Joe Paterno Plays the Role of the Closer

April 25, 2010 at 9:47 pm 1 comment

A crowd of more than 1,000 at the Bryce Jordan Center on Friday night heard a parade of speakers (and videos) making the case for private financial support for the University. Students, faculty, administrators, and campaign leaders all took their turn on stage, helping kickoff Penn State’s new $2 billion fund-raising campaign.

While most of the speakers relied heavily on the teleprompter to make their prepared remarks, probably the best speaker of the evening was the one who spoke last—and spoke completely off the cuff. Joe Paterno just walked out onto the stage and talked. He talked about telling his father 60 years ago that he was giving up a law career to be an assistant football coach at Penn State. He talked about what the school has meant to him. And, of course, he talked about the need to support Penn State students.

Paterno ended with a line that he’s used before, but that’s still funny: “The good news,” he told those in attendance, “is that we’ve got the money we need. The bad news is, it’s in your pockets!”

I was shooting photos of the evening along with Annemarie Mountz ’84 of Penn State Live, and I have to say, her photos are better. You can see hers here, and read her story about the campaign here.

Tina Hay, editor

Entry filed under: Uncategorized. Tags: , .

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. John A. Johnson  |  April 28, 2010 at 9:24 pm

    Joe had an even funnier line on ESPN2 about fund raising during half time of the Blue-White game: “I want your money but I don’t want your two cents.”

    The context for the zinger was an account of how his friend Bobby Bowden was forced to resign by some trustees who were apparently worried about donor contributions. Paterno intimated that Bobby Bowden probably knew a bit more about how to run a football program than trustees or wealthy donors. Hence, the remark.

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