Good question! Is it the friendly people? The safety of the area? Is it because it is ranked one of the least stressful places to live in America? Or could it be the beautiful nature surrounding the campus?
Of course, all of these things are true, but the name actually comes from a specific period in time. During the economic depression of the 1930s (called the Great Depression), the area of Happy Valley was not as affected as other parts of the country because of the stability of Penn State University.
This region of Pennsylvania occupies the original homelands of the Erie, Haudenosaunee (Seneca, Cayuga, Onondaga, Oneida, Mohawk, and Tuscarora), Lenape (Delaware Nation, Delaware Tribe, Stockbridge-Munsee), Monongahela, Shawnee (Absentee, Eastern, and Oklahoma), Susquehannock, and Wahzhazhe (Osage) Nations.