The Penn State Berks 60th Anniversary Logo

Penn State Berks celebrates 60th anniversary in 2018

The college will hold a variety of special events throughout the year for students, faculty, staff, and community members.

Penn State Berks is celebrating its 60th anniversary in 2018, and the college will hold a variety of special events throughout the year for students, faculty, staff, and community members. From its beginnings as Wyomissing Polytechnic Institute to becoming part of the Penn State system in 1958, Penn State Berks has a long history of serving the residents of the Berks County community and surrounding region through teaching, research, and community service.

As part of the 60th anniversary, the college will hold a kick-off event on Wednesday, Feb. 14, beginning at 12:15 p.m. in the Perkins Student Center Auditorium. This event was originally scheduled for January 17, and was postponed due to inclement weather.

Prior to and following the program, there will be a “Hearts on Fire” chili cook-off in the Multipurpose Room of the Perkins Student Center, beginning at 11:30 a.m. and running until the beginning of the program, and then continuing immediately following the program. The name comes from the fact that the event will be held on Valentine’s Day and the purpose is to bring the college community together to enjoy a warm meal on a cold, winter’s day. Both events are free and open to members of the campus community. 

The main program will begin with a scene produced by the Penn State Berks Theatre department, depicting the college’s history. Then Chancellor R. Keith Hillkirk will welcome guests, followed by brief remarks Michelle Mart, Berks Faculty Senate Chairperson; Ryan Morris, Berks Student Government President; and Nick Jones, Executive Vice President and Provost, Penn State University.

The chili cook-off will feature recipes submitted by Berks faculty and staff and prepared by Hospitality Management students. Prizes will be awarded for the judge’s choice and the people’s choice. In addition, Berks hot dogs will be available and attendees will be among the first to sample the signature dessert created for the 60th anniversary–the Berks Brownie.

Each month, Penn State Berks will host one of more special events targeted to a different audience. On March 16, Penn State President Eric J. Barron will host an economic development luncheon for invited guests at the GoggleWorks Center for the Arts, and on April 24, Penn State Berks Night at the Fightin’ Phils will be held.

Other events will include a business mixer hosted by Career Services for invited guests on May 9, Penn State Berks Family Day at Knoebels Amusement Resort on June 23, an ice cream-and-brownie social on July 9, a “College Day of Caring” in August, a tailgate event during a Penn State football away game on September 21, a Latino Forum and Reception on October 3 and 5 respectively, a campus Haunted Tour and Fall Fest on Oct. 19, a series of events celebrating international faculty (Nov. 12), students (Nov. 14), and an International Thanksgiving (Nov. 14).

The year will culminate with a 60th anniversary gala on Dec. 12, at the Berkshire Country Club, followed by the burial of a time capsule on campus at the end of the month.

For more information on the Penn State Berks 60th anniversary, visit

About Penn State Berks

Penn State Berks is an undergraduate college of The Pennsylvania State University. The campus enrolls nearly 2,900 students and offers 20 baccalaureate and 4 associate degree programs, 2 master’s degree programs, and a wide range of continuing education courses and certificates. Students also have the opportunity to complete the first two years of more than 160 Penn State degree programs, and finish their degree at another campus.

The college is located on 258 acres scenic in Spring Township, PA, and the campus includes 28 buildings with residence halls providing housing for 804 students.
Students enjoy a rich student life with a wide variety of clubs and organizations, cultural events, lectures, and many other activities. The college has 12 varsity athletic programs and competes as members of the NCAA Division III and North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC).

Penn State Berks has a long history of community outreach and service. The Center for Service Learning and Community-Based Research challenges students to become engaged citizens by connecting them through coursework with real issues facing the community. The Flemming Creativity, Entrepreneurship and Economic Development (CEED) Center and the Berks Learning Factory enable students to develop an entrepreneurial mindset and solve real-word problems, while allowing the college to deepen partnerships with businesses in the region.

The Penn State Educational Partnership Program is an early-intervention collaboration between Penn State Berks and the Reading School District, with the mission of encouraging youth to pursue their full academic potential. Penn State Berks has also partnered with the Reading School District to form a Professional Development School, a partnership in which college and school district students and faculty collaborate to enhance learning for all.

Recently Penn State Berks, in partnership with Penn State Health St. Joseph, received a $50,000 seed grant as part of the Invent Penn State initiative. The two institutions have launched a center named the Langan LaunchBox, located within Penn State Health St. Joseph’s Downtown Reading Campus. The Langan LaunchBox houses several entrepreneurial endeavors including a community health initiative titled “Be Bold…Take Charge” in which members of both institutions work with residents and non-profits to support community-based health and initiatives in the City of Reading.