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PennWest Clarion and the Clarion community exist so well together that you’ll often hear the term Communiversity uttered by community and university leaders alike.

The university is the No. 1 employer in Clarion County which helps the community thrive and ensures connections with the people who call Clarion, the town, home.

But employment isn’t the only way the university invests in the region.

With the Small Business Development Center, the university plays a key role in jump-starting new businesses in the area directly influencing the local economy. In 2018, the SBDC helped to start 53 businesses. The SBDC is at home in the Carrier Hall.

In addition to these economic boons, the university’s foremost responsibility is to educate its students. Students study from more than175 academic programs and certifications.

Our students come from all walks of life from all over the United States and the far corners of the world. Here, they learn to become global citizens. But first, they do so by becoming citizens of Clarion. With theGood Neighbor Program, students learn to reduce quality of life concerns for their neighbors. Issues such as loud noise, fighting behaviors, harassment, underage drinking and drug abuse are greatly reduced with this program.

Students also become enriched in community traditions such as theAutumn Leaf Festival. In 1953, the first recognized Autumn Leaf Festival was held during the homecoming ceremonies of PennWest Clarion, then known as Clarion State College. Businesses were asked to decorate, adding a touch of color to the town.

The following year, the Clarion Chamber of Commerce decided a larger festival would attract even more people to the area. The tradition has lived on with key events throughout the nine-day festival such as the Farmers and Crafters Day and the Parade Day, which coincides with PennWest Clarion’s Homecoming weekend and football game.

Last Updated 12/21/22