Posts tagged ‘Michael Murphy’

The Penn Stater Daily — Jan. 10, 2014

Not yet. Maybe soon: While there’s still no official confirmation from Penn State, Vanderbilt, or the coach himself, the media consensus is clear that James Franklin will be the Nittany Lions’ next football coach. Various outlets are reporting it as essentially a done deal, while Fox Sports has gone so far as to say Franklin has “agreed to terms” to take the job. The buzz among most Penn State fans seems to be that Franklin, who has turned a moribund Vandy program into a solid SEC program over the past few years, would be a great fit. But some observers, both nationally and closer to home, argue that potential off-field issues make Franklin a risky hire. If the reports are true, he’ll have a chance to answer any doubts soon enough.

Actor Taylor Kitsch as Michael Murphy

Actor Taylor Kitsch as Michael Murphy

Murph on the big screen: Lone Survivor opens today, giving a national audience the chance to get a sense of the heroism and sacrifice of Navy SEAL and Medal of Honor recipient Michael Murphy ’98. The New York Daily News recently ran a cool feature on actor Taylor Kitsch, who plays Murphy, in which he talks about the challenge and responsibility of portraying a real-life hero, and the accountability he felt toward Murphy’s family. (There are also plenty of great photos, so it’s worth a click.) Kitsch covers similar turf in a video interview, which you can watch here.

It’s in our nature: Penn State researchers are at the forefront of a number of big environmental stories. Margaret Brittingham, professor of wildlife resources in the College of Agricultural Sciences, adds her expertise to this NPR story on the effects of natural gas drilling in Pennsylvania’s state forests. (Worth noting: Rob Boulware ’86, spokesman for gas driller Seneca Resources, features prominently in the story, as well.) And Penn State is one of three universities splitting a half million in grants from the EPA to reduce pesticide use and lower the risks to honeybees, which are vital to agriculture across the continent.

Ryan Jones, senior editor

January 10, 2014 at 12:49 pm Leave a comment

The Penn Stater Daily — Oct. 4, 2013

From news to features, your daily dose of everything Penn State.

The place to be: The Penn State Centre Stage production of No Place To Be Somebody opens tonight at the Pavilion Theatre at University Park. For longtime Penn State theatre professor Charles Dumas, it’s something of a swan song.


Dumas (left) as “Sweets,” faces off with “Johnny,” played by Herb Newsome ’02g. Photo by Tina Hay

Dumas is retiring in December, and No Place to be Somebody marks his final Penn State show as a director. He also plays a vital supporting role in the production, which is set in seedy, racially conflicted late ’60s New York City. The play won the 1970 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, making Charles Gordone the first African-American playwright to receive the honor. Based on the preview I attended, it’s tense, heavy stuff, especially challenging for audience members too young to appreciate the tone of race relations in late ’60s America. But it’s tight and well-acted, and I imagine Dumas is quite happy with the idea of challenging his audience.

No Place to be Somebody runs tonight through Oct. 10.

Big-screen hero: Speaking of premieres: Murph: The Protector, a feature-length documentary on the life of Michael Murphy ’98, debuts tonight at the State Theatre in downtown State College. Members of the Penn State ROTC (more…)

October 4, 2013 at 10:06 am 1 comment

A Penn Stater Killed in Afghanistan

Our Sept/Oct issue carries a story about four people whose lives were changed forever on Sept. 11, 2011: an alumna whose husband, also a Penn Stater, died in the World Trade Center attacks; an alumna who was working in the World Trade Center and managed to escape with her life; and the parents of Bill Cahir ’90, who enlisted in the military as a result of the attacks and later was killed in Afghanistan.

In a sidebar to that story, we listed all 10 Penn Staters who were killed in the Sept. 11 attacks, as well as those who died in the resulting wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Since then, my Penn State colleague Terri Buchignani has called my attention, sadly, to another Penn Stater who died in Afghanistan: John Kihm, a former student who was killed this past April 19 in Kandahar.

Kihm (pictured above) graduated from high school in 2009 and spent a semester at Penn State Abington before enlisting in the Army. At the time of his death, he was just 19 years old. I can’t imagine his family’s grief.

I thought you might be interested in seeing the entire list of Penn Staters (at least the ones we know of) who were killed in either Iraq (more…)

September 6, 2011 at 10:22 am 6 comments

New Book Honors Michael Murphy

The other day we received a new book called Seal of Honor: Operation Red Wings and the Life of Lt. Michael P. Murphy, USN, by Gary Williams.

You may remember Murphy ’98 Lib as the Navy SEAL who died in Afghanistan in 2005 and who, two years later, received the Medal of Honor posthumously. We ran a feature story on Lt. Murphy in our January-February 2008 issue—that’s the opening spread you see below, and you can click here to download a PDF of our article.

Murphy was just 29 when he died during a mission intended to capture a Taliban leader. After he and the three members of his team were surrounded, he exposed himself to enemy fire to make the cell-phone call for help. The mission resulted in the worst loss of life in the SEAL program since it began in 1962—11 of the 12 SEALs involved died. Though others on the mission were honored with a Navy Cross (all posthumously, except for the lone survivor), Murphy was the only man on that mission to receive the Medal of Honor.

Seal of Honor hit bookstores May 5. The author, Gary Williams, has no apparent connection to Lt. Murphy or the Navy SEALS; he’s just a guy in Ohio who was “reared with a near-reverent respect for those who wear our country’s uniform,” according to his author bio. This is his third book.

Amy Guyer, associate editor

May 14, 2010 at 8:34 am 1 comment

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