Posts tagged ‘Lt. Michael Murphy’

The Penn Stater Daily — Dec. 10, 2013

Christopher Weddle/CDT

Christopher Weddle/CDT

Lasting legacy: Penn State students gathered on the Old Main lawn last night to honor Nelson Mandela, who passed away Thursday. The vigil was organized by Penn State’s NAACP chapter, the African Student Association, and Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity. Several students, including ASA member Precious Anizoba, spoke about Mandela’s legacy: “Here was a man who simply set his goals then went out and accomplished them. He had a passion for his work. We risk mediocrity if we do not find and pursue our passions.”

Harrowing details: Last week, we told you about Lone Survivor, an upcoming film based on the mission that took the life of Lt. Michael Murphy ’98, among 18 other American casualties. This morning, NBC’s Today Show featured an interview with Marcus Luttrell, the only Navy SEAL to survive. The details of how the mission (which included a three-hour gunfight) played out are intense, and Luttrell says the movie’s reenactment is accurate — and powerful.

Snow days galore: Lots of snow days for students at Penn State branch campuses this morning, thanks to some serious snow in Southeastern PA. At last count, the Mont Alto, Berks, York, Lehigh Valley, Abington, and Brandywine campuses closed today due to inclement weather. Check @psutxt on Twitter for updates, and stay safe out there.

Splurge control: Here’s some timely research news from Penn State’s S. Shyam Sundar, distinguished professor of communications. According to an online study, long transactions can cause online shoppers to become more impulsive with their purchases, a result of “decision fatigue”— which, for me, goes a little something this: Monogrammed? No. Overnight shipping? No. Gift-wrapped and dipped in chocolate? FINE! Fortunately, according to Sundar’s research, shoppers can regain some self-control when their decisions express their personalities — for instance, when someone concerned about the environment is given eco-friendly options that “affirm their green identity.” Interesting stuff.

Mary Murphy, associate editor

December 10, 2013 at 12:09 pm Leave a comment

The Penn Stater Daily — Dec. 5, 2013

Setting the mood: Some landscape architecture students are wrapping up a cool project in Pittsburgh. As part of a class called Pittsburgh Studio, a group of 12 students got to know residents of urban neighborhoods—and then created designs to meet their needs, such as more pedestrian-friendly paths and parks. Says senior Aaron Ramos: “It’s not just planting trees or plants, it’s creating an environment that puts someone in a certain mood.”

Do the math: Yeah, John Urschel’s been getting a lot of love this week in the media world. But here’s more praise for the mathmetician/offensive guard from today’s Sports Illustrated, in which SI writer Andy Staples explains why Urschel ’12, ’13g is his pick for 2013 Sportsman of the Year: “He embodies everything that a student-athlete should be. He embraced the opportunities presented in the classroom and on the football field, and he’ll probably play in the NFL before he moves on to a mathematics Ph.D. program.”

Taylor Kitsch (far left) as Lt. Michael Murphy. Photo via

Taylor Kitsch (far left) as Lt. Michael Murphy. Photo via

Hollywood hero: The story of Lt. Michael Murphy ’98 has gotten the big-screen treatment before—in the documentary Murph: The Protector. But now Hollywood is offering its own version. Lone Survivor, which hits theaters Jan. 10, tells the story of “Operation Red Wing” and the three Navy SEALS, including Murphy, who were killed in the mission. Taylor Kitsch (of Friday Night Lights) plays Murphy, and Marc Wahlberg (of the Funky Bunch) plays Marcus Luttrell, the only SEAL to survive. Check out the trailer here.

Blue Christmas: And because Clark Griswold-style holiday decor never gets old, today’s Onward State features another Penn State-themed light show, this one from Sally Simpson, mom of Blue Band prez Ryan Simpson. Impressive, to say the least.

Mary Murphy, associate editor

December 5, 2013 at 12:04 pm 1 comment

It’s Here: The July/August Issue

JA Cover orig text.inddActually, it’s not here — in our office, anyway. But the July/August issue has already made its way to plenty of readers’ mailboxes, even though our office copies aren’t due for another couple days.

