About Pennsylvania State University-Penn State New Kensington
We are... a “Big Ten” internationally renowned university close to home, offering associate, baccalaureate, and master degrees and certificate programs taught by distinguished Penn State faculty.
We are... a teaching/learning/research institution for undergraduate education and for lifelong learning.
We are... a small campus with a big degree.
We are...committed to the highest quality in teaching, research and scholarship, and service to our campus, our students, our communities, and our professions.
Penn State New Kensington was founded in 1958 as a result of a study of the local need for higher education in the Alle-Kiski Valley. From its roots in a remodeled high school building on Fourth Avenue in New Kensington, the campus has evolved into a modern educational facility on seventy-two beautifully wooded acres in Upper Burrell.
The New Kensington Center was opened in 1958 in the First Ward School Building in the heart of the city of New Kensington. In 1963, the Center moved to the former Parnassus Junior High School and began offering the first two years of Penn State's baccalaureate programs on a full-time basis in education, liberal arts, business administration, and human development.
Penn State New Kensington GroundbreakingIn the same year, Alcoa offered to give the University a thirty-five-acre tract of land on Route 780 in Upper Burrell Township, four miles east of the city.
In September 1966, classes convened in the Engineering Building, the Upper Burrell campus’ first building. Today, the Engineering Building houses one of only two fully-equipped student Intensive Care Unit (ICU) laboratories in the country. Also in 1966, men’s basketball became the campus’ first varsity sport.
Two years later, 1968, the Science, Activities, Faculty and Administration, and Library buildings were completed. The new facilities included additional labs and the Art Gallery. In the same year, twenty-seven additional acres were purchased from a neighboring farmer.
Overview of Penn State New Kensington The Health and Physical Education Complex opened in 1969. The complex comprises the 1,000-seat PSNK Field House (basketball, volleyball, and racquetball courts), a weight room, cardiovascular training center, nurses station, faculty offices, classrooms, and a soccer field.
In 1971, the Forum Theatre, a 420-seat thrust stage theatre, opened with the student production of "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum."
As the campus grew, so did its enrollment and the need for a gathering place for students. In 1975, the Student Learning Center opened with a cafeteria, recreational facilities, bookstore, and Academic and Career Success Center.
In the late 1980s, a capital campaign provided funds for a Science and Technology Center, The opening of the building in 1990 made the campus one of the most technically advanced in the Penn State system. In 2000, a large section of the Activities Building was remodeled to form the Information and Technology Center - home to the Information Sciences and Technology program.