A Penn State love story: Rebecca Valentine and Evan Pugh

Rebecca Valentine and Evan Pugh. Credit: Penn State University Archives / Penn StateCreative Commons

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — It was a Penn State love story: Daughter of a prominent ironworking family, Rebecca Valentine first met Evan Pugh when the brilliant scientist visited her father at their Bellefonte home to compare methods of smelting iron, domestically and abroad. Penn State historian Erwin W. Runkle described the relationship as "love at first sight."

After an engagement of three years, Rebecca and Evan -- who had become the first President of the Farmers' High School, a newly-founded agricultural college in the center of Pennsylvania -- were married on Feb. 4, 1864. Tragically, it was not to last.


Evan Pugh died very young, but not before he became the first president of what would become Penn State. More importantly, he was able to marry what was the "love" of his life, Rebecca Valentine. Credit: C Roy Parker



Last Updated February 18, 2015