Penn Shenango Event Looks at First PSU President

SHARON, Pa. – A presentation March 21 at Penn State Shenango by distinguished alumnus Roger L. Williams will discuss the life and times of the university’s first president, Evan Pugh.

The free lecture, at 5:30 p.m., will be held at the campus auditorium, 147 Shenango Ave. Doors open at 5 p.m. and light refreshments will be provided. Following his illustrated talk, Williams will answer questions and sign copies of his books.

“After earning his doctorate in Germany and conducting a famous research experiment in England, Evan Pugh returned to the United States in 1859 to develop ‘upon the soil of Pennsylvania the best agricultural college in the world,’ ” Williams said. “The amazing thing is that he did exactly that, overcoming numerous obstacles in the midst of the greatest crisis in American history — the Civil War. The tragedy is that he died young, at age 36, of typhoid fever.”

Pugh served as Penn State’s president from 1859 to 1864 after a years-long battle to establish a land grant college in Pennsylvania.

Williams’ book, “Evan Pugh’s Penn State: America’s Model Agricultural College,” will be released inMarch. He was named a distinguished alumnus of Penn State this year and served as director of university relations from 1986 to 1995 and as the executive director of the Penn State Alumni Association from 2003 to 2015.

For more information, contact Penn State Shenango director of development and alumni relations Allison Engstrom at 724 983 2907.

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