Posts filed under ‘Penn State in the news’
The news here at Penn State continues to come in a torrent, and it’s hard to keep up, but the latest is that Joe Paterno this morning announced his retirement, effective at the end of the current season. A number of media have posted his comments, which can also be found at prnewswire.com:
“I am absolutely devastated by the developments in this case. I grieve for the children and their families, and I pray for their comfort and relief.
“I have come to work every day for the last 61 years with one clear goal in mind: To serve the best interests of this university and the young men who have been entrusted to my care. I have the same goal today.
“That’s why I have decided to announce my retirement effective at the end of this season. At this moment the Board of Trustees should not spend a single minute discussing my status. They have far more important matters to address. I want to make this as easy for them as I possibly can.
“This is a tragedy. It is one of the great sorrows of my life. With the benefit of hindsight, I wish I had done more.
“My goals now are to keep my commitments to my players and staff and finish the season with dignity and determination. And then I will spend the rest of my life doing everything I can to help this University.”
Tina Hay, editor
Those of us on the magazine staff—and most likely anyone who attended, works for, or in any way cares about Penn State—were stunned and saddened to hear the news involving charges of child sexual assault against former football defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky ’66, ’71g, as well as charges of perjury and failure-to-report against athletic director Tim Curley ’76, ’78g and vice president Gary Schultz ’71, ’75g.
Like so many others, I find the story to be distressing on so many levels. The allegations alone are disturbing, to say the least. It’s also upsetting to see the things that are being said in the media and on the Internet about my alma mater—an institution that I’ve been a part of for more than 30 years now. It’s a rough time to be a Penn Stater.
On the other hand, I think it’s useful to remember that this is just the beginning of a long process, one that will allow the defendants their day in court. A grand jury presents only the prosecution’s side of the story. And none of us has all the facts. So I’m thinking it’s best not to (more…)
As many as 500 people—more than double last year’s turnout—showed up Tuesday for Penn State Capital Day, the annual gathering of students, alumni, and friends in Harrisburg to advocate for state support for the University. Given Pennsylvania’s current budget woes, and the sometimes contentious debate over Penn State’s place in the equation, Capital Day 2011 took on new significance. The impressive turnout (which included a speech by Alumni Association president Barry Simpson ’69, pictured) seemed to confirm that Penn Staters know what’s at stake.
We’ll have more on the University’s fight for state funding in our May/June issue, but there’s plenty of Capital Day coverage today, including: This roundup of related links from StateCollege.com; student perspective from the Daily Collegian; and a York Dispatch piece that includes video of the rally in the Capitol rotunda.
Ryan Jones, senior editor
Penn State President Graham Spanier knew the University’s state appropriation was likely to be cut. Speaking at a news conference Wednesday morning at the Outreach Building in Innovation Park, he said that because of Pennsylvania’s budget crisis, University officials had been developing contingency plans for a number of scenarios.
What he didn’t expect was what Gov. Tom Corbett proposed Tuesday morning: a 52 percent reduction, which would drop Penn State’s 2011-12 appropriation from the state to $165.1 million, down from the $347 million the University is receiving this fiscal year.
“This is beyond anything we could possibly imagine,” Spanier said.
The cut in funding to the four state-related universities (Penn State, Pitt, Temple, and Lincoln) and the 14 state schools is believed to be the largest one-year cut in the history of American higher education. Spanier called it “a devastating vision for public education in Pennsylvania.”
The potential effects of such a drop in funding—which must be approved by the Pennsylvania legislature—could include (more…)
A new study may change the face of breast cancer treatment, and Dr. Monica Morrow ’74 is one of the doctors at its helm.
The study, published today in The Journal of the American Medical Association, finds that women with early-stage breast cancer do not require lymph node removal surgery in the armpit. Dr. Morrow, chief of breast service at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York, is one of the study’s authors.
These are important findings for a couple of reasons: For one, lymph node removal has been a standard part of breast cancer treatment for 100 years. Previously, doctors believed that by removing cancerous nodes, the cancer was less likely to spread and patients were more likely to survive. Second, the procedure is painful, and often accompanied by dangerous complications like infection, swelling, and nerve damage. The study suggests that lymph node dissection has no advantage, saving many women from the serious side effects.
Dr. Morrow and her work have been on our radar for a while now. We blogged (more…)
He was only on stage Thursday for 22 minutes, but that was plenty of time for Barack Obama to cover all the bases required for a president visiting Penn State.
Joe Paterno reference? Check. “I just met this guy,” Obama said shortly after he took the stage at Rec Hall,” I hadn’t heard of him before, but apparently he coaches your football team…”
Pointing out his own Penn State connection? Check. Obama mentioned Lt. Col. Sam Price ’95, an Air Force officer charged today with “carrying the football,” aka the nuclear launch codes the president keeps near at all times, just in case.
Giving the crowd a reason to cheer? Check. In fairness, Obama didn’t have to try all that hard to get the crowd on his side — based on his reception, the president (check our Facebook page for more photos) is still wildly popular with younger voters, who made up a sizable chunk of the 3,000 audience members in the Rec Hall stands. But the president made sure he connected with Penn Staters of all ages, and with current students in particular, by emphasizing far-reaching — and, in his words, vital — goals in his brief time at University Park.
