More Joe, From—and For—the Students
There’s a nice story this morning from the AP quoting Scott Paterno ’97, ’00 about his father’s thoughts and mood in the final days of his life. It likely won’t surprise Penn Staters to hear that Joe’s mind was sharp and his spirit strong even as his body failed him. “He was so positive and so confident at the end of his life that the things that were important about this place would endure,” Scott said. “And that’s why he was at peace. That, and (that) my mother was willing to put up with him all these years.”
Two stories today speak to Joe’s love for Penn State, and its students in particular. Mike Poorman ’82 writes at StateCollege.com about the countless interactions Paterno had with undergrads during his time in Happy Valley. Poorman, who taught “Joe Paterno, Communications & The Media” for four years in the College of Communications, took informal polls each semester and tallied the numbers:
“Out of nearly 250 kids in class from 2008-2011, 107 had a personal JoePa moment. We’re not talking football games or pep rallies or THON appearances, all awe-inspiring for tens of thousands of students. We’re talking students being invited into Joe’s house after singing carols, or sitting down at the Creamery with a Peachy Paterno ice cream cone while the treat’s namesake did the same.”
It’s a terrific piece.
There’s never been any doubt how students felt about Paterno. That admiration will be reflected Wednesday with a student-organized “Guide Joe Paterno Home” event encouraging all Penn Staters to line the route of the funeral procession Wednesday afternoon as it leaves the Pasquerilla Spiritual Center for the private burial service. Onward State has details here, and there’s a Facebook group set up as well.
Ryan Jones, senior editor