If you’ve received your copy, we hope the cover got your attention. As Tina explained last week, our new art director, Marc Kauffman, enlisted the help of photo illustrator Aaron Goodman to create some cool designs featuring the Nittany Lion mascot for our cover story. Marc did some digging in the University archives and found tons of great photos of Nittany Lions past. (Be sure to check out the lion of the early 1960s, which we all agreed is the, uh, strangest iteration of the suit.)

For another feature, senior editor Lori Shontz ’91 traveled to Cuba on an Alumni Association trip back in March. As part of the cultural exchange—leisure trips to Cuba are forbidden for American visitors—Lori learned a lot about the country and its culture, including some contradictions that baffled even her Cuban tour guides. Lori tends to downplay her photography skills, but you’ll see that she captured some fantastic photos along the way, too.

Also in this issue: a profile of author David Morrell ’67g, ’70g, who’s written more than 30 thriller novels over the course of his career, including First Blood, on which the movie Rambo was based. In the feature, he sheds some light on the inspiration behind his latest novel, Murder as a Fine Art.

Other good stuff you’ll find in the July/August magazine: a profile of Nittany Lion offensive lineman John Urschel ’12, ’13g, who’s working toward his second master’s degree in mathematics; a recap of May’s Board of Trustees election, with a look at the three new members; and my thoughts on completing (OK, surviving) “Murph,” a CrossFit workout to honor Lt. Michael Murphy ’98.

Let us know what you think of the new issue. Comment below or email

Mary Murphy, associate editor 

June 24, 2013 at 10:33 am 2 comments

A Video Tribute to Michael Murphy

Someone posted a terrific link to the Alumni Association’s Facebook page last night (thank you, Nick Skias, whoever you are), and I wanted to pass it along to you.

It’s a video about the commissioning on Oct. 6 of the USS Michael Murphy, the Navy’s newest destroyer. The ship is named for Michael Murphy ’98, a Navy SEAL who was killed in Afghanistan in 2005 and who was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his heroic actions in that fatal battle.

The video covers much more than the commissioning ceremony in New York harbor. It captures a bit of who Michael Murphy was and shows you his parents’ grief and their obvious pride. It also takes you to Calverton National Cemetery on Long Island, where, the day before the commissioning ceremony, the crew members of the Michael Murphy paid a visit to the grave of the man whose name is on their ship.

I love the fact that the ship will be known informally by Murphy’s own nickname: Crew members say they’ll tell others that they’re serving on “The Murph.” And I about lost it when, in the video, Murphy’s mom gestures toward his headstone and tells the crew in her unmistakeable Long Island accent: “Thank you for not forgettin’ my Mike.”

You can read more from the photographer/videographer about the making of the video here. And Murphy’s hometown newspaper (he grew up in Patchogue, N.Y.) has some cool photos of the ship’s interior here.

Tina Hay, editor

October 15, 2012 at 3:39 pm 3 comments

Remembering Lt. Michael “Mike” Murphy ’98

Anyone familiar with the story of Lt. Michael Murphy ’98 knows the courage and sacrifice of the Navy SEAL who died in Afghanistan in 2005. But those who attended Medal of Honor: The Life of Michael P. Murphy Saturday know another side of the Medal of Honor recipient.

The talk was presented by the class of 2011, whose senior class gift is the creation of the Lt. Michael P. Murphy and Penn State Veterans Plaza, construction of which will begin within the next two years. Speakers included author Gary Williams, who wrote Seal  of Honor: Operation Red Wings and the Life of Lt. Michael P. Murphy, USN, along with Murphy’s parents, Dan and Maureen.

Dan and Maureen Murphy (center) shared stories about their son at Saturday's presentation. Photo by Andy Colwell.

Much of the presentation was spent honoring Murphy as a leader and loyal SEAL, but Dan and Maureen made sure the audience, along with the senior class, knew Murphy (they call him “Mike”) as a person—and a Penn State student. Some anecdotes they shared:

—Mike was always the ring leader, even as a child, explained Maureen. “All the kids in the neighborhood would gather around him on summer afternoons, asking ‘What are we gonna do now, Mike?'”

—He loved to party. Dan had the audience in stitches (more…)

April 4, 2011 at 8:39 am Leave a comment

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