- New library building occupied; named for Fred Lewis Pattee in 1950.
- Land-grant mural in Old Main started by Henry Varnum Poor; class of 1932 gift; completed in 1949 with later gifts.
- Ellen H. Richards Institute established for textile research with Dr. Pauline Beery Mack as director.
- Student newspaper became The Daily Collegian.
- Bureau of Business Research established; Dr. Carl W. Hasek, first director.
- Accelerated trimester calendar adopted for World War II emergency; discontinued in 1946.
- Nittany Lion shrine dedicated as gift of class of 1940; sculpture by Heinze Warneke accepted by University as first tangible representation of mountain lion symbol.
- ESMWT (Engineering, Science, Management War Training) program of extension services begun; among largest in United States.
- Ordnance Research Laboratory transferred to campus by U.S. Navy Department from Harvard; Dr. Eric A. Walker, first director. Renamed Applied Research Lab, 1973.
- Freshmen "farmed out" to 22 Pennsylvania cooperating colleges to admit veterans on campus under G. I. Education Act.
- Allentown and Wilkes-Barre undergraduate centers started.
- Labor education program in Extension Services begun; Professor Anthony Luchek, first director.
- James Milholland, president of Board of Trustees, named acting president; served until 1950.
- McKeesport and Erie (Behrend) undergraduate centers opened.
- Ionosphere Research Laboratory established in Electrical Engineering Department.
- Water Tunnel building completed as Ordnance Research Laboratory facility. Named for Garfield Thomas, Jr., '38.
- York undergraduate center established.