For nearly three years following November 2011, the Penn State community heard not a word of defense from Old Main as the university was attacked from every angle as part of the fallout from the Jerry Sandusky mess. It was left to Penn State students and alumni to “honor the purpose and carry the pride” while Old Main sat silent. In his six months as the new vice president for strategic communications, Lawrence Lokman has made it known that silence from our leadership will no longer be accepted.
Lokman responded to Keith Olbermann’s disparaging Tweets about Penn State students on the official university Facebook page, urging the suspended television personality to donate to THON instead of attacking students.
“It’s a shame that ESPN’s Keith Olbermann chose to attack Penn State students who raised more than $13 million for the fight to end pediatric cancer,” Lokman wrote. “Mr. Olbermann has apologized, which is appropriate. We challenge him to make a donation to THON.org. The thousands upon thousands of Penn State students who take part in THON every year have created the largest student-led philanthropy program in the world. We could not be more proud of our Penn Staters and their selfless commitment to helping families and children affected by cancer.”
Here’s hoping he’ll make a donation. In any case, the new era of vocal leadership at Penn State is music to my ears.