Posts tagged ‘Pasquerilla Spiritual Center’

The Penn Stater Daily — April 11, 2014

A generous parting gift: President Rod Erickson and his wife Shari on Thursday announced a $1 million gift to the university. The donation, which coincides with this weekend’s celebration of the closing of the “For The Future” capital campaign, will benefit the Arboretum, the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences, and the Smeal College of Business. Erickson is set to retire from the university next month.

Klosterman on ethics: I wandered over to the Pasquerilla Spiritual Center on Thursday to hear Chuck Klosterman speak at the “Religion, Ethics, and Choice” symposium hosted by Penn State’s Center for Ethics & Religious Affairs. I met Chuck a decade or so ago through our mutual friend (and occasional Penn Stater contributor) Michael Weinreb ’94; if you know Chuck’s name, it’s probably from his books, his writing for the likes of Esquire and Grantland, or more recently, his role as the Ethicist for the New York Times Magazine. Based in Brooklyn, he generally makes a handful of college speaking engagements each year, but this was the first time he’d been invited somewhere specifically based on the Ethicist gig.

Speaking to a small room—a mix of students, faculty, and campus and community religious leaders—Chuck was, like his writing, often funny and always thought provoking. He read from his latest non-fiction book, I Wear the Black Hat, in which he uses real and fictional villains to grapple with the idea of good v. evil. But for this crowd, the insights into his Ethicist gig were especially interesting:

* He opened by saying he’s not remotely qualified for the job, then added that, in his opinion, “no one is.” (The Times‘ first Ethicist, he noted, was Randy Cohen, a former writer for David Letterman.)

* He was only half joking when he said that, due both to the nature of the job and the reactive tone of so much of modern culture, he’s certain “I’m going to get fired at some point.”

* He said he receives about 100 submissions each week, and that the correspondents are most likely to be “lawyers, new mothers, and academics. Also, a lot of atheists.”

* In helping people solve their ethical quandaries, Chuck says he aims to be “hyper-rational … almost Spock-like” in his responses: “I’ve advised people to do things I’m not sure I would do in my own life.” As for his process: Once he and his editor have chosen which letters to run, Chuck said he thinks about the dilemma, composes a response, and then “I spend two days thinking about all the ways I’d disagree with that response.” He then edits it accordingly. It’s a unique gig, and qualified or not, I think he’s as right as anyone for the job.

Football is back: The forecast calls for temperatures in the high 60s and blue (and white) skies—a perfect day, in other words, for the Blue-White Game. There’s all sorts of fun stuff scheduled in and around Beaver Stadium Saturday. Kickoff is at 1:30. Hope to see you there…

Ryan Jones, senior editor


April 11, 2014 at 2:00 pm Leave a comment

An Early Morning Goodbye

This photo from Nick Sloff '92 shows the line outside Pasquerilla Spiritual Center on Tuesday afternoon

I arrived at 6 a.m. Wednesday, nearly two hours before officials again opened the doors to Pasquerilla Spiritual Center for Joe Paterno’s viewing. And I wasn’t even the first one there.

By far. The Early Bird award goes to David Brown of Greensburg, Pa. He’s a Pitt alum, but has been a Penn State — and Paterno fan — his entire life. Brown arrived at 4 a.m. He left his house at midnight.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if there had been 1,000 fans here at 4,” Brown told me. “I just wanted to pay my respects.”

By 6:30, it was just a handful of people. The sun hadn’t risen yet and it was the type of late January morning where you could see — and feel — your breath.

By 7, there were 75 people. Fifteen minutes later, that number doubled. And at 7:40, when officials opened the doors of the Pasquerilla Spiritual Center for Joe Paterno’s viewing, the line had grown to 1,000.

Thousands of fans, supporters and members of the Penn State community are expected to pass through the spiritual center from 8 to noon Wednesday to pay their final respects to Paterno.

When I left Pasquerilla Tuesday night at about 11, police told me that “tens of thousands of people” attended Tuesday’s 10-hour window. When I walked through at 10:40, Paterno’s children, Jay ’91 and Mary Kay Hort ’86, stood by the exit and shook hands, hugged and thanked supporters who walked through. Sue Pohland ’62, was also there until the end — sitting in the chairs normally reserved for the choir, wearing a thick red coat, her arm around one of her granddaughters.

