Foster Joseph Sayers was a Centre County native who was awarded the Medal of Honor for gallantry during World War II. His remarkable bravery allowed his fellow soldiers to attain their objective in reaching the crest of the hill while killing or capturing the German soldiers on it. Sayers, who was 20 years old, died in the fighting.
Frederick Watts served as founding president of the Board of Trustees of the Farmers’ High School / Agricultural College of Pennsylvania from 1855 to 1874. He played an integral role in establishing the college in Centre County and securing its federal and state land-grant designation.
Amos Neyhart, a Penn State faculty member and longtime resident of State College, originated driver education programs in the United States. In 1933, he started teaching students at State College High School to drive. He later taught the first course instructing others how to teach driver education.
John Montgomery (Monte) Ward is the only person from Centre County elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York. The Bellefonte native was a player and manager in the early years of professional baseball, but is best known for organizing the sport’s first union in 1885.
Daniel Hartman Hastings, a longtime resident of Bellefonte, was the governor of Pennsylvania from 1895 to 1899. He gained public notice with his leadership in the aftermath of the catastrophic Johnstown flood of 1889. During his term as governor, the commonwealth’s government underwent significant change. Hastings was born in Clinton County on February 26, 1849. […]
General James Potter was a Pennsylvania military and political leader and frontier land developer, who is best known in Centre County for the exploratory trek that led him to the crest of Mount Nittany, overlooking Penns Valley, and his declaration that he had discovered an empire.
Robert Norman Fisher was an internationally known sculptor and designer who was a pioneer in the use of computer visualization in sculpture. He was a longtime resident of Bellefonte and was a leader in the historic preservation of the borough. His work can be seen in several Centre County buildings.
In Joe Paterno’s extraordinary career as Penn State’s head football coach from 1966 to 2011, Paterno was the most recognizable Penn Stater and citizen of Centre County. Not only was the longevity of his career at one institution exceptional in the world of intercollegiate football, but his success was unequaled as well: No other NCAA […]
Thelma Price was the first Black woman to serve as assistant vice president for Student Affairs at Penn State. She was known for her advocacy of minority students. The native of Detroit, joined Penn State in 1964 as an assistant dean of students at the New Kensington campus. In 1971, she became the acting director […]
Ralph Dorn Hetzel lead Penn State from 1926 to 1947, a period of exceptional growth in enrollment and campus construction, despite the twin crises of the Great Depression and World War II. During his tenure, enrollment grew from about 4,000 to more than 12,000, including a several new satellite campuses. The university also embarked on […]