Chris Hort

Explore Campus

Explore Campus
Explore Campus

With more than 150 degree options, the College of the Liberal Arts casts a wide physical footprint throughout Penn State University Park. Collectively, these buildings serve as proud reminders of Penn State’s past, while continuing to serve the evolving needs of the College of the Liberal Arts. In all, the college contains a dozen academic buildings, each of which has its own distinct history and character.  

Susan Welch Liberal Arts Building

The college’s first newly constructed building in more than fifty years broke ground in August 2022. The Welch Building will be an innovative hub of social science teaching, research, and outreach activity. The 143,000-square-foot building broke ground in August 2022 and will be completed in fall 2024. 

A parking lot with Ford Building in the background, taken in May 2022. This is the future site of the Welch Building. A rendering of the currently under construction Welch Building.
Students walk by the front of Burrowes Building in 1964. The main entrance to Burrowes Building in 2022

Burrowes Building

Designed by renowned architect Charles Z. Klauder and named for Penn State President Thomas H. Burrowes, Burrowes has been under the control of the College of the Liberal Arts since the early 1960s. It’s currently home to the Department of English and the School of Global Languages, Literatures, and Cultures, comprising most of the international language and literature departments: Department of Comparative Literature; Department of French and Francophone Studies; Department of Germanic and Slavic Languages and Literatures; and Department of Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese. In addition, it houses the Center for American Literary Studies and Center for Humanities and Information 

Carpenter Building

Named for C.R. Carpenter, a renowned scholar in psychology and anthropology and a pioneer in instructional television, Carpenter is the current home of the Department of Anthropology, as well as the Matson Museum of Anthropology and the Center for Human Evolution and Diversity.

The main entrance to Carpenter Building in 2022
The main entrance to Carpenter Building in 2022
Cars are parked on the street next to the south entrance of Ihlseng Cottage in 1951 The north entrance to Ihlseng Cottage in 2022

Ihlseng Cottage

Constructed in 1898, Ihlseng Cottage was initially home to Professor Magnus Ihlseng, the first dean of the School of Mines. Eventually, it became an infirmary and in subsequent years served as the English Composition Building, School of Home Economics for Home Management House, and College of Mineral Industries – Coal Technology. From 1971 to 2017, it was home to the Institute for Arts and Humanities, and currently houses the Humanities Institute 

Keller Building

Completed in 1965, Keller Building was named for J. Orvis Keller, director of General Extension from 1916 to 1953. While designed specifically for educational conferences, institutes, seminars, and workshops, it currently is home to the College of the Liberal Arts’ School of Labor and Employment Relations, the Center for Global Workers’ Rights and the Center for International Human Resource Studies.

An aerial photo of the recently completed Keller Building in 1966. Keller Building in 2022
Students walk in front of Kern Building on a snowy day in 1968. The main entrance to Kern Building in 2022

Kern Graduate Building

Constructed in 1970 and named for Frank D. Kern, dean of the University’s graduate school from 1922 to 1950, the Kern Building serves as the home of The Graduate School at Penn State, one of the largest of its kind in the nation. In addition, it houses the College of the Liberal Arts’ Department of Economics, the University Faculty Senate, and a Panera Bread. 

Moore Building

Named for Bruce V. Moore, head of the Department of Psychology from 1928 to 1952, and constructed in 1969, Moore Building is the home of the Department of Psychology and the Penn State Psychological Clinic, one of the oldest university-based clinics in the United States. It also houses the Center for Language Science and the Child Study Center 

recently completed Moore Building in 1969 The main entrance to Moore Building in 2022
Three people tend to the gardens outside Old Botany Building in 1893. The main entrance to Old Botany Building in 2022

Old Botany Building

Old Botany is the oldest building on campus whose exterior hasn’t been significantly altered since its constructionit was completed in 1888 and designated a historic landmark by the Board of Trustees in 1962. Originally home to the Department of Botany, it was the first building on the upper mall and originally included a gabled greenhouse, formal gardens, and the tree-lined Ghost walk. The building currently houses the Department of Asian Studies 

Oswald Tower

Completed in 1973 and named for John W. Oswald, Penn State’s thirteenth president, Oswald Tower is currently home to the Department of Sociology and Criminology and the Criminal Justice Research Center.  

