Thoughts and Moving Forward at Penn State

Thursday, July 19th, 2012

258 days ago, I couldn’t have possibly been prouder of my university and more enthusiastic about what the future had in store.  The 2012 THON fundraising season had begun with the promise of another record-breaking total, and the university continued to receive national accolades for academic success.  There was much hype surrounding Pat Chambers and the future of Penn State Basketball, the Penn State Women’s Volleyball and Wrestling seasons were underway with the promise of possible national championships, our iconic and legendary football coach Joe Paterno had just eclipsed a once-in-a-lifetime milestone by winning his 409th (and unbeknownst to us, his final) game after an electrifying play as the clock hit 0:00.  Penn State stood along with Boston College, Northwestern, and Stanford as the only four institutions from the six major BCS conferences without a major NCAA infraction, and the motto “Success With Honor” was ingrained into the heart and soul of every student lucky enough to have been sent an acceptance letter.  It would be baseless to say that the pride that every student, alumni, and fan had for Penn State at that time transcended that of any other university in the world, but, with as much that we had to be proud of, it was unique.  It was the very pride we had in all that was good that strengthened the bonds of our love for our school and our tight-knit sense of community.  257days ago, akin to a tiny ball of snow starting it’s destructive roll from a high mountaintop, our will, our pride, our heroes, and most of all, the school that we loved so dearly perilously stood in the path of something far greater than we could have ever perceived.

I have been mum on the subject mostly because I felt that it wasn’t my place to pass judgment, make rash comments, or knee-jerk reactions to the seemingly endless barrage of damning news and events that have occurred over the past 36 weeks… from the indictment of Sandusky himself, our athletic director, the ex-overseer of University Police, to the horrific stories of terrible acts that took place in the Lasch Building (which is less than two tenths of a mile from the apartment building that I live in on campus), to the firing and death of a man that we had all looked up to so much.  All of this of course in addition to the stress of my own position of leadership, mounting student loans, and upper level academic courses.  Duplicate my own situation forty-thousand times over and you’ve got an accurate picture of the University Park campus over the past eight months.  As I have digested the most recent developments, and more specifically, the overreactions and overgeneralizations, I felt it was only appropriate to speak up on the behalf of so many people being cast in an unfair light due to circumstances that were never in their control to begin with.

I am not going to defend Joe Paterno. At the same time, I am not going to say that he was a rotten to the core as a human being either.  I’m going to let time determine how I’m going to remember Joe.  As for the present moment, I can speak for most of the Penn State community when I say that I’m extremely let down.  It is not my fault, nor is it anyone else’s that we all looked up to Joe Paterno for decades as a symbol of unequivocal generosity, leadership, and success.  If everything in the Freeh Report is legitimate (which is in serious question at the moment), then we have been all duped, and duped well.  As much as the rest of the country is riled up and furious about this, we are equally so.  It’s a life lesson we’re all learning together that, as the old saying goes, we should  “never judge a book by its cover.”  Although we may have been let down, we can’t forget what “The Paterno Way” stood for when it was still pristine in the eyes of the world – excellence in the classroom, honorable ethics, and a simplistic, selfless, and all-business approach to being successful at the task at hand.  We don’t need Joe Paterno to exemplify those ideals – we are perfectly capable of exemplifying them ourselves.  I hope those principles continue to live on as fundamental Penn State ideals.

There is one thing I am certain about – one unmistakable fact of this entire scandal that most people outside of Centre Country, Pennsylvania come up way short on.  I personally did not cover up, condone, approve, and allow Jerry Sandusky’s actions to happen.  Neither did any other student at the university, neither did any professor, and neither did any fan of Penn State.  It’s unfortunate enough that the lives of at least ten children were tarnished in an unfathomable way. What I can’t understand is why the media and the rest of the world are trying to pull the students of the university under the bus is beyond me.  It’s irrational.  The scandal has not only brought out the worst in our university, but it seems to have brought out the worst in humanity.  I’ve seen the comments on Yahoo!, CNN, Fox News, you name it… they range from “Hold a raffle and the winner gets to blow JoePa up with some C4. Then give the money to the victims”, to “Penn State is an institution of higher education as much as scientology a religion”, to “Penn State is a cult, and JoePa is their god”.  They get even more senseless and uneducated as they go.  It amazes me how outspoken and brash people are when behind the comfortable shield of their computer screen, and it’s equally as amazing that people will believe everything as it is portrayed – perhaps the more prevalent theme since November 4, 2011.  Go ahead, poll the country – I’m willing to bet that a significant amount of people honestly believe that Joe Paterno abused children.  Did the man make mistakes?  Absolutely.  But did he ever intentionally and personally abuse a child?  Absolutely not.  It’s outrageous, and signifies a massive failure in journalism, and in society.  It would take an equal time to post an insensitive and incompetent comment on a news article as it would to go online and donate to a charity that supports abused children.  It will be a much better world if someday people could channel their anger into a means of something positive.

