To the editor:
These words are familiar. They are sung by alumni, students and fans at every home football weekend. It is the Penn State alma mater.
"When we stood at childhood's gate, shapeless in the hands of fate, thou didst mold us, dear old State."
This is definitely true for me. I grew up less than 30 miles away from the main campus, traveled to State College often, and attended my first football game with my family before the thought of college had ever entered my mind. Attending Penn State University was such a rewarding experience for me - making lifelong friends, touring Europe with my choir, and most importantly, meeting my husband. If it weren't for my experience in State College, I wouldn't be who I am today.
"Sing our love and loyalty, Sing our hopes that, bright and free." It can be difficult to try to explain to those in my professional circle what it means to have gone to Penn State. Some people think we are crazy for standing by our institution. When I try to explain why, there comes a point when I realize that it is impossible to convey what it means to truly feel Penn State pride. I wish everyone could experience a football Saturday with family and friends, a walk to a morning lecture at the Forum Building, or an evening spent exploring your interests with dozens of diverse, likeminded club members.
I joined with alumni and fans across the country in shock and disappointment over the acts that robbed so many children of their innocence. "May no act of ours bring shame," but what if it does? How do we move forward from a tragedy like this?
The words of our alma mater don't stop here, and neither will Penn State. "For the glory of old State, for her founders strong and great, for the future that we wait, raise the song, raise the song."
But we don't have to wait. There comes a time when it is necessary to move forward, and for Penn State, that time is now. Penn State University is moving rapidly into the future, and as alumni and supporters we must move along with it.
Those who care about the school have the opportunity to shape the legacy for the future. As the song ends, "to one heart that loves thy name, may our lives but swell thy fame, dear old State, dear old State."