Seven people made public comments during the Penn State Board of Trustees meeting with feedback ranging from anger over the firing of late football coach Joe Paterno to suggestions to continue to reform the board.
One alumna who spoke, Cecelia Masella[M1] , said she wanted to honor Paterno's memory. She said he sacrificed much off the football field to help build Penn State by making the right choices and caring about the student athletes.
Though Masella said the end of Paterno's life was filled with betrayal, she said she believed he deserved so much better.
"He left us with the same dignity with which he lived his life," she said. "It is time for this university to properly honor his accomplishments and celebrate his life."
Alumna Andrea Cook [M2] also spoke during the public comment section. She said the board had both positive and negative aspects about it.
Cook said she congratulated the board on hiring head football coach Bill O'Brien and the organizers of the recent child sexual abuse prevention conference.
"I believe with the impressive quality of staff and students, Penn State is and will continue to be an incredible institution to receive an excellent education," she said. "I will continue encouraging talented students to attend."
However, Cook said she was concerned over the 2000 Board of Trustees management of the crisis that occurred during the past 12 months. She said the media focused its attention on employees of Penn State, and said what the board did helped contribute to the "media lynch mob mentality."
Cook also said the way the board fired Paterno was not right.
"Given the level of professionalism in this room, was firing a loyal employee at 10:00 at night a respectful termination?" she said.
Cook said in order to rebuild trust and continue to govern the university, the board needed to have a review of the past 15 months.
She said by implementing reform recommendations made by former Auditor General Jack Wagner [M3] would go a long way in continuing to restore trust, so Penn State would be able to move forward.
Alumna Anne Weiss [M4] said she recommended the board not elect a business or government leader as the next university president.
"Uniformity in leadership may be the last thing this university needs," she said.
Weiss said the board needs to select a president with academic expertise and someone who "believes deep down in their hearts that Penn State is destined to do ever greater things in her future."