So, I say to those who believe that Penn State “should burn to the ground”, as one person so politely put it – what do you have to say to the student-run organizations who work year-round for charities, foundations, and organizations that benefit children?  There’s THON for starters, the world’s largest student-run philanthropy that raised $10.5 million last year alone to fight pediatric cancer. That same Penn State football team that people want to unrightfully punish with the NCAA’s “death penalty” – they raised over $110,000 for Uplifting Athletes just last weekend.  What do you have to say to all of the good-natured and kind-hearted young adults who chose Penn State University for an opportunity to get world-class education, become leaders, and make a difference in the world?  What do you have to say to those who still live by “Success With Honor”?  Does the rest of the country honestly expect us to shrug our shoulders, pack our suitcases, fill out our applications to transfer elsewhere, accept defeat due to our defunct leaders, and then close up shop?  Where do we go from here?

A good friend of mine works in Old Main.  I have seen and heard first-hand through her the accounts of the toll and great strain this episode has had on many people, particularly the people who have been left to pick up the pieces and clean up the mess that others have made.  They’re the ones who have to make all of the decisions from here forward, for better or for worse.  While we’re all super critical of every decision and statement that they make, can anyone really envy the situation they’re in?  After the fallout from the Freeh report, I had the chance to speak with my friend in-person about it.  She said one simple thing, the same thing she had said to some trustees, other employees, and any others concerned with the future of Penn State.  She said: “Our students will be the ones to bring us out of this.”  It brings to mind a recent series of TV and print advertisements for the university with the seemingly ever-present logo with “It’s Your Time” encased in a circle. Well, it really is our time now.  While we don’t have the individual power to make the big decisions, or undo what has been done, we do have the power to be heard and do great things.  We have the chance to go out into the world and dedicate our lives to making a good name for our university.  We have bright students in every field, and the more of us that step up to the plate and swing for the fences, the more that the world is going to see the real Penn State.  We now have the responsibility to become proponents for good, to be responsible future leaders and citizens, to resist corruption and the lure of personal gain at the expense of others.  Come what may – whether sanctions or penalties are brought upon us, we have the responsibility to excel, now more than ever, because the spotlight is brightly shining on us – the first proponents of this new era in our school’s rich history.  There is no margin for error.

Regardless, I still believe in all of the good that exists at Penn State.

I’ll look no further than to consult our Alma Mater.

I still believe in the glory of Dear Old State. I still believe our founders were strong and great.  I’ll still raise the song and sing my love, loyalty, and hopes, bright and free.  No act of mine will ever bring shame, and I will continue to swell thy fame.

By: Ian Kenney Penn State Music Education (B.M.E) ’13; Drum Major, Penn State Blue Band (2010-2012)

The opinions expressed are my own and are not to be affiliated with Penn State Blue Band, the Drum Major position, staff, or the student membership of the organization.


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38 Responses to Thoughts and Moving Forward at Penn State

  1. Michelle says:

    Ian…as a mother of an incoming freshmen thank you. You put into words what I have been feeling and didn’t know how to express myself. It is so reassuring to read so many positive post. I do believe the students will rise above and I’m so proud that my son will be one of those students.
    Go PSU!!!

  2. Dana Mansell says:

    Well said, Ian. Thank you! We are…

  3. Jeni says:

    Fifty years ago when I graduated from high school, my dream was to go to college and the place I wanted to go to school was Penn State. Thirty two years later, in 1994, I graduated from Penn State. I was proud of this university long before I became a student there; I was proud of this wonderful school the day I walked across that stage and received my degree and 18 years since that day, I am still proud to say I am a Penn State graduate. But boy, the past 8 months have left me torn, angry, depressed -you name it -as this story spilled out in the media and we learned that people we had loved, honored, respected were being accused of these atrocities. Through all of this horrible mess, I have kept my feelings about the university and my belief in the quality and caliber of the education I received as being first rate but still the confusion in my mind was there because of the so frequent attacks on my Alma Mater. After reading your essay today Ian, as well as the words from the Ohio State writer, my mind and heart are resting much easier now. The sanctions are what they are -punishment for a deed heretofore not done by the Alumni, nor the current students or the athletes either but we’ve all been painted as being “guilty as charged.” But I do believe a school as excellent as Penn State is will respond and return to the front -where it belongs -with the recognition of the academic programs available here. I am, always have been, a firm believer (and chanter too) in the words, “WE ARE! PENN STATE!” and my voice is now feeling stronger too now when I think that and say those words. We, the Alumni, current students and future students alike, can unite in to prove the excellence that abides within this great place of learning.

