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Penn State Abington is a commonwealth campus of the Pennsylvania State University and it is located in Abington, Pennsylvania. The campus is set on 45 acres (180,000 m2) of wooded land and includes a duck pond, wooded trails, and many species of hardwood trees, The roughly 4000 undergraduate students (full-time and part-time students combined) are taught by a full-time staff of over 150 professors and teaching assistants.

Penn State Abington
Parent institution
Pennsylvania State University
ChancellorDamian Fernandez
PresidentEric J. Barron
Administrative staff
107 full-time
Undergraduatesapproximately 4000
Location, ,
United States
AffiliationsNEAC (NCAA Division III)
MascotNittany Lion
Penn State Abington logo.svg

Several degree options are available at Penn State Abington. Students may start any of 160 Penn State baccalaureate programs at the Abington campus and then complete them at another Penn State campus, including the main University Park campus. Two associate degree programs, 19 baccalaureate degree programs,[1] and several continuing education programs designed for adult students are also available. The athletics program has been granted full NCAA Division III status.


The Penn State Abington campus was not originally a Penn State campus. The origins of the Abington campus begin with Jay Cooke, a banker who had financed the Union during the Civil War, and The Chestnut Street Female Seminary, a Philadelphia school for girls between the ages of 12 through 18 that opened in 1850. With increasing enrollment, The Chestnut Street Female Seminary needed to find a campus that could accommodate the larger student body.

Jay CookeEdit

In 1863, Cooke had constructed a lavish mansion in Cheltenham Township, Pennsylvania which he named Ogontz, in honor of a Sandusky Indian Chief from Ohio named Ogontz. Cooke had spent much time with Chief Ogontz during his childhood, and admired Ogontz greatly. In 1883, Cooke suffered financial hardship and needed a way to pay off his debts. Jay Cooke persuaded The Chestnut Street Female Seminary of Philadelphia to lease his mansion, Ogontz, for an annual rental of $15,000.[2] The Chestnut Street Female Seminary was renamed The Ogontz School for Girls[3] after the 1883 move to Cooke's mansion and estate.

Students make their way in and out of the Lares Building at Penn State Abington, during Common Break on April 22, 2003.

Abby SutherlandEdit

In 1902, Radcliffe College graduate Abby Sutherland arrived at the school to take a job as an English teacher. This would begin a long association with The Ogontz School for Girls for Abby Sutherland. Eventually, Sutherland would go on to become headmistress, president, and owner of the school. In 1912, Headmistress Abby Sutherland bought The Ogontz School for Girls.

In 1916 the school's new owner Abby Sutherland began looking for a larger location for The Ogontz School for Girls. She sold the school's property in Cheltenham Township, and bought 54 acres (220,000 m2) of land in what Sutherland called the "beautiful park section in the hills of Rydal, and moved the school to Abington. At the time of the move, only the main building, known today as the Sutherland Building, had been completed. Soon after the move, the Rydal School, known today as the Rydal Building, was added to accommodate additional elementary grades.

It was at this time that The Ogontz School for Girls most famous student, Amelia Earhart, attended the school. Earhart never graduated however, leaving after two years at the school to enlist as a nurse's aide at Spadina Military Hospital in Toronto, Canada.

Penn State Abington's campus is largely wooded, as shown in this picture of students relaxing during "Spring Fling," an annual campus-sponsored event. This image was included in a slideshow prepared for the school's annual Leadership Banquet [1].

Penn State OgontzEdit

As years passed and attitudes changed, the need for the school became in doubt. In 1950 school owner Abby Sutherland gave the property and all facilities to the Pennsylvania State University, including a painting by Thomas Moran, an artist to whom Jay Cooke had advanced money in 1873.

In 1995, Penn State Ogontz was renamed Abington-Ogontz to emphasize its relationship with the surrounding community. On July 1, 1997, the Penn State Ogontz campus became a Penn State college and was renamed Penn State Abington.


Penn State Abington, known athletically as the Nittany Lions, is a full member of the NCAA Division III and participates in the North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) and the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC).

Penn State Abington sponsors 13 intercollegiate sports. Men's sports include baseball, basketball, cross country, soccer and tennis; while women's sports include basketball, cross country, golf, lacrosse, soccer, softball, tennis and volleyball.


Penn State Abington's orientation program has a long history.[2] Here, incoming students participate in "Freshmen Feud."

Penn State Abington features a large library, modern laboratories, and computer facilities. Recreational areas include tennis courts, basketball courts, and baseball and soccer fields. Penn State Abington has a nearby residence hall, Lion's Gate, that houses around 400 freshman. The major buildings on campus include the Sutherland Building, the Woodland Building, and the Lares Building. Other buildings on campus include the Springhouse Building, the Rydal Building, the Conference Center, the Cloverly Building, the Athletics Building, and the Hillcrest Building.

The Sutherland Building was built in 1915, and was the original main building for The Ogontz School for Girls. Today it is a classroom building, and features a lecture hall, academic and student offices, academic advising spaces, a post office (cash only), and a tutoring facility. Two interesting features of the Sutherland Building are an indoor swimming pool which is now a lecture hall. solarium. The inclusion of the solarium was a design decision influenced by Jay Cooke's mansion Ogontz.

The Woodland Building was constructed after the campus became part of the Pennsylvania State University. This building features classrooms and a lecture hall, laboratories, a computer lab, academic offices, and a library with a collection of nearly 60,000 volumes. Penn State Abington's library is available for use to students, faculty, staff, alumni, and residents of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Springhouse houses a single classroom and storage. Rydal houses multiple classrooms and the campus security offices. Conference Center houses classrooms. Cloverly houses offices as well as the counseling unit. Athletics houses the athletic department and is a gym along with a multi use field and tennis court (along with nearby facilities - Huntingdon Field) used by the athletic teams. Hillcrest is used only for storage.

The Lares building, renovated in 2002, has served as host for known entertainers like "regurgitator" Stevie Starr.

The Lares Union Building was originally built in 1923 as the personal residence of Abby Sutherland. This is the student union building on campus, and facilities include a cafeteria (managed by Culinart), bookstore (Barnes & Noble college), a banquet room and multi purpose room ("Lubert Commons") and used for student programs, student organization and government offices, the Office of Student Engagement & Leadership, the Career Development Center, and the Intersection.

In 2017, Penn State Abington opened its first on campus housing nearby to the campus, which will house roughly 400 freshman only and make the campus residential instead of commuter. Along with the campus housing project, Penn State Abington is also planning on building a new student union and new academic building within the next decade. An outdated campus building would be torn down to make way for a new building.


  1. ^ Degree programs at Abington
  2. ^ Quattrone, Frank (2016). Penn State Abington and the Ogontz School. Charleston, South Carolina: Arcadia Publishing. p. 17. ISBN 9781467117425.
  3. ^ The Ogontz School for Girls]

External linksEdit