- "Old Main" rebuilt; opened at 75th anniversary celebration in October during Alumni Homecoming.
- Mineral Industries Art Gallery collection begun; formally opened 1942.
- Mont Alto forestry school acquired from state for freshman year instruction.
- School of Physical Education and Athletics established; Hugo Bezdek, first dean.
- Nittany Lion Inn opened.
- Graduate degrees (master's and doctoral) in education authorized.
- First permanent undergraduate centers opened in Pottsville and Hazleton, providing first two years of college in a community without dormitory expense; beginning of the Commonwealth Campus system.
- Institute of Local Government organized, first of its kind in United States; Professor Harold F. Alderfer, first director; replaced by Institute of Public Administration, 1959, with Professor John H. Ferguson as director.
- DuBois undergraduate center established.
- Dramatics Division approved; Arthur C. Cloetingh, first director.
- Phi Beta Kappa chapter chartered.
- $5 million building program launched with first General State Authority funds; eleven buildings constructed.
- Residence hall construction on self-amortizing basis begun with Frances Atherton Hall for women.
- Institute of Public Safety for driver training organized by Professor Amos E. Neyhart; first in United States.
- Altoona undergraduate center opened.