Skip to content
Penn State University Libraries
Please enter your alt text.



Dr. Joseph Shortlidge named sixth President; resigned next year.


Professor James Y. McKee was acting President.

Jordan Soil Fertility Plots laid out; oldest continuous test plots with fertilizers in America; moved to new site in miniature size in 1960.

Shop instruction, in iron, began in Old Main basement.


Dr. George W. Atherton became seventh President; died in office in 1906; served 24 years -- longest administration.


Harriet A. McElwain, lady principal until 1902; made great gains for women students.


First foreign woman student enrolled, Elizabeth B. Perry of La Prairie, Quebec, Canada.


Mechanic Arts Building (temporary frame building) dedicated.


Agricultural Experiment Station established by Legislature under 1887 Federal Hatch Act; completed in 1889, first director, Dr. Henry P. Armsby, noted for animal nutrition work and the respiration calorimeter.

First biennial state appropriation of $100,000 provided first maintenance funds and launched first major building program: Armory, Old Botany, Chemistry and Physics Laboratory, Ladies' Cottage, Experiment Station and faculty residences.

First student newspaper, Free Lance, published monthly.

Electric lights and other modern features installed in Old Main.

President Atherton elected first president of American Association of Agricultural Colleges and Experiment Stations (now National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges).


Phi Gamma Delta chartered; first permanently established men's national fraternity on campus; Beta Theta Pi was second.


First La Vie published as junior class yearbook by class of 1890; La Vie changed to senior yearbook in 1930.