we still are

November 8th, 2011

As a Penn State graduate, the recent allegations and scandal have simply broken my heart. I weep for the boys whose innocence was brutally taken from them. I’m horribly saddened to see the most beloved football coach’s career end in a way that none of us ever imagined. But mostly I’m angry. Angry at these few who are ruining an institution that helped to shape who I am today.

These men who were put in a position of power and who abused it. They valued money and reputation over a human life. And not just one, but possibly many. Many who have scars that will never fully heal. How could they? How have they lived with themselves? How can they possibly think that what they were doing was right? And how did it go so far?

I bleed Blue and White. I stood by the football team when there wasn’t much to stand for. And when there was, I cheered louder than I ever have before. I walked the halls of Willard and Thomas and Henderson with pride. I worshiped at the Pasquerilla Spiritual Center. I lived in West Halls. I volunteered for THON where I witnessed such an outpouring of love and support for kids with cancer. I realized my passion for helping kids and their families while on that campus. My husband proposed to me in State College. Those four years were some of the best I have yet to encounter. And why? Because I believed. I believed in the football team, in the staff, in the professors, and in the university.

For those of you who did not go to Penn State, this might all just seem silly. But the pain, not only for the victims and their families, but for this great university, are felt by hundreds of thousands. It doesn’t seem real. This couldn’t have happened. I still am unable to wrap my head around it all.

But we cannot let the fault of a few ruin what we all hold so dear. Yes, we are crushed, saddened, disappointed, and angry. I know that I’ve questioned so much since this all broke on Saturday. But let this bring us together. As alumni and as human beings. Let us rally around for those victims and families whose hearts are broken in ways that we cannot imagine. Pray that justice will be served and that healing can begin. And pray that Happy Valley can be happy once again.

We Still Are.