PennStateHoops.com Discussion Forum

I am.... Penn State


#1

I went to Penn State from 1985-1989. During my time at Penn State, I grew and changed more than at any time in my life. When I entered Penn State, I was a skinny, nerdy, awkward teenager who was trying waaaay too hard to fit in. Basically, I was the king of the geeks from Sixteen Candles.

My first few years, I did everything I could to try to fit in. I joined a fraternity. I went to parties. I tailgated and followed the football team. But I also studied hard. I started working in a biochemistry lab doing research as a freshman. I also got involved in the outing club and became a serious rock climber.

By the time I was a senior, I had left the fraternity. I had a great core group of friends that I had developed through the outdoor club, and with whom I still stay in touch. A professor who took me in as a freshman helped me figure out that I wanted to go into research and pursue a PhD. Another professor taught me neuroscience and shared some of his stories of mountaineering around the world. I grew comfortable in my skin and stopped trying to fit in where I really didn’t.

I had a world-class education. I went to Cornell for grad school, and had classmates who had gone to Harvard, Oberlin, Texas, and all over the world. Penn State had prepared me for what I needed to do professionally as well as personally.

I also went to every football game, quite a few soccer games, and a few basketball games too. I saw two teams compete for a national championship. I have an unhealthy emotional connection to the actions of a bunch of 18-22 year olds who I will never meet, just because they went to the same school that I did. And I am heartbroken by everything that has happened associated with this case.

But none of this… NONE of this, changes one simple fact for me. I owe more to Penn State for making me who I am than I do to any other educational institution. The horrifying actions of one individual, and the bizarre inactions of several others in positions of authority, do not change that fact. I will always, always feel pride in my Alma Mater for what it has done for me, for reasons that have nothing to do with football, or with any sports team.

This is how Penn State will survive. Penn State is all of us. All of us who went there and were permanently, and profoundly, improved based on our experiences there. To rebuild the honor, pride, and integrity of the school, it will take each of us remembering why we love the place. I’m sure that I’m not alone. Sports makes a good focal point to bring us together, but it’s not the reason that most of us are here. We are here because we truly ARE Penn State. Each one of us.

I am… Penn State.

Ron Bayline–class of 1989


#2

Well said, Mr. Bayline, well said. I am in pain, but I feel the University needs me more now than ever. And for all the joys it has afforded me, and for the great people there today and the great work that must continue, I am happy to continue supporting it.


#3

+1

Steve Downing Class of 1971


#4

I’m with ya, guys!


#5

+1

David Lucas Class of 1996


#6

+1

I posted the following on facebook yesterday (with some slight editing this am), but it pretty well sums up how I’m feeling:

My grandfather graduated in '29. He had 2 great loves in his life, Grandma and PSU. The BOT is meeting this week in the same building that he used as a dormitory. I look at PSU like a family heirloom, and all of the wonderful people I got to know in school (and here on this board) are like brothers and sisters who are fellow caretakers.

I have been anguished by what those people have done to her reputation. Yet, that pales in comparison to what happened to those unfortunate victims. PSU is strong, we’ll heal and move on. Those kids face something far different and to think it could have been stopped earlier but for the inaction of powerful people who refused to use that power for anything other than protecting themselves is just horrifying.

I [wish Joe could] coach on Saturday, to let the players and students celebrate all that we are and should be, and then I want him to go off into the sunset to contemplate what he will say at those pearly gates when the Good Lord asks “why did you let that happen to my children”. Our judgement will pale in comparison to His.

Mark Harkins
QBA class of 1992


#7

We Are …PSU class of 74.


#8

Posts like this one are one of the reasons why I continue to come on here every day… +1


#9

Thanks for your post Ron. Well said. And thanks for giving us a place to “vent” peacefully.

Today, I’m putting on my Penn State pullover and going around Atlanta and will attend a youth football championship game down the street. For I am still and will always be Penn State Proud.


#10

I chose Penn State the minute I saw the football team playing in what appeared to be practice uniforms. I was a senior in high school, only vaguely aware of Paterno, and it was the first time I saw Penn State play, on TV or in person. I was a sports nut (pros) and already a sportswriter, and it just clicked. I had been almost literally dragged to the game by a friend of my father’s - I had no desire or intention to go to Penn State. I had signed an application filled out by my guidance counselor.

When I got to Penn State, I joined the Collegian, began covering sports, began seeing the insides of the beast and, with the outrage that can only be mustered by an undergraduate, began to question the role of big-time sports. After sailing through my freshman year with outstanding grades, I drifted my sophomore year, skipping about half my classes, engaging in way too much “fun”, and looking for a way out of the place. I never met my advisers (I forged their signatures when required) and I fell into the bottomless 32,000-student pool.

I didn’t have the courage to go – Penn State was cheap, the alternatives were not. And when I began to wake up in the middle of my junior year, I decided to go find an adviser. By chance, I was assigned John D.C. Buck, a Berkeley man through and through. I mentioned that during my freshman year, I had been invited into a program in the English Department in which I would take intensive seminars with a handful of other undergraduates, but that the people who invited me were gone, the requirements for getting me in had changed, and my resume had, well, gotten a little less shiny in the intervening years.

I knew him for about 10 minutes at that point. He stood up, said “Come with me,” and marched me down the hall to Professor Jim Rambeau’s office. Professor Rambeau was with another student, but Buck barged us in and announced, “This is Tim Beidel, and he is going to be in your seminar Monday.” Rambeau nodded, laughed a little, and out we went.

