We are not defined by the actions or inactions of a few members of the faculty and staff of the university, no matter how ugly the traditional media, the blogosphere, or other outlets may paint us in this time of crisis.
If you are like me, the news that’s come out of University Park over the past week has been disturbing, confusing, and frightening. The news horrifies us because it runs counter to everything we believe in about our school’s traditions and our heroes.
Lets not forget that our heroes can still be honored even if they’ve been dismissed by the Trustees. Whether you believe that Joe Paterno was rightfully or wrongfully dismissed, we all agree that he did more for the students and the university than any other person in the history of our institution. None of us can imagine Penn State without Joe and we will miss him.
I’ve been shocked to see some of the comments in the twittersphere which have called for everything from not sending kids to Penn State, to employers rejecting resumes with Penn State on them. I’m sure some people may in fact choose to take these actions. If so, this will be unfortunate.
Penn State is more than football. Penn State is more than Joe Paterno. And Penn State is damn sure more than the pedophile, Jerry Sandusky.
Penn State has produced some amazing people who have given touched our lives: Mark Parker (CEO of Nike), Rick Santorum (former US Senator), Steve McCurry (National Geographic Photographer) and Richard James (inventor of the Slinky) to name only a few.
Penn State helps mankind. Penn State students raise millions of dollars each year at THON to benefit the Four Diamonds Fund. THON is the largest student run philanthropy in the world!
Fellow Penn Staters, we have many reasons to be proud. Please don’t give up. Please wear our colors and support our school in these trying times.
We Are Penn State.