  4. Shannon says:

    Absolutely beautiful. Thank you, from ‘just’ a fan.

  5. Dan says:

    I love the article. As someone who has nothing to do with PSU, it is refreshing to hear such rational thoughts from a Penn Stater. I have one question- what say you to the hundreds of PSU students who verbally attacked the Nittanyville leadership over their decision to change their organization’s name?

    I hate to be the one to bring this up because your point about the media and the terrible way they paint your entire campus in one broad stroke is quite valid, but don’t you think at least some of that is because of the way SOME students have reacted?

  6. Gerry Ward says:

    Ian, you are the man. Well said! Just a quick story for you. This summer I had the pleasure of visiting Rome, IT, and outside the Pantheon, while I was wearing my PSU hat, a young girl smiled at me, and she and her family came up to say hello. It seems she is a rising freshman, and she was thrilled beyond description to be heading to Happy Valley for the first time in a little more than a month. No discussion of scandals, coverages, etc. I told her — “It’s a very special place, you’ll love it”.

    So the healing has begun. You students really do hold the key. Go about your business with honor, and the rational world will continue to support you. The haters are maddening, and you understand well what they are all about.

    Penn State is more than just a world class university. It is indeed a very special place. It is students like you who make we alumni proud every day. We Are…

  7. THEOhioStateU says:

    As a graduate of The Ohio State University, I never thought that I would be writing about anything that related to Penn State. But, I can no longer take the ignorance and lynch mob mentality of many of the media outlets, as well as the general populace.

    It has always amazed me that we (readers and listeners of mass media) have become so lazy that we swallow every morsel of so called news as gospel. Lest we forget that the media must sell their wares in order to remain in business. With the advent of ever evolving technology that task has become increasing more difficult. As a result, the media too have evolved.

    What used to be a respected profession, where journalistic integrity and the reporting of the facts were not only the norm, but were sacred and guarded, has now become a mission to remain relevant and profitable. Their integrity and reporting of the facts have often taken a back seat to the sensationalizing of some facet of the news.
    It’s no longer good enough to simply report the facts and allow the readers or listeners to form their own judgment or opinion. Many articles today are merely watered down editorials with morsels of the truth thrown in so one could call it a news article.

    I believe that the media are the most powerful people in the world. We have been led to believe, in fact brain washed in a sense, to accept the words of the media as an unbiased and fair representation of the facts. The Sandusky Sex Scandal, or as it’s better know the Penn State Sex Scandal… because the word “Sandusky” won’t sell as many papers or TV ads as “Penn State”, is a prime example of the media gone wrong.

    I continue to be amazed by the irrational comments from generally intelligent people. Their naive acceptance of the media’s portrayal of the students/athletes, as well as Joe Paterno and other officials at Penn State is very bothersome to me and it should be to you.

    For those of us who have actually read Louis Freeh’s report (which is the most comprehensive study about the Sandusky Sex Scandal) with an open mind, it must make you wonder about a number of things. One of the most basic tenets of the entire document has been largely ignored by media. The report clearly states that in 1998 an investigation took place regarding Sandusky and alleged misconduct with young boys. The District Attorney along with the police department and several state organizations conducted numerous interviews. School officials, parents and alleged victims were all questioned. The investigation was closed and no charges were filed. Sandusky should have been stopped in 1998. He wasn’t.

    The report went on to say that law enforcement and child welfare officials were ill equipped and not sufficiently trained to adequately recognize and handle adolescent sexual abuse. What? Why isn’t that the headline? Apparently, that won’t sell as many ads or newspapers.
    That one sentence shines a whole new light on this entire tragedy. If the professionals who are hired to serve and protect didn’t have the proper knowledge, training and education as it pertained to adolescent abuse, what makes everyone think that a football coach or academic officials should?

