University Park

The Lion in Winter

Penn State's beloved Nittany Lion statue, covered with snow. Credit: Penn State University Archives / Penn StateCreative Commons

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — This timeless image of the Nittany Lion statue, covered with snow, was taken nearly 50 years ago. Though Penn State has significantly changed since 1966, the statue itself is just the same. However, those new to the University Park campus may not realize that the lion's surroundings were extensively renovated with a gift from Penn State's Class of 2012.

The statue, originally a gift from the Class of 1940, was carved on-site by noted sculptor Heinz Warneke, from a single 13-ton block of Indiana limestone. Seventy years, thousands of visitors, and frequent repairs had brought the University's beloved landmark to a point where extensive changes were desperately needed to ensure its continued beauty and purpose.

Spring of 2013 saw the shrine surrounded by blue fencing for enhancements to the area that included improved and eco-friendly lighting, accessibility and landscaping. It reopened that August just in time for Summer Commencement.

Last Updated January 22, 2015