Penn State University

GUARDING THE SHRINE

This sleek statue of a Nittany Lion was donated to PSU by the class of 1940, and was carved from a 13-ton block of Indiana limestone by Sculptor Heinze Warnecke in the summer of 1942. While it is easily one of the most photographed spots on campus,it is also the second-most photographed monument in Pennsylvania, the Liberty Bell taking first.  If you visit the statue on game day, be prepared to wait in line for your picture on the lion.

During Homecoming Week, a strict vigil is kept over the Lion Shrine. This began in 1966 when Sue Paterno (former Head Coach Joe Paterno’s wife) led the charge to paint the Lion in a bright orange latex paint in order to create excitement over the upcoming  football game against Syracuse. After that paint was easily removed, Syracuse fans later painted the lion with orange oil-based paint, causing a difficult, messy clean-up of the statue. From that point on, is was a rule that the statue be guarded during Homecoming week. Members of the Blue Band, Penn State ROTC, the Lion Ambassadors and other students, faculty and alumni all take turns around the clock to guard the statue from vandalism.

The line on game day Saturday to get a picture with the Lion!