    However, not one media outlet picked up on that and reported the finding. Apparently, it wasn’t sensational enough. In 2001, having been through a Sandusky investigation just three years prior, Joe Paterno reported yet another incident to school officials. Knowing the result of the 1998 investigation, one might understand (not condone, but understand) why, after the initial report was filed, there was limited follow up on the part of Joe Paterno.

    There’s no doubt that Paterno and school officials made some horrendous decisions. But, so did the law enforcement personnel and state agencies who were supposed to be knowledgeable about pedophiles and their characteristics.

    I question why the media and many of you are holding a football coach and an administration to a higher standard than law enforcement and agencies whose job it is to protect all of us? Would you hold Child Protective Services, State Police or the District Attorney responsible if the Nittany Lions lost a football game? Of course not. It’s irrational and idiotic. I’m not downplaying the acts of Sandusky. They were horrific!

    Further, I’m not defending anyone, but simply pointing out the fact that the mob is trying to condemn Penn State’s current students, athletes and officials for grievous acts committed 12 or 14 years ago. For the most part, today’s student body at Penn State were just getting out of diapers when these acts occurred. How is it rational or just for them to be punished?

    One final thought. During the same time frame of 12 to 14 years, the students at Penn State have raised and donated nearly $100 million dollars for research and a cure for pediatric cancer. Thousands of young lives have been saved or made better because of the students at Penn State. Let’s stop casting aspersions and not forget all of the good they have done.

    So, before you jump on the band wagon, perhaps you should know the facts and not just what the media want you to believe.

    I’m proud to be a Buckeye, but feel very sad for the victims, students and everyone who calls Happy Valley home.

    • Ken says:

      Thank you for taking the time and effort to write these words of support and encouragement. Your comments on this issue are some of of the most intelligent and insightful that I have read to date. If there were more people like you making this point the frenzy being directed at those who deserve less (not none) of the vile would be guided to the proper location. There clearly was failure by those who should have known better. Sandusky should have been stopped in 98.
      Thank you again for the honest opinions and for having a good soul to match.

    • Joy Kenney says:

      Thank you,TheOhioState,for putting my own thoughts here in response to my wonderful son’s blog. I have been proud of him for being a student leader, proud of the job he has done as Drum Major and a member of the best marching band in the country (sorry Ohio State band), and as a future music educator. I have to admit being caught up in the rivalry between our two schools, but from now on, I will know there are good feelings from “the next state west” towards our students. If only there were more people who want to get at the “real” truth than the haters who want our great University to just go away. We will not go away. We will continue to be THON, FTK. We will continue to do our best to be leaders against child abuse. We will come back stronger in the years ahead, and prove to the world that WE ARE, STILL, Proud to be PENN STATE.

    • Jenn says:

      I just want to thank you very much for your truthful words! I am so glad someone else sees the truth and its not just us “brain-washed joepa” fans. I can’t thank you enough for your honest opinion! Thank you, Ian for being a leader and saying what a lot of us other fellow Penn Staters feel, but just can’t put our feelings into words… Much appreciated!

    • Laura Smith says:

      You hit the nail on the head!

      I have been trying to get this same message across, but you said it better than I could! I wasn’t living in Happy Valley when this happened, but I live here now. I am NOT a PSU grad but I am devastated on how the tentacles of this atrocity will continue to have on my community in the aftermath.

      This is not a football problem, it has nothing to do with wins, nor the quality of education, but plan and simple failure of leadership with in the college.

      Thank you for have the courage and the talent to get these points across.

    • lpadmin says:

      I would absolutely love to post your comment as part of our blog. During all of the media craziness, you serve as a voice of reason. Would I have your permission to do this? I would love to share your message with more people. I won’t use your name unless you want me to. Please let me know your thoughts!

      Danielle (LP Blog Admin)

  8. Dave Bucher "83" says:

    Well said!

  9. diane says:

    As a 1974 graduate of PSU, I am still so proud to be a Penn Stater. We will weather this storm and come out the other side better and stronger. We are and always will be..Penn State! Great job Ian!

  10. Courtney says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you, Ian. It’s students like you that make me proud to be a Penn Stater. I feel more hopeful and peaceful than I have in months after reading this. You’re right- we now, more than ever, have a responsibility to excel and to do good. We will always be Penn State proud!

  11. DS says:

    Individuality means not letting some group define who you are. When will people learn this? Define yourself and others by their actions, not because of heritage or the college they attended.

  12. Paul says:

    Ian, thank you! I am a 1980 Penn State grad and the father of two Penn Staters. The positive impact of Penn State upon my life is unmeasureable. Your words both acknowledge the terrible acts that happened unknownown to us, but the underpinning spirit that is unique to Penn State. Thanks again!

