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1980s

1980

One hundred and twenty-fifth anniversary of the University marked on February 22, 1980, celebrated in many forms including a "People to People" statewide media relations campaign, a University oral history project, numerous events designated as official anniversary observances, a telegram of congratulations from President Carter and resolutions from the Legislature.

Public radio station, affiliated with National Public Radio (NPR), authorized.

University Scholar Program begins with 325 students enrolled.

1981

Sara George, sophomore economics major, is first Penn State winner of a $20,000 Harry S. Truman Scholarship.

1982

Dr. Bryce Jordan, Chief Operating Officer for Academic Affairs of the University of Texas System is elected the 14th President of The Pennsylvania State University effective July 1, 1983.

Academic Information System (AIS) development initiated by fully-computerized Student System; other components to be integrated are Budget Operations and Planning, Business Services, Facilities/Property Inventory, Financial, and Human Resources.

Football team (11-1) wins national championship with victory over Georgia in Sugar Bowl.

University Commission on Women established, charged to improve the environment for the performance of women faculty, staff, and students.

1983

Advanced Technology Center of Central and Northern Pennsylvania established under grant from State's Ben Franklin Partnership, one of four centers in state to promote university-industrial cooperation and foster economic development.

Library Information Access System (LIAS) introduced to provide on-line computerized catalog information for University Libraries' users at all locations.

First Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) Imaging System in the Commonwealth established at Hershey Medical Center.

1984

Major gifts and grants are announced: H. Thomas Hallowell, Jr., donates $1 million to the College of Engineering, largest gift ever from a living individual; Homer F. Braddock bequest of $5.6 million for scholarships in Science is largest single bequest in Penn State history.

The student system module of the Administrative Information System (AIS) is implemented. Giant database management system accessible from all campuses covers: undergraduate admissions, academic records, graduate school, housing, billing and accounts receivable, and financial aid.

William C. Richardson is named Executive Vice President and Provost.

1985

"Penn State Heart" developed by team head by Prof. William S. Pierce at Hershey approved for use as temporary "bridge" implant by U.S. Food and Drug Administration; Anthony Mandia, 44, of Philadelphia is first recipient.

NASA chooses Penn State as prime contractor to design sensors for the Advanced X-Ray Astrophysics Facility -- the orbiting x-ray telescope scheduled to be launched from the space shuttle in 1991; Applied Research Laboratory awarded three-year $80 million contract by U.S. Navy for research and development of undersea technology.

William A. Schreyer `48, Chairman and CEO of Merrill Lynch & Co., Inc. named Chairman of the Campaign for Penn State.

Corporation for Penn State established to conduct support activities on behalf of the University, Trustee officers and committee chairs and senior University administrative officers constitute the Board of Directors.

1986

College of Health and Human Development created by merger of Colleges of Health, Physical Education and Recreation with Human Development.

Football team concludes undefeated 1986 season with National Championship victory over the University of Miami in the Fiesta Bowl on January 2, 1987.

The Campaign for Penn State is formally launched at a gala celebration featuring White House Chief of State Donald T. Regan; $10 million gift from the Eberly Family Charitable Trust funds 8 chairs in the College of Science and provides million dollar endowments to the Biotechnology Institute and for science programs at Fayette, second largest gift in Penn State history.

1987

University adopts new graphic identity system and University Mark to assure consistent use of visual devices across the institution.

Alumni Association records 100,00th member making it the second largest in the United States.

1988

Black students occupy Telecommunications Building to dramatize concerns of Black community, charges of trespassing are later dropped as administration begins direct meetings with Concerned African-Americans at Penn State (CAAPS).

King of Prussia Center for Graduate Studies and Continuing Education moves and is officially designated Penn State Great Valley.

The Campaign for Penn State: goal of Campaign raised from $200 to $300 million and campaign extended another year to 1990.

1989

The Campaign for Penn State surpasses its goal of $300 million seven months ahead of schedule with $10 million gift from Frank and Mary Jean Smeal for faculty endowments in College of Business Administration, Smeal's gift is largest ever by an individual.

Enrollment surpasses 70,000 students for first time ever.

Williamsport Area Community College legally transfer to Penn State System becoming Pennsylvania College of Technology, a wholly-owned affiliate of Penn State.

Penn State is designated a Space Grant University by NASA with the awarding of $1.25 million over five years to provide fellowships, courses, lab experiences and other programs to communicate the significance of space science.