Sunday, August 31, 2014

Penn State Football: These "Irish" Eyes Teared Up As Penn State Pulled Out a Tight Win

The tears flowed freely this weekend, and most of them were tears of sorrow, not joy.  They first came on Friday when someone posted a 17 minute video of the pep rally in Dublin, a pep rally in an unfamiliar location but with a very familiar format.

My husband Terry and I had attended so many in the past at away games and bowl games all over the country.   The pep rallies all seemed the same after a while, but there in Ireland, it was decidedly different.  The enthusiasm of the Penn State crowd was contagious and it reminded me that of course I would have been there "if only"...

Friday, July 25, 2014

Paterno Legacy by Jay Paterno: A Must Read!

I was lucky enough to learn that the Barnes and Noble bookstore in State College had a few copies of this book before anyplace else in the country.  I was able to drive down to the bookstore and pick one up right away.  Never mind that I almost got a speeding ticket on my way to pick up the book...luckily the police officer that stopped me was kind!

Once I acquired it I couldn't put it down, even though I went through an entire box of tissues while reading it.  There are painful moments, rich moments, humorous moments.  It is very well written.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Two Ways to Honor Joe Paterno This Summer

When I think of Joe Paterno and his impact on Penn State University, I think primarily about his commitment to developing young men - his football players - into educated and responsible citizens who contribute greatly to the world we live in.

Yes, Joe also won a lot of football games - 409 to be exact - but in fact Joe didn't win a single one of those games by himself.  His players were the true winners.  What Joe did so beautifully over 61 years of service to Penn State as a coach was to establish the right conditions and discipline for those team members to excel. 

And to excel while earning their degrees at a demanding university that cuts no slack to athletes. I know, because I teach at Penn State and have to fill out forms on athletes' progress in my classes - they are very tightly monitored to make sure they are attending classes and succeeding in the classroom.  Regardless of their position on the team, if a football player is slacking off in the classroom, Joe Paterno would tell you "Flunk him.  It will teach him a lesson."  I know because this situation happened in my classroom and that is exactly what Joe Paterno told me. 

Joe Paterno and his wife Sue were also great humanitarians.  They gave back (and his family continues to give back) to Penn State University and to numerous Pennsylvania charities.  Economically, the success of Penn State football during Joe's tenure contributed greatly to Centre County businesses and tourism and certainly the quality of life.

For these reasons, the efforts to Honor Joe through the film "The People's Joe" and through a very exciting bench sculpture project "Joe's Bench",  planned for downtown State College are worthy of your support.

These projects are designed to be projects by the people and for the people. Many sculptures are created due to the generosity of a few large donors with deep pockets, but the intent here is to reach out to all who want to share in the story and pay tribute to a man who truly deserves our respect.

Recently, I was visiting the City of Amsterdam, and while wandering through the Red Light District, happened upon this bench which pays tribute to Lieut-Colonel Alida Margaretha Bosshardt, a Salvation Army leader who was known as the "Angel of Amsterdam".   I didn't even know who she was at the time, but felt compelled to sit on this bench and curious enough to find her biography online. 

Just cool would it be if we had something like this in State College to honor a man who would never want to be described as an angel, but who had such an impact on so many lives through his work? 
To find out more about the film and bench projects and to contribute $1, $5, $25, $100 or more towards this effort, visit

And please...spread the word....this project will happen only with broad-based support.

Friday, January 31, 2014

Penn State Football: A Heartfelt Request in Memory of My Husband

On January 8, 2014 my husband Terry Todd passed away at the age of 78. 
Terry had attended 282 Penn State football games in a row between 1990 and the end of 2012, and 426 football games overall since 1970.  You can read his full obituary here
Football was Terry's passion and in 2013 cancer stripped Terry of that passion as well as his life.  
For that reason I have asked that memorial contributions in Terry's name be made to the Penn State chapter of Uplifting Athletes. It's an annual PSU football team effort to raise money for kidney cancer research, and it seems very fitting to support this charity.
Any donations in Terry's memory are most appreciated, or you can choose a favorite athlete and support their efforts in the upcoming 2014 Lift for Life.  
You can visit the Uplifting Athletes website here:
As for me, I will do my best to carry Terry's passion for Penn State football forward as we welcome Coach James Franklin and look forward to yet another new beginning for Penn State football this fall.   
Thank you for your patience this year, I promise you that this blog will see new life in the months ahead.
We Are...Penn State!
Carolyn Todd