Penn State is investigating a vandalism incident on the Nittany Lion Shrine campus, which the university closed for photography during graduation weekend.
According to a statement from the university on Sunday, someone sprayed red paint on the shrine and broke an ear. Penn State said he fenced off the area and police are investigating.
Penn State also said the Old Main Building and the Hintz Alumni Center were also vandalized. The incidents happened over the start of the weekend, when nearly 14,000 students were due to graduate from the Commonwealth campus.
“These are deeply disturbing acts, at a time when many families are being photographed and celebrating the educational achievements of their graduates,” the university said in a statement.
Nittany Lion Shrine is a popular destination for photos all year round, especially during football weekends and start-up ceremonies. It has been the subject of vandalism before. In 1978 and 1994, the sanctuary’s right ear needed to be repaired. Following the 1994 incident, Penn State ordered a cast of the shrine in case it was damaged again.
Scroll to Continue
The 1940 Penn State class donated the shrine, which sculptor Heinz Warneke made from 13 tons of heavy limestone. It represents mountain lions that lived in the region.
Penn State asks anyone with information about the incidents to contact the University Police (814-863-1111) or send a report via the Crime Reporting Website.
Saquon Barkley, Shaka Toney and Jahan Dotson lead a unique prom weekend in Penn State
Which Patrick Kraft, the new sporting director of Penn State, doesn’t want to change at Beaver Stadium
Penn State and Syracuse to rebuild their football rivalry
AllPennState is the place for Penn State news, opinions and perspectives on SI.com. Publisher Mark Wogenrich has been covering Penn State for more than 20 years, following three coaching staffs, three Big Ten titles and a catalog of great stories. Follow him on Twitter @MarkWogenrich. And consider subscribing (the button is on the home page) for more great content on SI.com.