We are: “Penn State:”
The “We are” are two words that are used as the initial trigger words that start that proud chant we shout out many times when we are at various sports events or in a crowd of our peer’s somewhere.
This reaction is there because they mean so much to us, and possibly now more than ever. Maybe now for what has transpired over the last several months, we should reflect on them a little more as we try and cope with this whole tragic scenario of blame we are presently going through.
We have really changed or evolved over the last several months, as we have come closer together, we have bonded under a travesty of injustice, the likes of which no University or College has ever experienced before, and hopefully will never have to go through again.
However these changes we are experiencing will never allow us to forget the Victims in this tragedy as they are a major focus for all of our future efforts.
Yet it is hard to understand, to fathom, to experience an injustice of this magnitude against so many young people as well as fans, faculty, alumni, and the many stakeholders, who have had absolutely no part in any of this ongoing saga.
Within this whole tragedy, and the change it carries with it, we still maintain all of our core values, all the elements and pieces are still there, the pride, the passion for what is right, that foster character and integrity in all that we do, aligned around a dignity that displays itself through the honor of being true to our belief’s, and what is important to us.
If we think about it, we are really going through an extension for what was started as the “Grand Experiment,” maybe changing from what was an experiment, to what has evolved into becoming a way of life, that seems to manifested itself through a “Love” of teaching and caring of young people, allowing and encouraging them to envision all that they can become though learning, growing, as well as creating an empathy for what surrounds them.
We might have brought aboard some new “Leader’s” in various places and responsibilities, but we still seem to have the fire and passion that exemplifies the “Icon”, who is now up looking down from above, encouraged by what he sees, thinking “I knew they would keep it going.”
The “We Are” has evolved into a group of apostles for the change we are going through, where our young people have rigorously followed and adapted well for what needs to happen to go forward into this new era.
We need to recognize that we all have a significant opportunity before us, that if we work together we can be an example for how we can take some unwarranted adversity, and change it into meaningful process, that can be the envy of every university in the country, just as the “Grand Experiment” has been.
In this process we are creating some new “Leadership” for these opportunities, as we had when we began the “Grand Experiment” beginning with the football program and Coach O’Brien his staff, as well many of his senior players. It is encouraging to note that they have exemplified the values and principles, as well as the character and conduct for what is required to go forward and address the challenges that are before us.
These opportunities we have in front of us carry with them the responsibility we need to reflect on, with the many others of our great University who are mentoring, coaching as well as teaching, who also have also been an important and integral part of the “Grand Experiment.”
However, in all of this we must also do our part, and because we are “Penn State,” we must support our school and its young people through responsible “Followership.”
Responsible followership carries with it the character and integrity required for influence of responsible Leadership, as well as those that are in stewardship roles and positions.
There is an old quote that says “Life has taught us that love and caring does not consist in gazing at each other, but in looking outward together in the same direction toward opportunities for what is possible.”
It is sort of mind boggling that there are those that cannot not see, or maybe don’t want to see how successful the “Grand Experiment” has been. It has been the envy of the whole academic society, creating the top student athlete graduation rate, as well as being one of the most sought after academic institutions by the business community in the country.
When we think off it, the “Grand Experiment” has built a solid foundation for a total educational and a learning process founded on the concepts, of creating Honor and Pride in all that we do.
“The most important human endeavor is striving for morality in our actions. Our inner balance and even our very existence depend on it. Only if we face morality in our actions can we give beauty and dignity to those who we have followed in the past, as well as those we follow now.”
Here then is the direction of our opportunities, let us all gab them in our in our thoughts and priorities and run with them.
“Good men prefer to be accountable.”
The real sins and problems of the world come from those that under difficulties and trying times do nothing, we cannot afford to be indifferent, we have a legacy to protect!
Bill Boynton a Penn State Blue Blood