Penn State Great Valley celebrates 60-year anniversary

People talking at tables at Penn State Great Valley's 60th anniversary showcase

Penn State Great Valley kicked off its 60th anniversary celebration with a campus showcase on Oct. 26.

Credit: Chris Downey Photography

MALVERN, Pa. – Penn State Great Valley School of Graduate Professional Studies kicked off its 60-year anniversary celebration on Thursday, Oct. 26, with a campus showcase that highlighted a variety of activities and initiatives.

For 60 years, Penn State Great Valley has provided high-quality academic and professional development programs, conference planning services, community and cultural events and more. Penn State Great Valley was established in 1963 as a graduate center in King of Prussia in response to General Electric Goddard Space Center’s request to provide a master’s degree program in electrical engineering.

In 1987, the University acquired 8.5 acres in the Great Valley Corporate Center in Malvern, where the campus is currently located. In the years since, Penn State Great Valley has introduced new programs, opened a conference center, partnered with local and global companies, connected with the community through cultural events and much more.

Joseph Henry, a 1976 alumnus of the College of Health and Human Development and chair of the Penn State Great Valley Advisory Board, noted the campus’ ability to adapt as one of the key factors of its longevity.

“I’m amazed by how the campus has changed over the past 60 years,” Henry said. “Our programs have evolved along with the needs of the community, continuing to offer programs in business management and engineering while adding cutting-edge topics like artificial intelligence and data analytics. Our campus was formed to meet the demands of local companies that needed graduate education for their employees. Now, that script has flipped, and the campus is connecting with companies to show how the programs can benefit their workforce.”

Community members, alumni, faculty, staff, and friends enjoyed networking and casual conversations with students about programs like the Great Valley LaunchBox, the Nittany AI Challenge and global immersion courses; photos with the Nittany Lion; campus tours; and more. Attendees also had the opportunity to engrave their names on Penn State keychains through the campus’ engineering lab, as well as try out VR headsets in the Technology Commons.

The event also marked the unveiling of the physical and interactive 60-year timelines of Penn State Great Valley’s history.

“The educational landscape has changed over the years, and we’ve changed with it,” said Chancellor, Dean and Chief Academic Officer Colin Neill in his remarks at the campus showcase. “But what about our roaring future? The landscape continues to evolve, so we can’t rest on our laurels. That’s okay, because we never have.

“We recognize the impact we can have on the community,” Neill continued. “Being good neighbors, engaged neighbors has always been an important calling card of our campus.”

The Henry Gallery, located on the second floor of the Conference Center Building and named for Henry and his wife Marilyn, hosted an opening reception for its current exhibit during the campus showcase. “The Arts as a Vehicle for Social Change” features a variety of artwork from local non-profit organizations who work alongside those with special needs, including The Camphill SchoolCamphill SoltaneCamphill Village Kimberton Hills and Frog Hollow Farm.

Penn State Great Valley will host a variety of other events commemorating its 60th anniversary throughout the 2023-24 academic year. Click here to see all upcoming events to join the campus in celebrating a milestone anniversary.