The Pennsylvania State University (commonly referred to as Penn State or PSU) is a public, state-related research university with campuses and facilities in Pennsylvania. Founded in 1855, the university has a stated threefold mission of teaching, research, and public service. Its instructional mission includes undergraduate, graduate, professional and continuing education offered through resident instruction and online delivery. Its University Park campus, the flagship campus, lies within the Borough of State College and College Township. The Penn State Dickinson School of Law has facilities located in both Carlisle and State College and the College of Medicine is located in Hershey. Penn State has another 19 commonwealth campuses and 5 special-mission campuses located across the state.
Annual enrollment at the University Park campus totals more than 44,000 graduate and undergraduate students, making it one of the largest universities in the United States. It has the world's largest dues-paying alumni association. The university's total enrollment in 2009–10 was approximately 94,300 across its 24 campuses and online through its World Campus.
The university offers more than 160 majors among all its campuses and administers $1.83 billion (as of June 30, 2011) in endowment and similar funds. The university's research expenditures exceeded $753 million for the 2009 fiscal year and was ranked 9th among U.S. universities in research income by the National Science Foundation.
Annually, the university hosts the Penn State IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon (THON), which is the world's largest student-run philanthropy. This event is held in the Bryce Jordan Center on the University Park campus. In 2013, Thon raised a record $12.37 million dollars for pediatric cancer. The university's athletics teams compete in Division I of the NCAA and are collectively known as the Penn State Nittany Lions. They compete in the Big Ten Conference for most sports.
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