This is the first ever post to the Ol' 53 that's been authored out of state. Specifically, I'm writing this from Harrisburg, PA. This is where I am stopping over for the evening, before helping my son move into college tomorrow. I have about another 90-minute drive tomorrow, to State College. He's of course, attending Penn State.
And so, the inevitable question: how do I feel about that? Have only received this question about 50 times since he was accepted back in January.
And the answer: I feel damn good about it! Let me count the ways.
1. Penn State has been, and remains, one of the top 50 colleges in the country. Of course, let me go out of the way right now to say that the whole Jerry Sandusky escapade is horrific, inexcusable, and honestly, the university got what they deserved. They also got, almost exactly, what a PSU student columnist thought they should receive in a column published less than a week before the NCAA's punishment.
2. In specific, my son is taking advantage of a top 10 nationally-ranked program, this in communications. Ironically, he wants to go into sports journalism.
3. In addressing the findings of the Freeh report, the university is going to have to marshal all its resources in order to radically transform it in a short amount of time. I believe that in 2016 when my son graduates (I hope!), the institution will be a lot different than today. It's an exciting time and he's fortunate to be a part of that.
4. I am convinced that there are few universities with less inherent pride in itself than Penn State. And that includes the fine preprofessional school at which I am an administrator. That pride, leveraged in the proper way, can be a terrific asset in helping fix the school's problems.
5. And last: my son loves the place. This was his #1 choice to attend since his sophomore year of high school, and no way should he not have the opportunity to attend here.
I am amazingly proud of my son and the young man he is becoming. And that he's stepping out on his own, with the opportunity to live his dream. It would be idiotic and improper for anyone to even attempt to cast a pall on that dream, because of the moronic actions of some at the college he has chosen to attend.