Posts tagged ‘Centre Daily Times’

Beaver Stadium Reseating Under the Microscope

We’ve been getting lots of letters on the subject of the Nittany Lion Club’s Seat Transfer & Equity Plan, aka STEP, the overhaul of the Beaver Stadium seating plan aimed at generating more revenue for the University’s self-sustaining athletic department. Most of the letters come from long-time football season ticket holders, and their letters are pretty critical. As a season-ticket holder myself, I understand why those fans — many of whom face the possibility of moving from their long-held seats, or paying substantially more to keep them — are upset. But as someone who’s covered major college athletics for most of my career, I also understand the economic realities faced by a department that expects to compete at a national level in dozens of sports without taking a penny from the University’s budget.

The STEP announcement produced quite a bit of a media coverage, too much of which was knee-jerk reaction, and too little of which was balanced explanation of the fans’ gripes and the reasoning behind Penn State’s decision. Thankfully, some of that was provided in this piece by Jeff Rice ’03 in Sunday’s Centre Daily Times. The story (which might require free registration to access) is reasonable and informative. If you’re one of those fans, I hope you’ll check it out.

Ryan Jones, senior editor

May 17, 2010 at 5:42 pm 1 comment

Tim Curley on the State of Penn State Hoops

On the final weekend of a a terrific NCAA tournament, the Centre Daily Times today runs an interview with Penn State athletic director Tim Curley 76, 78 MEd on the state of a Nittany Lion basketball program that hasn’t been part of that tournament in almost a decade. My friend Jeff Rice 03 Com conducted the Q&A, in which Curley talks about his support for coach Ed DeChellis 82, the state and direction of the program, and why DeChellis, despite finishing last in the Big Ten in six of the past nine years, has earned the benefit of the doubt.

Ryan Jones, senior editor

April 4, 2010 at 8:58 am Leave a comment

Newsflash: It’s a Tough Time to Be Graduating College

The University is holding its annual Career Days this week, with thousands of students hoping to make an impression on the more than 200 employers who set up booths on the floor of the Bryce Jordan Center. Sadly, but not surprisingly, the pickings are slim for soon-to-be graduates. Jack Rayman, director of Penn State Career Services, said it’s shaping up to be the slowest semester for “employer activity” on campus in recent memory.

Rayman is also quoted in a story about how, more than ever, it’s important for job-seekers to keep tabs on how they’re represented online. That’s especially true with Facebook pages, where more and more students are making an effort to hide youthful indiscretions — no matter how seemingly harmless — just in case. It’s a good idea: The story cites a recent study that found 70 percent of recruiters and hiring managers have rejected job candidates based on information they found online.

Ryan Jones, senior editor

March 31, 2010 at 8:58 am 1 comment

The Fallout From State Patty’s Day

State Patty’s Day was celebrated in State College on Saturday, and the effects are still being felt. The fourth annual “holiday” attracted national media attention, with the likes of the Philadelphia Inquirer, Washington Post, and U.S. News & World Report covering the event. The news leading up to this year’s party seemed to imply a toned-down affair—downtown bars agreed not to open early for the revelers, the undergrad who helped start State Patty’s Day announced he was disowning it, and at least two local bars, the Lion’s Den and the Shandygaff, didn’t open at all — but the post-party numbers told a different story. Local police announced 430 reports over the weekend and made 160 arrests — more than half of them of non-students and “visitors” who apparently came to town last weekend solely to party.

I’m sure that plenty of students — probably a large majority — enjoyed the day and didn’t get out of hand. Like a lot of locals, I avoided downtown on Saturday, so I can’t account for how crazy it actually was. Reading accounts of a hit-and-run DUI and the State College cop who was punched in the face, however, I think I made the right choice.

Ryan Jones, senior editor

March 2, 2010 at 6:18 pm Leave a comment

Something to Cheer About for Betty Jean Love Gibbs

Betty, left, and her daughter Cynthia pose after the special presentation at Sunday's City Lights event.

Like the rest of the staff, I’ve been spending a lot of time reading back issues of The Penn Stater and its predecessor, Penn State Alumni News, because we’re approaching the magazine’s 100th anniversary. I’ve learned a lot about Penn State history, so I figured I was well-prepared for the Alumni Association’s City Lights event Sunday in Pittsburgh. It was staged at the new August Wilson Center for African-American Culture, and the title of the lecture by Courtney L. Young, librarian and professor of women’s studies at Penn State Beaver, was “Famous African-American Penn Staters.”

And, yes, I knew the basics about the Penn Staters whose lives Young highlighted. But it was the tale of a woman I’d never heard of—and whose story was nearly lost—that made the biggest impression on me.

Betty Jean Love Gibbs ’56 arrived at Penn State as a talented dancer and gymnast. But when she wanted to try out for the cheerleading squad in 1953, she was told that was impossible. “Negroes are not allowed on the squad,” officials told her.

The story shocked me. Just two issues ago, we featured the Men of ’47, the Penn State football team that refused to play without its two black players and integrated the Cotton Bowl. How was it possible that just a few years later, a black woman wasn’t allowed to be on the cheerleading squad?

Darryl Daisey ’83, who researched Gibbs’ story, isn’t sure, but he has a theory. “In the late 1940s, Penn State was pretty progressive,” he said after the program. “But some things were still taboo, and that included interracial dating and dancing.” He thinks that cheerleading may have fallen into a similar category.

