From Brooklyn to The Garden

A few weeks ago, we learned about a group of first graders from Brownsville Ascend Lower School in Brooklyn who fell in love with Penn State because of their teacher, Dan Guthrie ’10. Guthrie started a GoFundMe with the hopes of getting his students to Saturday’s basketball game between Penn State and Michigan. Guthrie managed to raise $5,245, which paid for the trip to Madison Square Garden for about 50 kids.

Penn State lost, but as the Centre Daily Times reported, this was so much bigger than a sporting event. The CDT mentioned that this school district doesn’t send an especially high number of students to college, and Guthrie’s ultimate goal is to inspire his students to go to college.

Among other things, Guthrie told a wonderful anecdote about the subway ride over to the game, mentioning that all of the children sang “Hail to the Lion” together.

The students also got the chance to make up the high five line that the players ran through before the game. And as someone who was at the game, I can tell you that no group in attendance were more vocal in their support of either team than these students were for Pat Chambers and co.

As for what’s next, Guthrie is thinking big…or, rather, he’s thinking B1G. He plans on using some of the leftover money – the CDT mentioned that he has more than $1,000 left over – to try and organize a bus trip to Happy Valley. Guthrie says that there is still more work to do on that front, but if there’s another GoFundMe dedicated to raising money, we’ll happily throw a few bucks his way.

Bill DiFilippo, online editor

February 1, 2016 at 3:38 pm Leave a comment

Garden Party

While it wasn’t the outcome Penn State fans were hoping for–a pair of losses to Michigan–it’s hard to argue that the inaugural Big Ten Super Saturday hoops and hockey doubleheader at Madison Square Garden was anything but a success.


January 31, 2016 at 9:23 am Leave a comment

Super Saturday


Penn State and Michigan invaded the World’s Most Famous Arena on Saturday for the inaugural B1G Super Satrurday, a doubleheader of basketball and hockey in the heart of New York City.

The unique “Big Ten Day” was announced in 2014 as part of a deal with the Big Ten and Madison Square Garden, which will host the 2018 Big Ten men’s basketball conference tournament.


Fans began to pack the Garden well ahead if the first game, a noon basketball tip off, as Penn Staters flocked to the city for the takeover.

A sampling from social media …


January 30, 2016 at 1:17 pm Leave a comment

Neha Gupta Lives B1G

You might remember Neha Gupta from our July/August ’15 issue. Now, her story is going beyond the pages of our magazine. Gupta is featured in a new advertisement for the Big Ten Network’s LiveB1G campaign, which “shines a light on the community of Big Ten students, faculty and alumni who are making a difference in the world through innovations in research, education and community service.” It touches on Gupta winning the 2014 International Children’s Peace Prize and the non-profit she founded, Empower Orphans. Eric Barron also appears in the video to praise Gupta’s work.

If you’re interested in reading about some of the other Nittany Lions who have been featured in this series, click here.

Bill DiFilippo, online editor

January 28, 2016 at 2:39 pm Leave a comment

Say Aloha to Penn State Fayette Basketball’s Trio of Hawaiians

It’s not every day that you hear about a Division III basketball program in southwest Pennsylvania finding success in recruiting in Hawaii. That’s the case at Penn State Fayette, as we learned from The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Fayette coach Mark John has managed to pull three recruits from the island of Maui – senior guard/forward Luke Williams, junior forward Spencer Perieff, and freshman guard Marvin Sidon – because of a speech that he gave their high school program while he was on his honeymoon.

This is an interesting read on how Williams, Perieff, and Sidon have adjusted to being thousands of miles away from home and how John has managed to build a roster with players from all over the country (Fayette also has players from Minnesota and California on its roster).

Bill DiFilippo, online editor

January 22, 2016 at 12:23 pm Leave a comment

Jerry Zolten is Heading to the Grammys

Photo via Penn State Altoona

Photo via Penn State Altoona

While most of us will watch the Grammy Awards next month from our living rooms, Penn State Altoona professor Jerry Zolten will be at the ceremony in Los Angeles. That is because Zolten ’69 will act as the liaison and assist in a pre-show performance for The Fairfield Four, a Nashville-based vocal group that is up for the Best Roots Gospel Album award.

According to a release, Zolten has strong ties to the group, as he produced one of its albums and produced one member’s solo album. He also played a role in the record that’s up for a Grammy, Still Rockin’ My Soul – Zolten was a repertoire consultant and wrote the album’s liner notes.

This will mark the second year in a row that Zolten is involved with a Grammy-nominated project. In 2015, Zolten was a writer and researcher for The Rise and Fall of Paramount Records Volume I (1917-27), a series of vinyl records which took home the Grammy for Boxed or Special Limited Edition Package.

Bill DiFilippo, online editor

January 20, 2016 at 2:10 pm Leave a comment

Help Send These Future Penn Staters from Brooklyn to MSG

Penn State’s basketball game against Michigan at Madison Square Garden may have a group of special guests. A GoFundMe page started by elementary school teacher Daniel Guthrie ’10 is looking to raise funds to help get a group of first graders at Brownsville Elementary School in Brooklyn, N.Y. to the game next Saturday.

You can read the full story as to how these students became such huge fans of the Nittany Lions here, but the short version is Guthrie has Penn State paraphernalia all over his classroom. This has led to his students falling in love with the school, with two saying they already know that they want to go to Penn State. There’s also a delightful video of the class singing “Hail to the Lion,” which is guaranteed to bring a smile to your face.

The original goal of $1,500 was surpassed earlier today. Guthrie has since stretched the goal to $4,000, which he thinks should be enough to get his class and his students from last year to the basketball game. Any additional funds will go towards things like school supplies and future field trips, and if this raises enough money, Guthrie would consider coordinating a trip to State College.

Bill DiFilippo, online editor

January 18, 2016 at 2:30 pm 2 comments

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