In 1855, the Pennsylvania Legislature chartered a new institution in the Commonwealth to be known as Farmers’ High School (FHS). Four years later, in 1859, a class of sixty-nine students entered the portals of FHS, totally unaware that one day their school would be the largest educational institution of its kind in the state. During more than a century of evolution, Farmers’ High School became the Agriculture College of Pennsylvania; then the Pennsylvania State College; and finally in 1953, The Pennsylvania State University.
The University today is the twelfth largest in the United States with a University Park campus enrollment of more than 45,000 and another 26,000 at twenty Commonwealth College Campuses and other locations. Penn State's online World Campus graduated its first students in 2000 and now enrolls more than 15,000.