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2017-12-01 / Features

2017 Year in Review


From record-setting events in Beaver Stadium to new faces in top spots around town, State College Magazine recalls some of the past year’s key moments.


Community pride was lit on South Allen as State College set a Guinness World Record for the largest ice lantern display on Feb. 4. It was a true community effort to get 5,622 ice luminaries flickering all at once for Light Up State College.


The region’s second-largest employer, Mount Nittany Health, got a new president and CEO when Kathleen Rhine took the helm in January.


Celebrating 50 years of local classical music, the Nittany Valley Symphony held a Golden Jubilee celebration in March.



The iconic “We Are … Penn State!” cheer hit a high note at the Oct. 21 White Out game against Michigan when a new Beaver Stadium attendance record was set at 110,823.


After winning the primary in May, Don Hahn again beat out competitors in the State College mayoral race in November. He’ll take over from Elizabeth Goreham in January.


In July, Timothy Curley and Gary Schultz began serving their sentences for their involvement in the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal. Curley served two and a half months, and Schultz served less than two months in jail.


The new Martin Luther King Jr. Plaza opened in downtown State College, transforming the Fraser Plaza into a gathering space that commemorates King’s legacy.


Despite booking acts like John Legend, Mavis Staples and Chance the Rapper, the mysterious but much-hyped Karoondinha Music and Arts Festival at Penn’s Cave and Wildlife Park fell through a month before its slated July dates.



Beaver Stadium hosted its first concert ever on July 8 when country music artists took the stage for the inaugural Happy Valley Jam. Blake Shelton, Chris Young, Big & Rich and others rocked a crowd of 30,000+.


The death of Penn State student Timothy Piazza brought the university back into national news. President Eric Barron permanently revoked Beta Theta Pi’s fraternity privileges, and 17 members have been charged with varied crimes in the hazing death investigation.


For the first time since 2009, the Penn State Nittany Lions returned to Pasadena to play in the 2017 Rose Bowl. Despite a 52-49 loss to the USC Trojans, the bowl appearance capped off a dynamic season in which Penn State was crowned Big Ten Champs.


For 124 days, members of the Nittany Valley Water Coalition camped out on Penn State property where a Toll Brothers development had been proposed, citing concerns about its impact on water quality. The protesters were evicted by the university in early October.

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