The Story Behind the ‘We Are’ Statue

May 24, 2016 at 2:47 pm 3 comments

ESPN released a video today about the phrase “We Are Penn State.” More specifically, the video is about its origins and how it inspired the We Are statue on campus that was given as the class of 2013’s gift.

It’s narrated by Keegan-Michael Key ’96g and includes interviews with Wally Triplett ’49, Morgan Delaware ’13, and Jonathan Cramer ’94, among others. Delaware was the 2013 class gift committee chair, while Cramer was the statue’s sculptor.

The video starts by recalling the events of November 2011, and their impact on Penn State pride. Cramer then talks about his desire to enter a competition to build the statue. In the course of his research for the project, Cramer learned about the legend behind “We Are Penn State,” which we wrote about in 2009 (the author of our story, Michael Weinreb ’94, was also interviewed by ESPN). Cramer says he felt inspired and got to work on a statue that could “stand the test of time.”

Some argue that the story of Wally Triplett and the 1947 Penn State football team has no direct ties to the famous rallying cry—and that may well be true. But the ESPN video is still a great tribute to that team, and it provides the story behind the statue.

The video ends with a link to a website soliciting donations for help with Triplett’s health care. To watch the video, click on the image in the tweet at the top of this post.

Bill DiFilippo, online editor

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Entry filed under: Athletics, From the Magazine, University Park. Tags: , , , , , , .

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3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Dennis Shea  |  May 24, 2016 at 6:29 pm

    Not, “…may well be true…” It IS true, and it’s sad and disappointing that The Penn Stater is unwilling to report the complete truth on this.

    It is a well-established fact that there is NO connection between the cheer and the events of 1946-48. It’s far past time to stop beating around the bush and be completely honest.

  • 2. Tony G  |  May 31, 2016 at 10:18 am

    How do you know what’s established fact? Who are you to decide?

  • 3. Dennis Shea  |  June 17, 2016 at 3:30 pm

    Yes, Tony, I do know it is established fact because of the research of Penn State historian Lou Prato as well as my own research:

    http://onwardstate.com/2015/09/25/the-true-origin-of-we-are-penn-state/

    The story of the football team is noble, and Mr. Triplett deserves your support. Neither of those, however, needs to be embellished by a story that simply is not true about “We are Penn State”.

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