UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Penn State Intercollegiate Athletics will highlight the numerous achievements by its more than 800 student-athletes during the seventh annual STATE of Excellence week, which will take place September 5-10. The STATE of Excellence week will also recognize the department’s coaches and staff for their commitment to providing a complete student-athlete experience based on four pillars: academic, athletic, civic engagement and cultural leadership.  
The Nittany Lions will celebrate student-athlete success through events and social media posts. The week will culminate with all student-athletes who achieved a 3.0 GPA or greater in the spring 2022 semester being recognized during the Ohio football game in Beaver Stadium September 10, which kicks off at noon.

Penn State has one of the nation’s most comprehensive and successful athletic programs, featuring 800 student-athletes across 31 varsity programs (16 men’s, 15 women’s). The Nittany Lions’ 31 programs are tied for the fourth-highest number of sports sponsored by a Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) institution.


Nittany Lion students have posted an NCAA Graduation Success Rate (GSR) of program-record 92 percent in the most recent report. Ten teams earned a 100 percent graduation rate in the 2021 NCAA Graduation Rates Report. A total of 18 Penn State squads have a GSR of 90% or higher. The Nittany Lions rank No. 4 among all Division I schools with 218 CoSIDA Academic All-Americans all-time.


Penn State student-athletes have led the athletic department to 47 Big Ten championships and nine NCAA National Championships since October 2013. Penn State is one of only five schools that have won at least 10 NCAA Championships since 2012 and earned at least a 90 percent Graduation Success Rate in the 2021 NCAA report (Stanford, Florida, USC, Virginia).


Penn State has won 79 team national championships all-time, including a Big Ten-best nine NCAA titles since the 2013 fall semester. The Nittany Lions have won 51 NCAA Championships all-time to rank No. 5 nationally. Penn State leads all schools east of the Mississippi River in NCAA titles. Penn State student-athletes have won 177 NCAA individual championships in 11 different sports.


The Nittany Lions have won 303 conference championships (209 regular season; 94 conference tournaments) since 1941-42. Nittany Lion student-athletes have won 364 Big Ten individual championships and 35 relays in 10 different sports since 1991-92.

STATE of Excellence Week (September 5-10)

Tuesday, September 6 – Academic Achievement

Penn State student-athletes’ commitment to academic excellence and the support provided by

The Morgan Academic Center and ICA staff, faculty, fans and donors will be recognized across social media on team accounts.


The 2021-22 academic year saw student-athletes continue to show their prowess in the classroom with the following results:

  • 26 teams with a 3.0 GPA for the 2021-22 academic year;
  • 157 Big Ten Distinguished Scholars (3.7 GPA in academic year)
  • 22 students with a perfect 4.0 GPA
  • 478 Academic All-Big Ten selections (3.0 GPA);
  • 7 CoSIDA Academic All-Americans
  • 35.5% of student-athletes earned Dean’s List recognition (3.5 GPA with 12+ credits) in spring 2021 semester
  • 68% of student-athletes had a 3.0 or better in the spring 2021 semester.

Wednesday, September 7 – Athletic Excellence
Conference and National Champions will be honored on Penn State’s social channels and on the video board at halftime of the football game on Sept. 10 vs. Ohio. 
The National Champions: Chase Clingman (men’s gymnastics), Roman Bravo-Young (wrestling), Nick Lee (wrestling), Carter Starocci (wrestling), Aaron Brooks (wrestling), and Max Dean (wrestling), along with the entire Penn State wrestling program, will be honored on the field during the football game on Oct. 1.
Thursday, September 8 – Cultural Leadership 
Penn State Coaches Show featuring James Franklin at the Field Burger and Tap: Christina Diaz, Assistant Athletic Director for Development & Enrichment will join Steve Jones on the Penn State Coaches Show presented by Pepsi to discuss the cultural leadership of Nittany Lion student-athletes.
Friday, September 9 – Civic Engagement
Let’s Go State podcast: Student athletes across several sports including women’s gymnastics, women’s basketball, and men’s and women’s lacrosse will join Brian Tripp on the Let’s Go State podcast to discuss civic engagement.

Saturday, September 10

The student-athletes with GPAs of 3.0 or higher from the 2022 spring semester will be recognized at halftime of the Penn State-Ohio football game.


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Seventh Annual STATE of Excellence Week Celebrates Student-Athlete Achievement

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