  13. Nikki S says:

    as a proud alumnus of PSU, i want to thank you so much for putting into words what i have been feeling for the past 8 months. WE ARE. <3

  14. Amy Hegel says:

    I also crying reading all the comments! As a parent of a junior and freshman, I am sad for all the students have gone through, but so deeply proud that they are part of this community.

  15. Christieann M says:

    Fight on State…Fight on State is the moto we now live by…well said!

  16. Graduate of 87 says:

    One by one the positive and supportive comments and articles, like yours, are coming out. I agree with all that you and your supporters listed above have said. I am married to a Penn Stater with Penn State parents and siblings on both sides and like everyone else we have been shaken to our cores. I truly believe that you and so many others are right when you say we will come out of this, we will be stronger and even more united…if that is at all possible. We know what we have and it can’t be torn apart as long as we believe that WE ARE…..
    Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

  17. annette, '91 says:

    Very good! I cried.

  18. Rosemarie Kovalsky says:

    Thanks for this… daughter is going into her Sophomore year and it breaks my heart that she will have the memory of going to college during this terrible time. She was very involved in THON. She was on the Morale committee. She loved her Freshman year and I lived vicariously through her college experiences good and bad. I think I’ve cried a whole lot more then her with all of this sadness going on. I’ve had fights with friends who have strong opinions regarding the whole mess……It’s been harder on me then her….Gosh I just hope some things settle down soon……I’m emotionally exhausted….

    • Amy Hegel says:

      Rosemarie, I could have written every word in your comment(except my daughter is a junior). Wonderful article. Thank you Ian.

      • Kim says:

        Thanks Ian… this article is exactly what I needed to hear! Amy, my daughter is also going to be a junior. I try to be strong for her, but I cry all the time for all of the people who had nothing to do with any of this. I can’t help thinking about the victims and their families… the things they are dealing with… watching the entire country rip apart the town they live in… the place they call home.

    • Kathleen McB says:

      Rosemarie, your thoughts are close to mine as well. My daughter just graduated 2 months ago, with a double major – one of which was Advertising/Public Relations. She was in her last semester, and after all the disgraceful media behavior, she wanted to change majors!! She has been terribly impacted and this article seems to reflect so many of the emotions she has felt. It has been extremely personal for her. She has said, “Penn State is not my school; it’s my identity.” She has stayed strong though, and has learned so much from all that has occurred.

      My older son is going into his junior year at Penn State, and is a very different person from my daughter, but this has been an extremely difficult experience for him as well. Last week, just before the sanctions came out, my younger son and I were on campus for “Spend a Summer Day”. We made it a point to drive by the statue. I asked him if we should get the death penalty, would he still feel so strongly about wanting to go to Penn State. His reply almost made me cry – “Absolutely, as long as they don’t take THON away.” That’s what non-Penn Staters don’t get. D1 Football and all that goes with it is an exciting part of the Penn State experience, but it’s only A PART of the experience. There is so much more that makes it such a special place, and those who haven’t experienced it can’t begin to understand.

      I am proud to be a parent of Penn State students, and absolutely consider myself a Penn Stater. I have cried with and without my kids. This entire situation is so tragic on so many levels, but I am confident that the students will stand strong. I know so many current students, and while they are all horrified at the events that took place, they are determined to make a difference in the world, and are even stronger now in their love and pride of their university community. We hear over and over again that the focus should be on the victims. The students have already done that. Thousands of students attended the candlelight vigil, students organized a blue out in support of victims at that first football game (and are trying to make it an annual event), students and alumni banned together to raise over half a million dollars to benefit children of sexual abuse – They have already demonstrated that they, as the Penn State community, have a lot to be proud of.

      Ian, this was a fantastic article. Thank you so much!

  19. maria walter says:

    I can echo Jeff Christian’s comment… tears. Thank you so much for this!

  20. Lynne Klock says:

    Well said Ian and a big thank you. As alumni (Class of 1988) I needed to hear this, especially these few days. Penn State was and is more than football and always was. As a mother who has a son at Penn State and another son who will be starting in the fall, it’s messages like yours that give them the willingness to go and change the world in a positive way. Thanks for sharing and thanks for the words of encouragement.