From that point on, Buck (whom I would have for a seminar on “The Age of Johnson”), Rambeau (whose seminar was called “Original Sin in American Literature”) and Professor Gus Kolich, who would advise me on my undergraduate thesis, took a personal interest in my academic career and my life. Suddenly this 32,000-student anonymous, bottomless pit became a small liberal arts college where I knew my teachers and they knew enough about me to greet my parents at the English Department Graduation Day breakfast with funny stories about me.

It changed my life. And I wasn’t out even a couple of months before I thought it was OK to let in a couple or three football players a year who might not have had competitive SATs. And when that first fall chill hits me on a sunny Saturday morning (earlier up here than it used to come down there), I feel like I am always physically carried back to those days and that place.


#11

As mentioned in another thread, I found my moment of clarity this morning. I’ve enjoyed reading this thread. Thanks for sharing.

My wife always laughs at me when we make it to U Park together (she doesn’t go very often – not a sports fan). I’ll look around, breathe the air, touch the old stone and brick, give the Nittany Lion a pat on the head, probably all with a very nostalgic look on my face. It must seem strange to an outsider.


#12

This is really a great thread. I won’t go into why I went to Penn State that’s for another day. Even with all the negative attention Penn State is getting I still love it. What I always remember being stressed when I went there was Honor and Integrity. I know this situation wasn’t handled in that manner, but there is no reason why the University can’t act this way going forward. We all went to Penn State, we make up Penn State, We Are Penn State. We all know what it means to be a part of it and what it stands for. I know things can get even more ugly. I just want us to go forward and show that Honor and Integrity we were taught.

Class of 2010


#13

WeSTILLare


#14

Is it ok for a grown man to cry after watching that. Thanks I needed to see that!

Class of 1992 and 2000.


#15
[url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t9rn0kPIMiY#ws]WeSTILLare[/url]

Is it ok for a grown man to cry after watching that. Thanks I needed to see that!

Class of 1992 and 2000.

Yep, and you are welcome! :slight_smile:


#16

Thank you for that. I knew I was going to PSU once I, as a third grader, was roaming the halls of Thompson being watched by my sister when my parents would come up for a game. Going to the Creamery, the Corner Room and the Hub became as natural as my own hometown over the years. So much so, as a freshman, I was often mistaken for an upperclassmen since I knew where I was going on campus. It is a part of me, just as much as being a wife, mother and daughter. I still bleed blue and white.

Jen- also class of '89.
Daughter of '56 and '58 grads
Sister to '80 grad and SIL to '77 grad
Niece of two PSU Aunt grads, cousin of 5 PSU grads
Married to '88 grad
and hopeful parent of '22 and '25 grads?!?


#17

Letters from Penn State

http://www.dailynebraskan.com/opinion/letters-from-penn-state-1.2670179?pagereq=1#.TsJpzIDZvyN


#18

Let’s see, both grandfathers, mother, father, uncle, aunt, wife and several cousins all have degrees from PSU.

I’ve been associated with PSU since 1950 when my father was called back to active duty with the U. S. Navy and was temporarily assigned to the NROTC unit at Penn State. We lived in a tiny house on Aikens place (just past S. Atherton St.) which was the last little development before farms in State College at the time.

I went undergrad to Wilkes (played on the same team with Bo Ryan; coached by Ron Rainey PSU '55ish). Went into the USN. When I got out, I enrolled in the MS Nuc E program at PSU and my wife enrolled in the M.Ed. DRR program. Top notch professors in Nuc E (open book take home exam - one week of hell). I had no problem getting a job when I graduated. Four years later, I decided to go to MBA school full time. Turned down Wharton MBA to enroll in the PSU MBA program because I had such strong ties to PSU.

Because I moved so many times, I don’t really have a place that feels like home except for two places: Any US Navy base and PSU.

Every time I go back for football, basketball, etc. it feels like homecoming.

The Sandusky incident, serious as it is, can not dampen my affection for and enthusiasm for PSU.


#19

We Are Penn State


#20

[quote=“Jen In PA, post:16, topic:2796”]Thank you for that. I knew I was going to PSU once I, as a third grader, was roaming the halls of Thompson being watched by my sister when my parents would come up for a game. Going to the Creamery, the Corner Room and the Hub became as natural as my own hometown over the years. So much so, as a freshman, I was often mistaken for an upperclassmen since I knew where I was going on campus. It is a part of me, just as much as being a wife, mother and daughter. I still bleed blue and white.

Jen- also class of '89.
Daughter of '56 and '58 grads
Sister to '80 grad and SIL to '77 grad
Niece of two PSU Aunt grads, cousin of 5 PSU grads
Married to '88 grad
and hopeful parent of '22 and '25 grads?!?[/quote]
That sounds similar to me. A few years ago, I got some letter that I wrote in 4th grade. In that letter, I stated that I will be attending PSU.

Now, my credentials:

Grandson to two 1950’s graduates, one was a starting RG for Joe and Rip
Son to a '76 grad
Brother to '01, 02, and 04 grads
Nephew to two (at least?) 197o’s grads.
Cousin to many PSU grads
Great nephew to (at least) 1 PSU grad
Uncle to two future PSU grads (one is getting a full ride for gymnastics… she’s only 2, but it’s easy to see ;-))
I’m sure there are some I missed.

Penn State runs through all of our veins. What has happened at PSU is not just a hit to a school that we attended, it’s a hit to yours, mine, and many others on this board’s identity.