First Class All The Way

I rolled into State College, PA (the home of Penn State’s primary campus, where I received my BS degree in Industrial Engineering in 1973) today. I’m staying at the Nittany Lion Inn ( for my one splurge of the trip. This place is class all the way – in fact, as I was wending my way along the halls of the third (and top) floor to get to my room, I almost felt like I was staying at the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC ( because the halls are wide enough to accommodate furniture, bookcases and lounging people. I feel like I could stay here for a month or more and just become part of the place.

Tomorrow I get a guided tour of parts of the campus. I have been visited twice in Tucson over the years by folks from the College of Engineering to thank me for my regular (smallish, but regular) donations to PSU and to the College. The second visit was this past spring, and when it came up in conversation that I was planning to visit State in the summer, the lady offered to put together an official tour – just for me. So tomorrow I get to go through the Leonhard Building (it didn’t exist when I was here as an undergrad) with an instructor and Director of Corporate Relations; the Wagner Building (it’s the ROTC building where I took AFROTC classes for four years) with a cadet and two colonels; the Alumni Center (it used to be the President’s Residence and I’ve always wanted to see the inside of it), and a general tour of the campus with two students. I also will be treated to lunch at The Allen Street Grill (, which is a classy restaurant across the street from campus.

Naturally, the Leonhard Building and the Wagner Building are on opposite sides of the campus. Although the tours are scheduled with a 30-minute gap between them, I think I may have to unload the Honda to get from one to the other in time.

I don’t know what I did to deserve this. I’ve always thought tours like this were reserved for VIPs, and I really don’t qualify for the “V”. Maybe I’m a(n) SOIP – Sort Of Important Person – or something.

On a more mundane note, I also have to do my laundry tomorrow. *sigh* Even SOIPs have to have clean clothes every now and then.

Oh, yes – I had breakfast with Fred (my college roommate and the man who married Toni and me), lunch with Stephanie (one of my former managers; she suddenly up and got married and quit Cigna Medical Group 11 years ago to move back to PA), and dinner with Bev (a college-era friend). All in all, a very good day without too much driving.

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