Here's a trivia question.  How did Penn State Behrend get its name?  Here's the answer.  It is named after Ernst Behrend, who with his dad and brothers, founded the Hammermill Paper Company in Erie. 

Ernst's wife Mary donated their beloved estate to Penn State University in 1948, eight years after her husband died. 400 acres were donated including landmarks that became very well known to generations of students.  There's the Glenhill Farmhouse where the Behrend family lived.  There's a large barn, the carriage houses, and Mary Behrend's art studio.  All were transformed into classrooms or office space once the college opened in 1948. 

Let's not forget the Behrend family pool located beside the farmhouse.  The Behrend's loved that pool.  They relaxed there.  They entertained there. Ernst Behrend even had a tradition at the pool.  It's been written that he swam one mile in the pool every birthday. That's eighty laps!

The pool would become a popular spot for students, according to Dr. Ken Miller, Senior Director of Administration & Student Affairs at Behrend.

"It was used by generations of students throughout the years and really became a focal point,” says Dr. Miller.  

The wet fun ended in the mid-1990s. The pool was shut down after it started to deteriorate and crack.  The pool was eventually fenced-in with a tarp placed over it.  But now, a project is underway to bring this area of campus back to life.

"What we're trying to do is what the Behrend's did back in the 1930s.  Create an area that's really a gathering space, a welcoming space for all of the folks who are here,” says Dr. Miller.  

The pool area will soon be called Glenhill Garden. The pool has been filled in and will be covered with a nice artificial turf. Comfortable furniture will surround the turf.  The beautiful stonework around the pool will remain and more stonework will be added. Water will flow down over a spillway and the relaxing sound of a waterfall will be heard by all who come here.  It will be beautiful. 

"We've had some excellent folks who have been working on this project,” says Dr. Miller.   

But what about Ernst and Mary Behrend?  What would they think about their swimming pool being filled in?  What would they think about this once frolicsome space becoming a relaxing garden?  Dr. Miller believes he knows the answer.

"Their grandsons, Dick and Bill Sayre, were here in May.  They're thrilled with what we're doing.  To me, that means a lot,” says Dr. Miller.

As a tribute to Ernst Behrend, visitors to the garden can use a QR code to view old videos and photographs of his family having fun in the pool.  The garden will be completed in August, just before students return to campus.