  21. Cindy Stemple says:

    Ian, Thank you for expressing so eloquently what thousands maybe millions of us are feeling. I am an alum along with my daughters, sister, and my late father and you are correct, the students will be the ones who bring us through this unimaginable time. I love Penn State and will forever be thankful for what the university has done for my family members and myself. I don’t understand why the general public can’t separate the perpetrators from all of those who attempt to live our best lives everyday. Maybe it’s just easier to blame everyone. I wish those who spew hatred could read your blog and attempt to understand what most of us are feeling.Thank you again and best of luck going forward. We’re counting on you.

  22. Christine Jaep says:

    Thank you, Ian. I have been steadfast in my support of not only my beloved alma mater, but the current student body as well. As difficult as it has been to defend Penn State from all the hatred and ignorance, no doubt, you, the students, have had it the worst. You have my support and my pledge to continue to defend the honor of our school for Penn State, its accomplishments, contributions to the world, its students and their excellence shall always be greater that this tragedy.

  23. Dr. David L. Hermann (PSU 2011) says:

    Dear Ian,
    I attended graduate school at PSU in 2 separate doctoral and a certification program off and on for almost 2 decades. I cannot easily put into words how proud I was this past December to have completed my Doctorate in Educational Leadership. As a long time school psychologist and educator I have gladly endured the legal scrutiny (finger printing and criminal record checks) which allows me to work with children. In the same way I have always been aware of my responsibilities as a mandated reporter; and the potential legal consequences for failing in these duties. I just want to say thank you for your thoughtful reflections. As a long time Penn Stater I was shaken to the core as this horrific tragedy unfolded. I remember telling my wife (also a Penn Stater) when the scope of the abuse was becoming clear that the place where we met and fell in love was going to be pilloried (both justly and unjustly). As you eloquently noted, both have occurred; and in far greater degrees than even I imagined. I am sorry to say that I stopped wearing anything that would have identified my affiliation with a university system for which I felt both love and shame. Your words reminded me that I should still be a proud Penn Stater. We will not be burned to the ground, for that will just let the evil that transpired there be granted an indelible infamy. The current students and alumni will move the university forward to help the victims of these crimes and (it is my deepest hope) to become a beacon of hope and training to assist the countless other ones across the commonwealth. We are Penn State…that beautiful call that causes my pulse to quicken could the rallying call for these efforts. As you beautifully noted…”There is no margin for error.” Again, thank-you and best wishes.

  24. Carol Curley says:

    Thank you thank you thank you. Very well said. As the mother of a sophomore at Penn State, I have always believed that indeed the students at Penn State will be the ones who rise above the negitive and go on to change the world. WE ARE…

  25. Tracey says:

    Ian, Thank You so much for that heartfelt writing! I myself am not a PSU graduate but I am a supporter of the University not only with donations but with my heart! It was JoePa who sucked me into the University & it’s outstanding football weekends but it was the University & it’s “family” that grabbed my heart! I was and am continually amazed at all the GREAT THINGS this scool continues to accomplish and how everyone supports each other through good times & bad! You are another example of how no matter what is being thrown at you, the message of Success With Honor strives to make you a better person and rise above the negativity! We must all do the same…keep pushing forward no matter what odds are against us! Fight On For Old State! WE ARE….PENN STATE!

  26. Class of 99 Grad says:

    Thank you, Ian.

  27. Tom Bair says:

    …just think…the words of a College student being so much more poignant…then the rants of The NY Times , Wall Street Journal , ESPN , The New Yorker and other “established” press…

    Well done Ian…

  28. Greg Wagner says:

    Ian…I am not a graduate of PSU. I am however a lifelong supporter of the entire university. Like yourself and so many others I have struggled to come to terms with everything that has happened in the past several months. So much hatred has been spat by people who have no idea what they are talking about and ignorance has run wild. I applaud you and your vision for the student population at Penn State. Please know that you and the student body have the support of all true Penn Staters, alumni or not, and together we will see PSU through this horrid time. Stay true to yourself and continue to lead others who may not have the strength to stand on their own. God Bless!

  29. Jeff Christian says:

    As a 1987 grad, I had a hard time reading the last sentences of this column through the tears in my eyes.

    Thank you, Ian, for summing up so perfectly how tens of thousands of us are feeling.

    WE ARE…

  30. Ismael Jusino says:

    I graduated from Penn Sate in 1988. I went on to become a lawyer, real estate agent, husband, father of 3, member and director of many organizations, little league coach, etc. I consider myself a good citizen, a law abiding one, and most of all, a great person…and yes, After my parents and family, the place I grew up in an my school years, I consider Penn State responsible of me being who I am..there is good in all of us, there is good in Pen State… GO PSU!!!!

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