Mary Louisa Willard was a long-time chemistry professor at Penn State and an expert in chemical microscopy who became internationally known for her scientific work helping to solve crimes. Willard was born on Mary 19, 1898, in Moffatt Cottage on the Penn State campus.
Milton Stover Eisenhower came to Penn State in 1950 as its eleventh president after serving as a government administrator and seven years as president of Kansas State University. Eisenhower guided Penn State through a postwar transition of rapidly growing enrollment, academic programs, and research.
Harold Altman was an internationally known artist who lived and worked in Centre County for more than forty years. He is best known for his lithographs, which include scenes of the county. Altman was a prolific artist who produced thousands of lithographs, etchings, drawings, and paintings.
Gene Wettstone established the Penn State men’s gymnastics team and guided it to nine national championships, the most by a collegiate coach. He also served twice as head coach of the U.S. Olympic men’s team.
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.