University spends $800,000 on ‘Penn State Lives Here’ campaign

Penn State has spent more than $800,000 on a public relations campaign launched in October.

The Penn State Lives Here campaign, whose physical presence consists of giant blue and white banners hanging from buildings throughout campus, has tallied $811,719 so far, university spokeswoman Annemarie Mountz confirmed Thursday.

Spokeswoman Lisa Powers said the firm PulsePoint, of Austin, Texas, has been working with Penn State on the campaign.

The president of Penn State’s undergraduate student body revealed the total at a student government meeting Wednesday night, according to a news report.

The campaign made its debut with a video during halftime of the Penn State-Michigan game Oct. 12, and since then, the blue and white banners have made their way to Penn State’s campuses across the state.

The video proclaims: “Twenty-four campuses, 17,000 faculty and staff, 100,000 students, a teaching hospital that provides care to more than a million patients a year, over one-half million active alumni, an online World Campus that empowers anyone to pursue an education — anytime, anywhere — and the largest student-run philanthropic organization on the planet. That’s what makes Penn State ... Penn State. Inspiration meets perspiration ... here. Head meets heart ... here. On our campuses, across our country, around the world. Penn State lives here.”

Some segments of the Penn State community have panned the campaign, as some alumni, students and even the student newspaper have criticized it as unoriginal.