Oswald Tower sometime after it was built in 1973 Oswald Tower in 2022
Pond Laboratory in 1917 Pond Laboratory in 2022

Pond Laboratory

Originally the Priestley Building and also known as the Pond Chemistry Laboratory, Pond Lab was designed by Charles Z. Klauder of the Day & Klauder architectural firm in the classic revival style and was completed in 1918, with several renovations through the years. Since the early 2000s, it’s been the home of the Department of Political Science. It also houses the School of Public Policy, McCourtney Institute for Democracy, George and Ann Richards Civil War Era Center, and World in Conversation

Sparks Building

The administrative home of the College of the Liberal Arts, Sparks was previously known as the Liberal Arts Building and was named for former Penn State president Edwin Erle Sparks. Designed by architect Charles Z. Klauder in the classic revival style, the original building was completed in 1916, with the north wing added in 1930 and the central wing in 1939. Sparks serves as the administrative home for the College of the Liberal Arts and houses the college’s Student Services offices. It’s also home to the African Studies program and Departments of Applied Linguistics, Communication Arts and Sciences, and Philosophy, as well as the Africana Research Center, Center for Advanced Language Proficiency Education and Research, Center for Language Acquisition, Center for Social Data Analytics, and Rock Ethics Institute 

Sparks Building on the far side of Pattee Mall with in 1942 An aerial photo of the main entrance to Sparks Building in 2022
Weaver Building in 1958 Weaver Building in 2022

Weaver Building

Completed in 1914 and originally known as the Horticultural Building, Weaver was renamed in 1954 in honor of Frederick Pattison Weaver, first department head of Penn State’s Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology. Today, it houses the Department of History, Department of Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies, Jewish Studies program, and Latina/o Studies program

Willard Building

Built in 1949 and originally known as Willard Hall, Willard was named for math professor Joseph M. Willard. One of the most used buildings on campus, it recently became the new home of the state-of-the-art Bellisario Media Center. Within the College of the Liberal Arts, it houses the Department of African American Studies and Department of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies.

The north entrance of Willard Building in 1966 The north entrance of Willard Building in 2022
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In her time at Penn State, Jordynn Cheatle has sought out experiences that have shown her the value of having difficult conversations and how to have them well.

Student startup Bindr, a dating app that provides a safe space online for bisexual individuals, won $15,000, the largest prize amount, in the 2023 Invent Penn State Inc.U Competition. The competition, part of Penn State Startup Week powered by PNC, saw six Penn State student teams pitch their startups to a panel of judges and compete for up to $30,000 in funding.

In celebration of Women’s History Month, Penn State University Libraries will host a virtual, month-long, Wikipedia editathon focusing on Native American women activists and environmentalists, from March 27 through April 18.

U.S. college students’ knowledge of bees focuses primarily on honey bees and pollination services, according to Penn State researchers, who said findings from their recent study could help in designing campaigns to generate support for protecting threatened pollinators.

Celeste Good, who graduated with a degree in women’s studies in the College of the Liberal Arts, is the recipient of the 2023 Jackson Lethbridge Tolerance Award. The award recognizes a junior, senior or graduate student for outstanding efforts to enhance the understanding of diverse cultures and create a community where all individuals are accepted and valued equally. 

Max Dean, a senior majoring in economics in the College of the Liberal Arts, and Ally Schlegel, who graduated in 2022 with a bachelor’s degree in corporate innovation and entrepreneurship from the Smeal College of Business, have been selected as the 2023 recipients of the Ernest B. McCoy Memorial Award. The Ernest B. McCoy Memorial Award annually recognizes a senior man and woman who have successful athletic participation with academic excellence. 

For the last five years, Amara Solari, professor of art history and anthropology at Penn State, has led a research team on an historical and, unexpectedly, scientific journey in the Yucatán. Working closely with colleague Linda Williams of the University of Puget Sound, she has scoured the peninsula to identify, document, interpret and analyze murals painted inside churches by Maya Christian artists more than 400 years ago, combining art history and cutting-edge materials science in the only known cohesive study of these fragile artworks.

Professor of English Hester Blum is using her experiences from her five visits to the polar regions to teach students about the human impact of the climate crisis. The course aligns with the College of the Liberal Arts’ current theme, “Moments of Change: Creating a Livable Planet.”

Penn State’s Rock Ethics Institute will kick off its 2023 Expanding Empathy Speaker Series with the first of four spring discussions on Friday, March 24.

Nasrin Sotoudeh, a lawyer and human rights activist in Iran, will receive the McCourtney Institute for Democracy’s 2023 Brown Democracy Medal.