State College is a home rule municipality in Centre County in the State of Pennsylvania. It is the principal borough of the State College, Pennsylvania Metropolitan Statistical Area which encompasses all of Centre County. As of the 2010 census, the borough population was 42,034, and approximately 105,000 lived in the borough plus the surrounding townships often referred to locally as the "Centre Region." Many of these Centre Region communities also carry a "State College, PA" address although are not specifically part of the borough of State College.
The community is a college town, dominated economically and demographically by the presence of the University Park campus of the Pennsylvania State University (Penn State). "Happy Valley" is another often-used term to refer to the State College area, including the borough and the townships of College, Harris, Patton, and Ferguson.
In 2010, State College was ranked as the third-safest metropolitan area in the United States by the CQ Press. In 2013, it was ranked third best college town in the United States by the American Institute for Economic Research.
State College evolved from a village to a town in order to serve the needs of the Pennsylvania State College, founded as the Farmers' High School of Pennsylvania in 1855. State College was incorporated as a borough on August 29, 1896 and has grown with the college, which was renamed The Pennsylvania State University in 1953.
In 1973 State College adopted a home rule charter which took effect in 1976; since that time, it has not been governed by the state's Borough Code, although it retains "Borough of State College" as its official name.
The university has a post office address of University Park, Pennsylvania. When Penn State changed its name from College to University in 1953, its president, Milton S. Eisenhower, sought to persuade the town to change its name as well. A referendum failed to yield a majority for any of the choices for a new name, and so the town remains State College. After this, Penn State requested a new name for its on-campus post office in the HUB–Robeson Center from the U.S. Post Office Department. The post office, which has since moved across an alley to the McAllister Building, is the official home of ZIP code 16802 (University Park).
http://web.archive.org/web/20060916165720/http://www.altoona.com/community/history/ State College History