November is a month dominated by football, turkey, and eager anticipation for the holidays right around the corner. For the Movember Foundation, however, the month is for mustaches instead.
The foundation seeks to raise awareness and funds for men’s health issues such as testicular cancer, prostate cancer, mental health issues, and suicide prevention. Their calling card ditches the boring ribbons for some macho mustaches, as they encourage men to grow mustaches every November as a symbol of support. For the sake of Movember, and since I cannot grow a mustache myself, I perused the library’s photo archives to find some of the most notable flavor savers in Penn State history.
Edwin Erle Sparks
Edwin Erle Sparks was the university’s president from 1908-1920, and during this time period the school was referred to as Penn ‘Stache (for obvious reasons). Sparks accomplished a lot during his 12 year tenure as president, including important curriculum expansion and public relations efforts that tripled enrollment. His greatest achievement, however, was his mustache’s ability to defy gravity. University legend says this was the result of years of research by the engineering department to develop the strongest mustache wax ever.
Brian Milne’s story is one of perseverance and terrific facial hair. In 1990, Milne was a junior standout at tailback and a state champion in shot put and discus for Fort LeBoef High School when he was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma. After six months of chemotherapy and several surgeries, he officially beat cancer. Despite missing his senior football season to the illness, Milne was still offered a scholarship to play both sports at Penn State.
In 1992, Milne’s first collegiate discus throw qualified him for the US Olympic trials. Unfortunately, however, he was unable to fulfill his olympic dreams due to an emergency appendectomy which proved to be a major setback in his season. He did go on to be a key component of the 1994 Nittany Lions team that was victorious in the Rose Bowl, and he was drafted in the fourth round of the 1996 NFL draft. The secret to his triumphant success was right under his nose, as his mustache accompanied him throughout his collegiate and professional career.
Jerry Dunn was the Nittany Lions head basketball coach from 1995-2003. During this time, long before climbing was the team’s mantra, Dunn employed a brand of the sport dubbed “stache-ketball.” The Nittany Lions made four postseason appearances under Dunn, including one visit to the Sweet Sixteen. No season was sweeter than the coach’s mustache, however.
Norm Constantine proudly served as our beloved Nittany Lion mascot from 1978-1980. He is part of the rich history that earned the Nittany Lion a spot in the mascot hall of fame. In fact, he was the originator of the one-arm pushup which is now one of the Lion’s signature moves. Beneath the mask, Constantine donned some whiskers almost as legendary as the Penn State mascot.
Chuck Losey is the current Assistant Director of Performance Enhancement (read: strength and conditioning coach) for Penn State football. Aside from that, his upper lip is home to the greatest mustache not only in Penn State history, but in the history of mustaches.
You may be wondering, how do his mustache curls stay so perfect? Perhaps he found an old container of President Sparks’ mustache wax. My bet is that he trained it to stay like that.