President’s Open House Gives Tours of Old Main

Story posted October 14, 2019 in News, CommRadio by Maddie Biertempfel

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Every year, Penn State’s Parents & Families weekend attracts thousands of visitors who come to University Park to see their students and participate in some of the activities that the university has planned.

The President’s Open House was one of those events, giving the public an inside look at one of the most iconic landmarks at Penn State: Old Main.

“A lot of people don’t know they can just walk into Old Main, so I think it’s really awesome they give an opportunity for everybody to see Old Main and see the beauty of it,” junior Hailee Wingard said.

Wingard is a member of Lion Ambassadors, a student group that gave tours of the administrative building this weekend.  Students like Wingard guided visitors through the president’s office, showed off the frescos and shared information about the history of Old Main.

Julia Pozzuto is also a member of Lion Ambassadors who helped out with the event.

“I love that Old Main used to be the home … everything happened here: the classrooms, they slept here, they ate here, everything happened here,” Pozzuto said. “I think that’s pretty interesting to see how it’s evolved and it’s just offices now, and just how much bigger Penn State has gotten.”

Wingard said she expected about 350 people to participate in the open house, down from the roughly 500 who did last year. 

The reason for the decrease? Wingard said it has to do with the renovation of one of the most recognizable elements of Old Main.

“The bell tower is closed, so that kind of hinders that,” Wingard said. 

The bell tower restoration project is expected to be completed in fall 2019, according to a May Penn State news release. 

Despite the drop in visitors, Pozzuto said she’s enjoying meeting those who are there.

“I love meeting everyone, seeing all these parents come in,” Pozzuto said. “They’re so excited to be with their families, they’re so anxious to talk to us, too. That’s been the funnest part.” 

 

Maddie Biertempfel is a senior majoring in broadcast journalism and political science. To contact her, email mmb6038@psu.edu.