Nittany Lion Mascot
The Nittany Lion Mascot is an essential part of Penn State's tradition and pride, which originated in 1904 during a baseball game against Princeton. Upon hearing their rivals' mascot, Harrison D. Mason announced that the Nittany Lion was "the fiercest beast of them all." Not only did Penn State win the game that day, but an image was created that would become both a symbol and legacy at the University for years to follow.
After workshops, practices, interviews and a final tryout, the new Nittany Lion Mascot was recently chosen. The student that will represent PENN STATE as the next Nittany Lion mascot is Michael Valania.
Mike is currently a sophomore majoring in History with minors in Italian and Military Studies. He has also been actively involved in THON and participating in one of PENN STATE's newer traditions Nittanyville. Some other interesting pieces of information include, he is a member of the Navy ROTC and was a 3X Varsity starter in wrestling at his high school.
Mike is an outstanding student and had a very impressive tryout. The selection of the student that would be the next Nittany Lion mascot was very difficult for the judges. Several of the candidates had a very strong tryout. Through intense discussion amoung the judges Mike was selected to hold the honor.
In Mike's application one of his answers included the following; The Nittany Lion appeals to all generations of Penn Staters, yet means something different to each one. There is nothing more magical than for a child to give the Nittany Lion a high-five or a hug. For the students, he is a beacon of tradition - a friendly reminder of the unconditional love that is seen here for their university. The Lion is a source of energy that will bring us back long after we graduate, and the source of the strength that we need now more than ever. To the alumni and staff of the university, the Lion is reinvigorating, recalling the halcyon days of youth, acting as a happy reminder that the Valley roars on.