The second guy in line Wednesday had a story, too. John Myers, 70, from Tamaqua, Pa., arrived at 5 a.m. after a two-and-a half hour drive.

“It was worth it,” he said.

Myers has been a Penn State fan for more than 60 years. He remembers visiting State College in high school. After the last football game every year, the school would send a bus up so students could attend Penn State games. The bus cost 75 cents.

Emily Kaplan, intern

P.S. To see more of Nick’s photography work, click here to check out his blog.

January 25, 2012 at 1:00 pm Leave a comment

Waiting Hours for Just a Moment, With No Complaints

I walked from my office to the Pasquerilla Spiritual Center a little after 1 p.m. Tuesday, thinking I might be early enough to beat the crowds. I wasn’t close.

Heading toward the tail end of a line that snaked back and forth through the Pasquerilla courtyard, Disneyland-style, stretched east on the sidewalk along Curtin Road, and at times extended north onto Shortlidge Road almost to Park Avenue, I got a sense of the crowd that already had turned out for Joe Paterno. This was in the first hour of a 10-hour viewing window on Tuesday, with four more hours scheduled Wednesday morning. This was no surprise.

I joined the crowd and spent two hours in line, all but the last 10 minutes of it outside, before the final stretch. We entered the spiritual center through a side door, shuffled down a hallway and entered the main lobby, where a few more turns of the line finally led us into the main auditorium. The clumps of people thinned into a slow but steadily moving single file, which continued down the aisle on the left side of the large, high-ceilinged room. At the front lay a casket, adorned with flowers.

We turned right, the casket on our left, the already indelible black-and-white image of Paterno, arms crossed and smiling, the only other adornment. On each side of the casket stood a large young man—former Nittany Lion quarterback Daryll Clark ’08 and a current player I didn’t recognize—part of the “honor guard” of lettermen who took turns aside their coach on the stage. The line had moved much more slowly in the early going, as some of those who’d come to pay their respects paused 15 or 20 seconds for prayer and reflection, a practice that must’ve been discouraged by funeral officials mindful of the tens of thousands still to come. By the time I got there, it seemed instinctive for each of us to stop for just a beat before moving on.

Jay Paterno ’91 stood for a time not far from the exit, shaking every hand presented him. I’m told his brother Scott ’97 did the same at other times during the 10-hour public viewing. I don’t know if their other siblings or Joe’s widow, Sue ’62, met the crowd, but it seems safe to assume they did. The Paterno family has made no secret of their appreciation for the public support they’ve received over the past few months.

A friend who was an hour or so behind me in line texted me later to tell me that Tom Bradley ’78, Paterno’s former player, longtime assistant, and interim replacement, had made his way down the line on Curtin Road. As far as my friend could tell, Bradley shook the hand of every person in the line and offered the same words to each of them: “Thanks for coming out for Coach.”

Ryan Jones, senior editor

January 24, 2012 at 11:54 pm 31 comments

A Very Penn State Wedding

The bride and bridesmaids on the Old Main porch. Click to see a larger, crisper version.

We’ve written about Penn State weddings before—here, here, and here, for example—but this past weekend was the first time I was actually involved in one.

I had a bit part, really. My brother Chris was the wedding photographer, and I served more or less as assistant photographer—as well as second assistant equipment schlepper.

(Chris’ wife, Paula, was first assistant equipment schlepper; she’s been doing weddings with him for years.)

My brother has all the talent, the experience, and the gear. My role was to fill in the gaps by taking whatever candid shots seemed to present themselves.

It was a Penn State wedding through and through: Both the bride and groom—Cameron Klementik ’07 and Daniel Ertley ’07—are Penn Staters, as are the bride’s parents, Judge David Klementik ’70 and Ruth Whalley Klementik ’70, and so were many of the bridesmaids and groomsmen.

Over the course of about 12 hours, Chris shot photos at a host of campus spots: the Nittany Lion Inn, the alumni center, Old Main, the Pasquerilla Spiritual Center (where the ceremony was held), the Nittany Lion Shrine, and Beaver Stadium (where the reception was held, in the Mount Nittany Club). We were also scheduled to do shoots at the Obelisk, the Joe Paterno statue outside the stadium, and other spots, but it was rainy and we just plain ran out of time.

If that’s not Penn Statey enough for you, (more…)

October 3, 2011 at 4:16 pm 1 comment

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