70.6% from 18 to 24, 13.1% from 25 to 44, 6.5% from 45 to 64, and 4.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 22 years.

The median income for a household in the borough was $23,513, and the median income for a family was $58,953. The per capita income for the borough was $13,336. 46.9% of the population and 9.8% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 10.6% of those under the age of 18 and 2.2% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line. However, traditional measures of income and poverty can be very misleading when applied to a community like State College which is dominated by students.

The population of the State College Metropolitan Statistical Area, including the borough, is 153,990.[year needed]



Medlar Field at Lubrano Park, home of the State College Spikes

State College is most known for Penn State Nittany Lions football which draws almost 100,000 fans to Beaver Stadium on home games. The borough itself is home to the State College Spikes, a minor league baseball team. The team is part of the New York - Penn League and has played in Medlar Field at Lubrano Park, also home to Penn State baseball, since 2006.[citation needed]

Sport League Club Founded Venue League championships Championship years
Baseball NYPL State College Spikes 2006 Medlar Field at Lubrano Park 0 N/A
Basketball NCAA Penn State Nittany Lions Men's Basketball 1897 Bryce Jordan Center 0 N/A
Basketball NCAA Penn State Lady Lion's Women's Basketball 1965 Bryce Jordan Center 0 N/A
Football NCAA Penn State Nittany Lions football 1887 Beaver Stadium 2 1982, 1986
Ice Hockey NCAA Penn State Nittany Lions men's ice hockey 1939 Pegula Ice Arena 0 N/A
Ice Hockey NCAA Penn State Nittany Lions women's ice hockey 1996 Pegula Ice Arena 0 N/A
Soccer NCAA Penn State Nittany Lions men's soccer 1911 Jeffrey Field 0 N/A
Volleyball NCAA Penn State Nittany Lions men's volleyball 1976 Rec Hall 2 1994, 2008
Volleyball NCAA Penn State Nittany Lions women's volleyball 1976 Rec Hall 7 1999, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2013, 2014
Wrestling NCAA Penn State Nittany Lions Wrestling 1909 Rec Hall 6 1921, 1953, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

Major events[edit]

A view of State College's downtown during the 2005 Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts
THON 2007 held for the first time in the Bryce Jordan Center on the University Park campus of Penn State.

The Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts,[12] usually referred to as "Arts Fest", is held downtown every July. The five-day festival features artists from around the country and draws more than 125,000 visitors.[citation needed] Streets are closed off and lined with booths where people can buy paintings, pottery, jewelry, and other hand-made goods. There are also numerous musical performances and plays to take in, and food vendors selling everything from funnel cakes to Indian cuisine.

The Penn State IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon, commonly referred to as THON, is a 46-hour Dance Marathon that takes place every February on the University Park campus with the purpose of raising money for the Four Diamonds Foundation.[13] A number of events throughout the year pave the way to February's THON weekend.

Blue-White Football Weekend occurs in April and includes a carnival, fireworks, food vendors, the student entertainment stage, live music, a parade, and more.[14] On game day, an autograph session with the football student-athletes is held in Beaver Stadium, prior to kickoff of the Blue-White football intrasquad scrimmage game.

Beaver Stadium, home of the Penn State Nittany Lions football team

Notable people[edit]

The following individuals were born and/or raised in State College:

The following were/are residents of State College:


State College's daily newspaper is the Centre Daily Times (part of the McClatchy Company chain). Alternative newspapers include the Centre County Gazette and State College City Guide. Newspapers of Pennsylvania State University's main campus include The Forum and the student-run Daily Collegian.[15]

Numerous magazines are also published in State College including Town & Gown,[16] State College Magazine,[17] Good Life in Happy Valley,[18] Blue White Illustrated, Pennsylvania Business Central, and Voices of Central Pennsylvania.[19]

The State College radio market is ranked #257 in the nation.[citation needed] Some of the more popular stations include WPSU, WKPS, WBUS, WQWK, WFGE, WBHV, WZWW, WRSC, WRSC-FM, and WMAJ.

State College is part of the Johnstown/Altoona/State College television market, which is ranked #102 in the nation.[20] Television stations broadcasting out of State College include WPSU (PBS) and WHVL (MyNetworkTV) as well as C-NET, Centre County's Government and Education Access Television Network, which broadcasts on two channels: CGTV (Government Access TV) and CETV (Educational Access TV). Johnstown-based WJAC-TV (NBC) and Altoona-based WTAJ-TV (CBS) also maintain satellite studios and offices here.

Government and politics[edit]

Federal level[edit]

At the federal level, State College forms part of Pennsylvania's 5th congressional district. The current representative is Glenn "G.T." Thompson.

State level[edit]

Jake Corman represents Pennsylvania Senate, District 34.

County level[edit]

At the county level, Centre County, Pennsylvania's county seat is in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania. There are three county-level district courts within State College, with the others being Philipsburg, Bellefonte, and Centre Hall.

