I AM…PENN STATE

For the glory of old State,

For her founders strong and great,

For the future that we wait,

Raise the song, raise the song.

Sing our love and loyalty,

Sing our hopes that bright and free

Rest, O mother dear, with thee,

All with thee, all with thee.

When we stood at childhood’s gate,

Shapeless in the hands of fate,

Thou didst mold us, dear old State,

Dear old State, dear old State.

May no act of ours bring shame,

To one heart that loves thy name.

May our lives but swell thy fame,

Dear old State, dear old State.
~Penn State University’s Alma Mater

If the allegations are true, and the evidence is certainly pointing in that direction, Jerry Sandusky did not stay true to our beloved Alma Mater and has brought horrible shame to Penn State.  Others involved in this case have also potentially brought shame to what Penn State represents.  The families and victims have suffered greatly and will continue to suffer because of the actions and inactions of many.  I hope they will be able to heal.  I hope they will be able to find peace.

I am sad.  I am hurt.  I am confused.  I am angry.  But I still am Penn State.  Penn State will always be a huge part of who I am.  Being a part of We are Penn State helped shaped me into who I am today and for that I am grateful.  Horrible as these recent allegations are, this is not Penn State.  Penn State is a top public university.  Penn State is a cornerstone of quality education and research.  Penn State makes us better people.  Penn State football is indeed a significant part of Penn State, but it is not all Penn State is or will be.  A handful of individuals who made some very bad decisions are not the full representation of Penn State.  JoePa is indeed an iconic figure of Penn State, but he alone is not Penn State.

Yet it is because Joe Paterno is an iconic figure, not only at Penn State, but nationally, that the media has sensationalized this terrible story.   I am angered and hurt by what Jerry Sandusky has allegedly done to those innocent young boys.  This story does need to be told and justice does need to be served.  However, I grow more and more concerned by how the legal system seems to be bypassed and decisions are made in the Court of Public Opinion.  Let’s keep in mind that it is Jerry Sandusky who allegedly committed these crimes.  Additionally, key personnel at Penn State have also had charges brought against them in their handling of these events.  Yet, the biggest witch trial is for Joe Paterno.  Mind you, Joe Paterno is not completely without fault here.  However, he has already been tried, convicted, and hung based mostly on speculation and what people think may have or should have occurred, but certainly not on facts.

Unfortunately, this is not an isolated incident.  Our country has been polarized because of knee jerk reactions and sensationalized journalism.  We are becoming a society that yearns for the downfall of it’s people.  How can we aspire towards greatness when we continuously seek out the negative and look for opportunities to drag people down.

Penn State helped bring out the best in people and believed in what we could offer the future.   That is why We are Penn State.  That is why I will always be Penn State.

One thought on “I AM…PENN STATE

  1. Well said, Tina. I think the blame coming from the media is totally displaced. Yes, Paterno probably ought to have pushed for more, but he’s not the pedophile. They hardly mention the alleged perpetrator at all in anything you read. That should be the primary focus. Period.

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