If you’re on Twitter (and if you’re not, come on, what are you waiting for?) and follow any number of Penn State people, you’ve undoubtedly seen someone mention the newest account to hit the Penn State “twittersphere” — @BlueWhiteRising. The tweets all prompt you to go their website, BlueandWhiteRising.com, and sign up to, as they put it, “claim your seat in Blue and White Rising’s Digital Stadium where on January 1st the Penn State Nation will roar together at the same time to celebrate Coach O’Brien and our team.”
The founder of Blue and White Rising is Tony Bifano, a ’96 Penn State graduate and former Lion Ambassador. On his website, he states “Blue White Rising is an innovative new grass-roots community organization I founded to create a positive way for our Penn State community to both celebrate and proudly share with the world whenever a member of our family accomplishes something truly outstanding.”
Sounds cool, but what exactly is it?
Several other skeptics on Twitter noticed the same ambiguity, so I spoke to Bifano on the phone, whose Penn State pride is evident right away in his reflection.
“Our team and coach are great examples of what success with honor is all about,” Bifano said. “With Blue and White Rising, we want to identify and create moments of pride for people to share.”
Bifano explained that on January 1st, people who have signed up on the email list will be prompted to watch a 45-second video honoring Penn State and specifically this past season’s football team. Bifano hopes that people will then share the video on social media or via email – what he refers to as “roaring.”
Bifano says that he has consulted with over “200 of the most influential Penn Staters” to develop the project, which started out of an uneasiness with how information was disseminated from the university.
“There is so much information that flows out of our university and it can be overwhelming,” Bifano said. “It was clear that we didn’t have our own organized voice – and we needed a simple communication path for us to send a message together. This project is organizing our community and turning every Penn Stater into a powerful advocate for Penn State.”
Bifano says that this will be an ongoing project and that Blue White Rising will seek to put up new content to recognize Penn Staters who exemplify the very best of Penn State, or as he put it, “those who lead our community with success and honor.” He said new multimedia and content will be created and sent out “as needed.”
So, that’s that.