The current county-level districts are divided as follows, all of which are common pleas courts. The jurisdictions include civil claims and summary offenses. Higher level courts are located in neighboring Bellefonte.[21]

  • District 49-1-01, District Judge Carmine W. Prestia, serving State College, elected in 2007 for a 4-year term [22]
  • District 49-3-05, District Judge Steven F. Lachman, serving State College[23]
  • District 49-2-01, District Judge Leslie A. Dutchcot, serving College, Ferguson, Halfmoon, and Patton Townships, elected in 2007 for 4-year term

Regional level[edit]

The Borough of State College is a member of the Centre Region Council of Governments (CRCOG).[24] Other members are

Local level[edit]

At the local level, the Borough of State College government is currently run by the following elected officials, based on the 2013 municipal election results:[25]

  • Mayor: Elizabeth A. Goreham
  • President of Council: James L. Rosenberger
  • Council Members:
  • Thomas E. Daubert,
  • Catherine G. Dauler,
  • Sarah Klinetob,
  • Theresa D. Lafer,
  • Peter Morris, and
  • Evan Myers.


Public schools[edit]

State College is served by the State College Area School District which operates nine elementary schools, two middle schools, and one high school in and around State College.[26]

Charter schools[edit]

  • Centre Learning Community Charter School
  • Nittany Valley Charter School
  • Wonderland Charter School
  • Young Scholars of Central Pennsylvania Charter School

Private schools[edit]

  • Children's House Montessori School
  • Saint Joseph's Catholic Academy
  • The Goddard School
  • Grace Prep High School[27]
  • Nittany Christian School[28]
  • Our Lady of Victory Catholic School
  • Park Forest Montessori School
  • State College Friends School[29]

Higher and post-secondary education[edit]

  • Penn State University is located partially in the borough of State College.
  • South Hills School of Business & Technology


State College is served by the following libraries:[30]

  • Centre County Library & Historical Museum
  • American Philatelic Research Library
  • Centre County Library Bookmobile
  • Centre Hall Area Branch Library
  • Holt Memorial Library (Philipsburg)
  • Pennsylvania State University Libraries
    • Pattee and Paterno Libraries (main library)
    • Hammond Library (engineering)
    • Pollock Library (study library)
    • Davey Library (physical and mathematical sciences)
    • Deike Library (earth and mineral sciences)
    • Stuckeman Library (architecture and landscape architecture)
  • Schlow Centre Region Library

Area hospitals[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2014-08-06. 
  2. ^ a b "Population Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2014-08-06. 
  3. ^ a b "State College: Mayor's Welcome". 
  4. ^ CQ Press City Crime Rankings 2010-2011
  5. ^ AIER Names 75 Best College Towns and Cities for 2012-2013
  6. ^ Pennsylvania Code Title 314, Sec. 41.1-101 et seq.
  7. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  8. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  9. ^ "Number of Inhabitants: Pennsylvania" (PDF). 18th Census of the United States. U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 22 November 2013. 
  10. ^ "Pennsylvania: Population and Housing Unit Counts" (PDF). U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 22 November 2013. 
  11. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  12. ^ Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts
  13. ^ "Fighting Pediatric Cancer". Penn State Hershey. Retrieved 3 August 2012. 
  14. ^ "Penn State Blue-White Game Weekend 2013". LazerPro Digital Media Group. Retrieved 3 August 2012. 
  15. ^ "Pennsylvania Newspapers". NewsLink. Retrieved March 20, 2011. 
  16. ^ Town & Gown Magazine Town & Gown Magazine
  17. ^ State College Magazine, Pennsylvania. State College Magazine (2011-03-01). Retrieved on 2011-03-30.
  18. ^ Good Life in Happy Valley | Centre Daily Times – State College, PA | Penn State, Nittany Lions, weather, news, jobs, homes, apartments, real estate. (2009-06-19). Retrieved on 2011-03-30.
  19. ^ Voices of Central Pennsylvania
  20. ^
  21. ^ Centre County Government: District Judges. Retrieved on 2011-03-30.
  22. ^ de beste bron van informatie over districtcourt49101[dead link]. Retrieved on 2011-03-30.
  23. ^ District Court 49-3-05 – Centre County – Examination Report – 11/13/07. (PDF) . Retrieved on 2011-03-30.
  24. ^ Centre Region Council of Governments
  25. ^ Centre County Election Results and Borough of State College Government – Council Members. Retrieved on 2013-02-05.
  26. ^ State College Area School District. Retrieved on 2011-03-30.
  27. ^ Grace Prep High School : An Innovative, Award-winning School of Academic Excellence. (2010-05-26). Retrieved on 2011-03-30.
  28. ^ Nittany Christian School. (2006-10-02). Retrieved on 2011-03-30.
  29. ^ State College Friends School. State College Friends School. Retrieved on 2011-03-30.
  30. ^ Libraries. Retrieved on 2011-03-30.

External links[edit]