Daisey learned about Gibbs from Charles Blockson ’56, an African-American history expert, and he tracked down the details for his Web site, He then told her story at Sunday’s City Lights event, and he and the Alumni Association made a special presentation to Gibbs, giving her a prize-winning photo of her dancing that was taken by Penn State faculty member Edward Leos, a proclamation from Penn State cheerleading coach Curtis White naming her an honorary cheerleader, and her very own official Penn State cheerleading uniform.

Gibbs didn’t let the cheerleading setback hold her back. She competed at the 1956 U.S. Olympic gymnastics trials, and after graduating with a physical education degree, she worked at various YWCAs, danced professionally in New York, and opened Love’s Academy of Dance when she moved back to her hometown, Pittsburgh. She also taught at Pittsburgh’s acclaimed high school for the Creative and Performing Arts.

“I enjoyed my life at Penn State,” Gibbs told the gathering of alumni. “There were some things we could do, and some things we couldn’t do but did anyway. We got an education, and that was the important part.”

You can read more about Love and some of the other prominent black Penn Staters in this story (which had a lot of help from Daisey) from Monday’s Centre Daily Times. And you can find out more about upcoming City Lights programs, which reach out to alumni in five major metropolitan areas (Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Harrisburg, New York, and Washington, D.C.) here.

Lori Shontz, senior editor

March 1, 2010 at 11:18 pm 8 comments

The Changing of the Leaves


When you tell people you moved to central Pennsylvania from Miami, you get a lot of weird looks. Even the people who understand that we wanted to return “home” shake their heads a little.

This time of year, we’re especially happy we’re here: The leaves are changing! It’s one of the things we missed most in Miami, where everything is green all the time. Every fall weekend, we suffered cognitive dissonance as we watched football games, the stands full of bundled-up fans, while we were wearing tank tops and spending halftime on the beach.

As luck would have it, Penn State’s experts believe that this year is going to be a spectacular one for fall foliage. Marc Abrams, a professor of forest ecology and physiology in the College of Ag Sciences, says we’ve got the cool nights and sunny days of the past month to thank.

The Centre Daily Times ran a fall foliage story Sunday, and Abrams said that this week could be the high point. So this should be a great time to run on the trails — and to snap some photographs. Our friends from Miami want to see what fall in central Pennsylvania looks like.

Lori Shontz, senior editor

October 12, 2009 at 1:57 pm 3 comments

A Windy Day in Happy Valley — and, Wait a Minute, We’re Losing to Eastern Illinois?!

The big story on a slow news day in State College is the gusty wind that kicked up last night and has lingered through the day. It’s only a minor annoyance for most of us, but for the folks replacing one of the big “Penn State” banners in the south end zone of Beaver Stadium, it’s more than that. Some of the roads around the stadium have been closed and Loop buses have been rerouted after panels flew off the stadium and damaged at least one car in the lot across the street. So if you’re anywhere on campus today, or especially near the stadium, heads up.

Side note: The Centre Daily Times sent a photographer up there to document the news, and he brought back an image that appears to show where the panels blew off. I sent the link to the a friend of mine, Dave Young ’97, who caught a detail I’d missed. His response:

What is the score?!


If this is a motivational ploy from Joe Paterno, it’s a good one.

Ryan Jones, senior editor

October 7, 2009 at 3:02 pm Leave a comment

More on Bill Cahir

cahir_back_iraqBill Cahir ’90, who was killed Aug. 13 in Afghanistan, was buried yesterday at Arlington National Cemetery.

The Washington Post had a story yesterday and the Centre Daily Times has one today. In addition, you can hear an NPR piece on him here and see NBC’s Brian Williams pay tribute to him here. I was especially moved by the grief on the faces of his family in the NBC video; my heart just aches for them.

Anyone interested in making a memorial contribution can visit the Web site of the Bill Cahir Memorial Fund.

Tina Hay, editor

September 1, 2009 at 9:22 am Leave a comment

Happy Valley Gets Ready for Move-In Day(s)

We’ve just (finally) finished our Sept./Oct. issue, which Alumni Association members will receive at the end of this month. The cover story is a collection of reader memories from their first days on campus — the “Move-In Day” experiences shared by Penn Staters of every campus and era. The timing of this story is no accident, of course, as those of us working at University Park are about to be reminded. Cars full of students, parents, luggage, furniture and who knows what else will be clogging State College in the next few days, hitting a peak this weekend. While those of us who live here may not be looking forward to the traffic (and will avoid the local big-box stores like the plague), the Centre Daily Times reminds us that business owners are understandably psyched. As one local manager says, “It’s kind of like Black Friday morning — only five times as busy, and it’s all day long.”


Ryan Jones, senior editor

August 18, 2009 at 1:42 pm Leave a comment

Penn State’s Resident Astronaut on the Moon Landing

Former Space Shuttle astronaut and current kinesiology professor Jim Pawelczyk ’85 MS is the subject of a short story in today’s Centre Daily Times, which gets his take on the moon landing, his 1998 Columbia mission, and the future of the space program. It’s worth checking out, as is the video below — the sort of footage that makes me which I’d been born a few years earlier to have witnessed it live.

Ryan Jones, senior editor

July 20, 2009 at 5:18 pm 1 comment

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