6 spooooky things about Penn State Behrend


By Heather Cass
Publications & Design Coordinator, Penn State Behrend

In honor of the upcoming All Hallows’ Eve festivities, I dug up six spooky (and some just silly) things about Penn State Behrend.  Enjoy!

1. There’s a place in the Wintergreen Gorge on  the edge of campus called “Devil’s backbone.”


Devil’s backbone is the name given to the gorge’s highest vantage point in Wintergreen Gorge, about 250 feet above Four Mile creek. Read more about the gorge (page 13) and watch videos here (under “Extras from this issue”).

In the mood for a good ghost story? Check out this story we found online (but do not attest to): The Ghost Child of Wintergreen Gorge.

Speaking of enduring ghosts haunting campus…..

2. Ken Miller, senior director for campus planning and student affairs, has been working at Behrend since George Michael’s “Faith” topped the pop charts, “Heathers” was showing at the theatres,  and the average cost of a gallon of gas was just 91 cents.

Are we making him sound old? Nah, it’s only been 25 years. 😉 And, fortunately, he hasn’t lost his sense of humor…or that awesome ‘stache.

ken miller

Ken Miller, right, with his brother Tim outside of Lawrence Hall, circa 1989.

3. This tree by Wilson Picnic grove:

tree wart

According to Dr. Mike Naber, lecturer in geosciences, the “tumor” on this tree could be Agrobacterium tumefaciens that causes a plant disease called crown gall. Or, Nabor said, it is simply a “burl” caused by stress, injury, or a virus.

Or it could be a zombie calling card.

Speaking of signs from the dearly departed…

4. Bruno’s Café is named after a dead dog. Even spookier? Legend has it that said dog is buried on campus.

Bruno's Portrait

So, if you hear a German shepherd howling late at night…

5.  The cashier at the bookstore has gotten really thin.


Somebody get this guy a peanut butter sandwich.

6. This tree by Lilley Library:


While it’s shaped like a witch’s hat, this is actually a Purple Fountain Weeping Beech, native to Europe.

You know, Europe…where Transylvania is (just sayin’).

Happy Halloween, everyone!

Pose with the PSB Lion at ZooBoo


By Heather Cass
Publications & Design Coordinator, Penn State Behrend

My first job after graduating from college was working in the public relations department at the Erie Zoo.  I worked for Scott Mitchell, known around the Erie area as the ZooGuy.  (By the way, Scott, who is now the President and CEO of the Erie Zoological Society, is a Penn State Behrend alum — Class of 1984!).

As you might expect, every day at the zoo brought something different. I aquired lots and lots of unique skills and knowledge in the four years I worked there.

For example: I know exactly how to pick up an alligator without getting bit.  I know that the foulest smelling (and most stupid) animal on earth is the giraffe. I can stuff at least 2,000 plastic Easter eggs in a day. I can set up 200 chairs in less than an hour. And, I can make a scarecrow out of scrap materials in minutes.

So when I read in a recent Erie Zoo newsletter that they were inviting area organization and businesses to create a scarecrow to display at ZooBoo (the zoo’s annual evening Halloween event), I begged my boss to let me make one for Penn State Behrend. (Go ahead, ask him, he’ll tell you that I begged).

Lest you think the staff of the Office of Marketing Communication spend their days building scarecrows, I should tell you that a coworker, Jodi Herman, and I built this cute little cub after work in less than an hour with materials I had laying around.  (Yeah, I’m that good at scarecrow construction.)