“The reason I wanted to come here, (more…)
So we’re camped out on the east end of the floor at Rec Hall, along with dozens of (or maybe a hundred?) media members, a few hundred invited guests, and about 3,000 additional folks in the stands. And while I can’t say for sure it’s the hottest ticket of the week on campus — “Weezyville” seems to be a pretty big deal — I can say the excitement level for a visit from the President of the United State is pretty high.
Barack Obama is scheduled to land at University Park Airport sometime after 11 this morning, after which he’ll tour a few campus labs (including, apparently, the engineering buildings that surround the Hintz Family Alumni Center, which explains why those of us in the Alumni Association aren’t allowed in our offices until this afternoon), and then head over to Rec Hall for a speech focused on energy innovation. The theme ties in with the “Winning the Future” mantra Obama introduced last week in his State of the Union address; Penn State earned the visit in large part due to its lead role in the Philadelphia Energy Innovation Hub, for which it recently received hundreds of millions of dollars in state and federal funding.
It’s worth acknowledging that, for a lot of people in the old gym today (which by the way looks terrific after recent renovations), the specifics of Obama’s speech may be less compelling than the simple fact that the leader of the free world is on our campus. According to our friends in Public Information, Obama is the ninth U.S. president to visit Penn State, a run that started when Dwight Eisenhower dropped in for his brother Milton’s 1950 inauguration as University president. Obama of course, was on campus in 2008, when he was a senator campaigning for the job he now holds.
Our editor Tina Hay, senior editor Lori Shontz and I got here around 9 a.m. to go through security, although Tina, who doubles as our crack staff photographer, actually showed up at 4:45 to hold a spot for her camera equipment. Thank goodness for the wireless service in Rec Hall, as there’s otherwise not much to do until the president shows up (and it’s looking like he might be running late to boot). It looks like you’ll be able to watch his speech live on the Big Ten Network, and we’ll post again this afternoon to let you know how that goes.
Ryan Jones, senior editor
Terry Pegula said he “thought long and hard” about whether donating a nearly nine-digit sum to help Penn State build an ice hockey arena was the right thing to do. When he finally decided on that massive gift — the largest private donation in University history — Pegula says, he did it because he saw it as a way to build much more than an arena.
As announced Friday, Pegula ’73 and his wife, Kim, are giving $88 million to fund the construction of a new ice hockey arena and the formation of men’s and women’s Division I hockey programs. Athletic Director Tim Curley ’76, ’78 MEd called the gift “transformational” and “a game changer” that would position Penn State as a national power in the sport (and indeed, the announcement rated front-page space Friday afternoon on ESPN.com). The gift also figures to generate jobs, provide the athletic department with a third revenue-producing sport, and make the University a regional hub for hockey and skating development.
Pegula made his fortune as founder of East Resources Inc., an oil and natural gas company that was recently sold to Royal Dutch Shell for $4.7 billion. A longtime hockey fanatic, Pegula said he decided to share some of his wealth with Penn State after a conversation with Joe Battista ’83, former coach of the Penn Stater Icers. “This started in late 2006, when Joe and I were having dinner, and I asked him, ‘Why doesn’t Penn State have varsity hockey?’ He informed me that money doesn’t fall from the sky.” Four years later, Pegula has done the next best thing.
Most of the details are still to be worked out, but here’s what we know about the arena and the team that will call it home. The facility will be built on campus between the Shields Building and Holuba Hall, across University Drive from the Bryce Jordan Center. An architect hasn’t yet been chosen, but a rough floor plan includes a main rink with seating for 5,000 to 6,000 and a second rink that will host camps, clinics, and public skating, among other events. Curley said he expects the arena to be completed by the spring of 2014, in time for the Penn State Nittany Lion hockey teams to begin play there that fall.
The teams themselves are expected to start skating in the 2012-13 season, when they’ll be housed at the Greenberg Sports Complex. Both teams will play as independents initially, with the expectation of conference play — either in a newly formed Big Ten hockey conference, or in an existing league — within two to three years. The men will have 18 available scholarships and the women will offer 20.
We’ll have much more on this story in our Nov/Dec issue, but for now, you can check out the official University release. There’s also plenty of interesting perspective on the Web, both from on campus and out of state:
-The Kalamazoo Gazette, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, and AnnArbor.com offer interesting takes on how Penn State’s jump to Division I might impact the college hockey world, from possible conference realignment to its effect on some of the smaller but traditionally competitive hockey schools.
-Joe Battista, who arguably wore the biggest smile in the room Friday (as he often does), wrote about the emotional experience of finally seeing DI hockey in Happy Valley on StateCollege.com.
Ryan Jones, senior editor
Almost eight months after launching its inquiry, Penn State has cleared Michael Mann of any ethical or academic misconduct in his climate research. You can read the University’s release on the findings here, including a link to the full report from the panel of scholars who carried out the inquiry. You can also read how some of country’s biggest papers covered the story here, here, and here. Among the facts noted is that the Penn State panel interviewed researchers who have been critical of Mann’s work; as the New York Times’ “Dot Earth” blog sums up, “months of sifting … files by an army of passionate critics have revealed little more than signs he is a prickly, competitive, defensive scientist — hardly a rare species.”
In February, Mann was cleared of most allegations in a case that has become an international symbol of the contentious debate over global climate change.
Ryan Jones, senior editor