Dear Students, my family is very Penn State proud. You have been through more than anyone can imagine, enduring a new definition of the word propaganda. You are told that your diploma may actually hinder your job search. The media continues to tell you that you may now be damaged goods. You have been told that you are a bunch of hooligans who just don’t get it, particularly those who demonstrated against the firing of Joe Paterno.
Let me tell you — none of this propaganda is true. As for the “riot,” you did what every one of us wanted to do last November and storm the streets of State College in frustration. Many of you sat on your couch through much of winter break because you could not stomach the thought of being with good friends from other schools who continued to trash Paterno and Penn State. Everything you have done has been under a microscope and many of you are numb. You have no clue what the right thing is to do.
Whatever you do, the media will declare wrong, insensitive, crass and so on. You took on THON with full hearts and raised more money than we imagined possible. It keeps piling it on. I know that all you want to do is go back to Happy Valley. Saturday’s game experience was unscripted and new and frustrating for you as well as the alumni. You are our future. We will be here for you. None of us like being told to love our school less or that our love is misguided. I cried during the Alma Mater yesterday watching the student section arm in arm singing “May no act of ours bring shame...” All I ever sang in the 1970s was “...We don’t know the words.”
We love you, students. Hang in there. It’s our job to help you with this. Together we will all restore the roar! For the glory.
Class of 1978