What do you think?

scarecrow with sign

Snap a pix with the PSB scarecrow

If you’re going to ZooBoo with your little boos and ghouls (see, writing clever puns is yet another skill I learned at the zoo!), be sure to look for the Penn State Behrend lion scarecrow. And, if you gather round, take a photo, and send it to us via email (hjc13 at psu.edu) or post it on social media with the hashtag #behrendscarecrow, we’ll put together an album to showcase our Penn State Behrend scarecrow pride (You know a group of lions is a pride, right?)  and share it with everyone.

lion pose

About ZooBoo

ZooBoo is the Erie Zoo’s annual Halloween event and a rare chance to see the zoo after 5 p.m. There are trick-or-treat boooooths (*groan* I know, but I. Just. Can’t. Stop.) for kids 12 and under and Halloween decorations and lights strewn through the zoo grounds.  This year, ZooBoo opens on Friday, October 18th and runs through Wednesday, October 30th from 6 to 9 p.m. nightly.

A few insider tips:

  • Save yourself some time waiting in line and pick your tickets up in advance at the zoo office (423 W. 38th St. next to the zoo) or buy online then you can enter the advance line near the stage (no waiting!). You can even buy your train & carousel tickets in advance!
  • Don’t go right at 6, go at 7 or 7:30 and you’ll miss the big crowds.
  • Ride the train first…most people ride it at the end and the line gets looooong at the end of the night.
  • Expect some animal changes. The orangutans and a few other animals won’t be out (they do not like their sleepy-time schedules messed with), but the big cats will likely be up and moving around — they’re nocturnal animals and they really “come alive” after dark.
  • This might be obvious, but…if you don’t like crowds, opt for a less-than-perfect-weather night. ZooBoo is open every night until Oct. 30, rain, shine, sleet or snow. Also, weeknights — particularly Mon.-Wed. — tend to have lower attendance.
  • On busy nights, the back gate — off Glenwood Park Ave. — is often open.

Penn State Lives Here

Penn State Lives Here_010

If you’ve been anywhere near Penn State Behrend (or any Penn State campus across Pennsylvania) recently, you’ve probably noticed there is a new brand initiative — “Penn State Lives Here.”

The initiative was publicly introduced with a two-minute video during halftime of the Michigan game on Saturday, October 12, in Beaver Stadium on the University Park campus.

The theme made its appearance at Penn State Behrend yesterday:

* Ten students and the Penn State lion unfurled a twenty-foot banner that now hangs off the balcony at John M. Lilley Library.  (Thank you, Mother Nature, for providing picture-perfect outdoor-event weather!)

Penn State Lives Here_004

* Twenty lawn signs popped up all around campus.

* “Penn State Lives Here” doorhangers were hung on throughout the residence halls.


* “Penn State Lives Here” buttons, vinyl window clings and paw print cookies (delish!) were distributed at lunchtime at Bruno’s, where the campaign video was aired for students, staff, and faculty.

Clearly, Penn State lives here at Behrend.

So, what does it all mean? What is our branding message about?

Here is an explanation, from the folks who created it:

“Penn Staters are not only high academic achievers, they’re doers. They are nurtured by a culture that encourages setting lofty goals and investing the effort to achieve them. They are molded in an environment that values success, teamwork, and service to others—and graduate intent upon living purposeful, inspired lives. All universities talk about producing leaders, but ask employers where they go to find individuals who inspire others, know the value of hard work, and lead by example. They find them at Penn State.”

Excellence. Innovation. Passion. Collaboration.

These are the things that live at Penn State.

Watch the video here and see for yourself.

Penn State Lives Here_003

Students: Join us on Monday for unveiling of PSLH


Penn Staters make an impact everywhere. Now, there’s a brand initiative that puts it right out there.

The University will introduce the initiative on Saturday, October 12 during halftime of the Michigan game in Beaver Stadium. Penn State Behrend will be unveiling the brand message on Monday (October 14), and students are invited to be part of the announcement.

At 11 a.m., Lilley Library Lawn:
Come watch as your fellow students unfurl a big banner with the theme of PSLH (that’s your only hint!) from the balcony of Lilley Library facing the Bayfront Highway. If you can attend, you’ll see the action from the lawn just below.

At 12:15 p.m, Bruno’s Cafe:
See a short yet dynamic video, grab a cookie, and get your free theme button and vinyl window cling–while supplies last!

Join us Monday to see and hear just how PSLH.