During a donor reception held in the Paterno Reading Room of the Pattee-Paterno Library, Sue Paterno asked attendees to donate money –– whether it was $400, $4,000, or $400,000 –– “if and when” her husband won his 400th game.
On Dec. 1, Paterno received a call notifying her that Nike had donated $400,000 to Penn State Libraries in honor of Joe Paterno’s 400th win.
“The contribution was a win-win,” Sue Paterno said. “We didn’t have to do a lot of work to get the gift.”
Pattee-Paterno Library will use the $400,000 donation from Nike to transform the Knowledge Commons into a high-tech learning environment. The entire first floor of the library will also be renovated, Dean of University Libraries and Scholarly Communications Barbara Dewey said.
Renovations will include enhancements to technological resources as well as upgrades to group and individual study areas and presentation rooms in the Knowledge Commons, Dewey said.
The last large addition to the libraries was in the 1990s, Dewey said, and this renovation will be the biggest in the last decade.
Associate Dean of University Libraries Sally Kalin said the donation to the library shows how the Paternos strive to emphasize the quality of the university’s academics as much as they emphasize its athletics.
“I think it’s terrific because it shows we have a visible personality so supportive of academics and students,” Kalin said. “The donation will help transform the library’s resources into the 21st century to meet the needs of students.”
The library is approaching its construction from a student’s point of view, Dewey said, and students have added input about everything from the layout to the furnishings.
Some students said they are happy to hear about the donation not only because it will positively affect Penn State academics, but also because it will provide more options for studying.
Lauren DiBarba (sophomore-kinesiology) said the changes to the Knowledge Commons will provide more room and space for students.
“I go into the reading room and can barely find a seat,” she said. “There’s not much room in the group spaces unless you don’t mind people piling over each other.”
Meghan Kozusko (freshman-kinesiology) said the expansion of study spaces could help facilitate the flow of students.
“It’s hard for me to study because the large amount of people make so much noise,” she said. “And it doesn’t matter whether you’re in the stacks or study lounges, the noise will still find you.”
Today, Paterno said she still loves to visit Pattee-Paterno Library often - the environment of the facility still gives her "a high."