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Statement of Purpose

Student-athletes are the nucleus of Penn State Intercollegiate Athletics. They are our primary purpose, our "Why." All decisions are viewed through the lens of student- athlete health, welfare and development and everything we do considers their best interests. Our vision, as stated in our recent strategic plan, is "Preparing students for a lifetime of impact." We strive and create comprehensive excellence academically, athletically, and socially by building mind, body and spirit.

At Penn State, the smiles of pure joy are no broader holding a championship trophy than they are holding a diploma, a job offer letter or acceptance to graduate school, or the smiles of others touched by a life well lived. This describes a lifetime of impact and it is an experience underway for our 800 students who play in all 31 varsity programs.

Out of this core focus of student-centered programs, a series of secondary purposes emerge. Institutional pride and competing at the highest level is as important to today's students as it is to the passionate and loyal alumni and fans. We engage these constituents to create unmatched atmospheres within our competition venues. In addition to providing simple entertainment, these unsurpassed experiences become memories that are shared and relived for decades. Enhancing these experiences through technology and widening the variety of tailgating, seating and viewing options are essential to meeting the needs of today's savvy and passionate spectator.

Another secondary purpose is practical economics. We acknowledge that our events are a tremendous economic driver for our community. Local hotels, restaurants and businesses thrive on the supportive crowds who make weeknight or weekend events. Closer to home, revenue that is generated through ticket and parking sales are resources we invest back into supporting the student- athletes. Even the University benefits directly and indirectly from the activities of Intercollegiate Athletics.

While there are others, one additional purpose for the master plan is Penn State's role in our conference and national association. Penn State plays a substantial role within the Big Ten Conference and the NCAA. The governance of intercollegiate athletics keeps the playing field level and the focus on the student-athlete welfare and development. We enthusiastically support these missions.

The physical facilities for the training, care, and competition of our student- athletes play a crucial role in meeting our vision and the secondary purposes we enthusiastically embrace. To meet our mission and purpose, our facilities must be serve the needs of many, from our unbelievably talented student-athletes to the most passionate fans in college athletics...Penn Staters!

Our success depends on our ability to recruit student-athletes of character, who are highly motivated by academic and athletic achievement. Success breeds success, but we must not fall victim to complacency or arrogance. The climate has changed in recruiting as much as it has in admissions for the general student.

Students are more informed today and are looking for a commitment to care for them as individuals as much as we care for them as students-athletes.

Penn State is committed to state-of-the-art facilities in the areas of academic support, strength and conditioning, medical training and rehabilitation, nutrition and sports science to create conditions for success and comprehensive excellence.

This comprehensive facility master plan lays a foundation within the vision of how our facilities can strategically support our core purpose as we endeavor to positively impact the lives of our students and the entire Penn State Community.


Sandy Barbour
Director of Athletics

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