- University accepts invitation to join Big Ten Conference.
- President Bryce Jordan retires August 31. Joab Thomas named Penn State’s 15th President effective September 1.
- Campaign for Penn State concludes June 30 having raised $352 million.
- College of Science renamed Eberly College of Science to recognize the contributions of the Eberly Family.
- College of Business Administration renamed Smeal College of Business Administration to recognize the contributions of Mary Jean and Frank P. Smeal.
- Research Park (1st phase) begins construction. Beaver Stadium expanded by 10,300 seats.
- Heart-assist pump designated International Historic Mechanical Engineering Landmark.
- Penn State named NASA Space Grant College.
- National College Databank ranks Penn State 2nd in nation in number of undergraduate admission applications.
- John A. Brighton named Executive Vice President and Provost effective July 1. Robert Dunham named Commonwealth Education System Vice President and Dean effective October 1.
- Campaign launched to raise private funds for the Academic/Athletic Convocation and Events (Jordan) Center.
- Leonhard Center for Innovation and Enhancement of Engineering Education and Agricultural Science and Industries Building dedicated.
- Freshman retention initiative, “Be a Master Student,” touted as model program.
- International student health insurance requirement established.
- Breazeale Reactor named Nuclear Reactor Landmark by the American Nuclear Society.
- Commission for Women and President Thomas release report advocating a series of recommendations dealing with gender equity in intercollegiate athletics at Penn State.
- Alumni Association forms an alumni interest group with African/Black American alumni.
- Hershey Biomedical Facility, Mateer Building, Research Park and expanded Palmer Museum of Art dedicated.
- Million Dollar Faculty/Staff Challenge Grant issued by William & Joan Schreyer to enhance the campaign fund-raising for the University Libraries expansion is surpassed.
- NASA names France Cordova, professor and head, Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, named chief scientist.
- Tim Curley named University athletic director. Carol Herrmann named Senior Vice President for Administration.
- University and AT&T form “far-ranging” alliance to “become a leading center of telecommunications.”
- OASIS, Open Access to Student Information System, allows easier student access to class schedules, transcripts, and grades.
- Penn State Conference Center, “largest university-based conference center in the United States” dedicated. New Library addition named in honor of Sue and Joe Paterno.
- All-University conference to highlight achievements of drug and alcohol prevention.
- Committee and eligibility guidelines established for Honorary Degree awards.
- Penn State leads nation in number of alumni who donate.
- Graham B. Spanier named 16th president of University effective September 1, succeeding the retiring Joab Thomas.
- Penn State Beaver, McKeesport and New Kensington campuses entered into a new alliance – the Greater Pittsburgh Commonwealth Educational System Region for Continuing Education.
- “LionHawk” collaborative partnership between Penn State and University of Iowa “gives students with an associate degree from one institution automatic admission into the baccalaureate degree program at another.”
- GURU, General University Reference Utility, intended to be “a one-stop electronic shopping place for University employees who are trying to locate information about Penn State policies and procedures” established.
- Bryce Jordan Academic and Athletic Convocation Center dedicated. University Park airport expansion underway. HUB to stay open 24 hours a day.
- Henry McDonald, Professor of Mechanical Engineering, named head of NASA’s Ames Research Center.
- Marsh White, Penn State’s first Ph.D. recipient, turns 100.
- Garfield Thomas Water Tunnel named national historic mechanical engineering landmark by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.
- U.S. President William J. Clinton addresses Graduate School Commencement, May 10.
- State College Borough celebrates its centennial.
- Jillian Robbins opens fire near HUB killing Melanie Spalla on September 17.
- University helping to build Internet2.
- Geisinger Health System and Hershey Medical Center merge.
- Reorganization of Commonwealth Education System approved by Pennsylvania Secretary of Education.
- University’s World Campus established.
- Penn State merges with Dickinson Law School. Schreyer Honors College established.
- University Budget is now available on World Wide Web. Differential tuition plan adopted.
- Hobby-Eberly Telescope dedicated.
- Newspaper Readership program and The Forum, a weekly, student-run online news source established.
- Penn State inventions yield first $1 million year.
- James Pawelczyk, assistant professor of applied physiology, first Penn State faculty member to fly on a shuttle (Space Shuttle Columbia 17-day) mission.
- Enrollment tops 80,000 system wide.
- School of Information Sciences and Technology created.
- Penn State Erie celebrates 50th anniversary.
- Rodney Erickson appointed Executive Vice President and Provost effective July 1999.
- Teaching and Learning Consortium established.
- Partnership with Centre Area Transportation Authority to provide free campus bus service.
- Centre County and Penn State Visitor Center site dedicated.
- Shaver’s Creek Dam upgrade started.
- Preparations for Y2K, Year 2000, computer conversions undertaken.
- Electronic Theses and Dissertations program started.
- University teams up with IBM on e-business initiative.
- Hershey-Geisinger merger dissolved.
- Grand Destiny Campaign publicly kicks off with $1 billion goal in private support