Friday, September 7, 2012

Penn State Lion Shrine





The Penn State Nittany Lion Shrine is said to be the most photographed spot on campus. It is also believed to be the second most photographed object in Pennsylvania, following the Liberty Bell. Numerous graduates and bridal parties have been photographed near the Lion. It was donated by the class of 1940, and is located near Rec Hall.  Rec Hall is one of the most recognizable buildings on the Penn State Campus, and is home to  to Penn State Men’s & Women’s Gymnastics, National Champion Men’s & National Champion Women’s Volleyball, Men's and Women's Soccer and Men’s Wrestling. 

In 1966 Sue Paterno (wife of football coach Joe Paterno), and a friend secretly splashed water-soluble orange paint on the Nittany Lion statue the week of the Syracuse game in an effort to raise some school spirit for the game. It rained, and the small amount of paint they had splattered on the lion washed off. But the Syracuse fans were still blamed for the incident.  The following year in an effort to get even, the Syracuse fans covered the statue in oil-based paint, which was tougher to remove. Since then, Students and Alumni, led by the Lion Ambassadors, guard the Lion Shrine every homecoming.

I was on the Penn State Campus earlier this week for a training program. My travelling companions and I were not sure exactly where to find the shrine, and drove around the campus (mis)guided by gps looking in vain for the statue. We finally stopped among the many students milling about the campus, and unfortunately stopped in front of a group of foreign students, who thought we were looking for the recently removed Joe Paterno statue. The young man adamantly informed us that there was "No more statue...statue gone!" We repeated again that we were looking for the lion statue, and he struck the famous Joe Paterno pose with his finger in the air indicating Number 1, and said, "You mean this statue?". Being teachers (in fact 2/3's of us were teachers of middle school and high school students) we managed to keep a straight face until we pulled away, still unsure of where to find the lion!

7 comments:

ArtMuseDog and Carol said...

Wow! What a photo! and awesome sculpture of a lion ~ (A Creative Harbor)

Thanks for linking up with Sunday Best and A Creative Harbor ~ come again soon ^_^

ArtMuseDog and Carol said...

Awesome photo! What a lion! Wow! (A Creative Harbor)

Susan said...

How interesting!!

Great shot.

Lighthousegal said...

Great photo and story. The lion has a very intense hunting look, kind of eerie even knowing it is a statue.
Happy Sunday!

Karen said...

Hail to the lion... I was immediately drawn to your beautiful photo of The beloved Nittany Lion. My husband...born and bred in the suburbs of Philly...has never even seen the Liberty Bell, but he's been to this shrine too many time to count!

Danielle said...

Very funny story to go with your finally finding the lion!

Nancy Claeys said...

That's too funny -- you almost walked into an incident... Love the statue!