Posts tagged ‘John Black’

A Fabulous Time-Waster

The Alumni Association's own John Black ’62.

The Alumni Association’s own John Black ’62.

This could be one of the best Penn State-related time-sinks ever. The University Libraries today officially launched the new online La Vie project: All of the old yearbooks from 1890 through 2000 have been scanned so that you can view them online. Just go to, find the year you’re interested in, and browse away.

[Update as of Oct. 14: The link has moved. Try here instead.]

I’ve already located the senior photos for our senior editor, Ryan Jones ’95, our class notes editor, Julie Nelson ’86, and longtime Football Letter editor John Black ’62 (shown here). And it’s not just the senior portraits that are online—it’s the entire contents of the yearbooks.

The interface takes some getting used to—I can zoom in, for example, but haven’t yet figured out how to zoom back out. But some evening when I have nothing better to do, I plan to waste a few hours on the couch with my laptop, looking up famous Penn State alums—from Lydell Mitchell ’72 to Jonathan Frakes ’74 to Valerie Plame ’85. The possibilities are endless.

Tina Hay, editor

April 24, 2009 at 6:02 pm 2 comments

Road Show

img_0398-med-lunch-crowdA couple of times a year I travel on the Alumni Association’s behalf, to speak to alumni chapters around the country. Last weekend I got to go to Hilton Head to speak to the annual luncheon of the Lowcountry Chapter. Before I started my presentation, I took a picture of the attendees, just to prove to the folks back home that I was there. :-) Actually this is only about half of the attendees; my little point-and-shoot camera couldn’t get the rest of them in.

I gave the chapter members an illustrated PowerPoint about the magazine, talked about some of our editorial philosophies, showed how we come up with our covers, that sort of thing. I fielded questions—they wanted to know stuff like how the economy is affecting Penn State, what I foresee as the future of printed magazines, what are the most controversial stories we’ve done, what’s going on with the elm trees at University Park.

As someone who has lived in State College for more than 30 years now, I love meeting Penn Staters who live far from Penn State. And I’m often surprised by how connected we really are. At the Lowcountry Chapter luncheon, for example, I re-connected with an alumnus I had met on an Alumni Association trip to Belize some years back … I talked to a couple I had met on a bus tour of campus during reunion weekend last June … and I met the guy who was editor of the Collegian before John Black ’62.


After the event was over, I spent the rest of the afternoon with four Penn Staters who live part of the year on Hilton Head and who had offered to hang out with me: Dan Bernitt, a retired Penn State IT guy; Susann Yemm, widow of Thomas Yemm ’49; and Connie Schroeder ’90g and her husband, Steve, who also is retired from Penn State. Here’s a shot of Dan and Steve in a steady rain—we were trying to get pictures of some wading birds that have been congregating lately near Connie and Steve’s place. I’m a big fan of birds and so is Steve, which I guess explains our willingness to get soaked.

I did get a few photos of the birds, though it was getting dark, and did I mention how hard it was raining? But here’s a shot of some white ibises (note the decurved, or downward-curving, bill, which is a distinguishing characteristic of ibises)…


And here’s one of a great blue heron, just strolling across the golf course. (You can click on any of these photos to see it bigger.)


After that, the four of us watched the Penn State men’s basketball game on TV at Steve and Connie’s place, and then I drove back to Savannah, where I was staying for the weekend. Our art director has a degree from the Savannah College of Art and Design and she’s always raved about what a wonderful city Savannah is, so I did a lot of exploring of that city in my free time.

All in all, a fun weekend. Big thanks to the Lowcountry Chapter folks for having me!

Tina Hay, editor

March 5, 2009 at 7:06 pm 2 comments

Jealous? Me?

rbglogo_citi_nocircle_regI’ve been keeping an eye on the site, vicariously experiencing the activities of the Penn Staters who are out in Pasadena for the Rose Bowl. Today there was a video interview with our Alumni Association colleague John Black, who has written The Football Letter for a bazillion years, along with a slide show of a behind-the-scenes tour of the making of the Rose Bowl Parade floats.

Never mind that here in State College, the temperature is supposed to drop to a low of 13 degrees tonight! I’m sure that my Alumni Association colleagues who are staffing the Rose Bowl tour and associated events are working very, very hard out there in Southern California. :-)

The game airs tomorrow on ABC-TV at 5:00 p.m. Eastern time. I’ll be hosting the magazine staff and a few others to watch the game in my living room, on my brand-new 40″ TV.

(I wonder if it’s important to wear white, even if you’re just watching the game on TV?)

Go Lions!

Tina Hay, editor

December 31, 2008 at 7:14 pm Leave a comment

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