Faculty and Staff

Road Scholars to hit the road for annual tour of Pennsylvania

University Park, Pa. -- After several years of heading east, the annual Road Scholars tour, led by President Graham B. Spanier, is heading west this year. The ninth annual tour, scheduled for May 10-12, is designed to give new faculty the opportunity to visit several Penn State locations and Pennsylvania businesses to learn how the University is making a difference.

The two-and-a-half-day tour leaves Penn State University Park mid-day Monday, May 10, and heads to the Capitol for a tour and a meeting with legislators. From there, participants go to Hershey Medical Center and then to Penn State Harrisburg for the night. The itinerary for Tuesday, May 11, includes stops at Singing Brook Farm, a high-tech farm dedicated to the reproduction of Holstein dairy cattle. There will be a tour of the facility and discussion about the impact of agriculture on the state. The tour also stops at Fallingwater, one of Frank Lloyd Wright's most widely acclaimed works. Extensive renovations were done to the building in 1997 by Penn State Distinguished Alumnus Lou Astorino. Tuesday's leg of the tour ends with visits to Penn State McKeesport for dinner and Penn State Beaver for the night.

On Wednesday, the Road Scholars will visit U.S. Steel in Pittsburgh, have lunch on the Pittsburgh Strip and then head to Worthington for a tour of Creekside Mushrooms' unique, underground farm. Creekside Mushrooms is yet another business that has benefited from Penn State research and outreach. Roger Claypoole, the general partner of this mushroom farm, is a Penn State alumnus, and his father, daughter and son also are Penn Staters. The farm, which ships more than a half million pounds of mushrooms per week and produces spawn for mushroom facilities around the world, regularly uses information from the University's Cooperative Extension Office in Armstrong County. Penn State Altoona is the final stop on the tour, before the Road Scholars head back to University Park on Wednesday night.

There is no cost for new faculty to participate in this program. Transportation, meals and lodging are being provided by the President's Office. Dress is casual -- no suits and ties allowed -- and participants should bring walking shoes, appropriate footwear for visiting the farms, warm clothing for evenings, cash for lunch and shopping in the Pittsburgh Strip district, an alarm clock, a camera and business cards to exchange.

The tour buses usually fill up quickly. For information or to register, call (800) 778-8632. Registration deadline is April 16. For a map of the tour route, visit http://live.psu.edu/still_life/2004_04_06_scholars/index.html

Last Updated March 19, 2009