PSU news by
Penn State's student blog

Topics

About

Sue Paterno: The Lady Behind the Legend

Sue Paterno and her husband Joe PaternoWhen we think of Penn State football, the first person that comes to mind almost universally is the man, the myth, the legend, Joe Paterno. He is without question the reason why Nittany Lion football, and Penn State University as a whole, are viewed as one of the best programs and schools in the nation. He has been the foundation for which Penn State football has been built. But what about his foundation, what keeps him grounded as the face of Penn State University? The answer is Sue Paterno, JoePa’s wife of 47 years.

Sue Paterno has been so much more influential to Penn State than many people realize. A funny influence she has had on Penn State lore is that, back in the 60’s, she suggested that JoePa roll up his pant legs so that he wouldn’t get mud on his pants while roaming the sidelines. JoePa tried it and it did the trick, and he’s been doing it ever since.

On a more serious note though, SuePa (as she’s affectionately known as) has been majorly influential in several important aspects of the Penn State community. As a former English teacher, she and her husband decided in 1998 to donate $3.5 million to the University for the purpose of endowing faculty positions and scholarships, and to support the expansion of the Pattee Library. It is because of this donation that we now have the Pattee and Paterno libraries at the top of the Mall. (A popular Lion Scout factoid is that Penn State is the only Division I school to have a library building named after a football coach and his family) SuePa continues to work with the University Libraries system to help raise money for expansion and preservation of the collection.

She helps organize the Pennsylvania summer games, a subset of the Special Olympics, held at Penn State every June. Over the summer Sue and her husband donated $1 million to the Mount Nittany Medical Center to help build a new wing for the hospital.

SuePa has also been a major influence in the lives of dozens of JoePa’s Nittany Lion players. For years she has been offering help to football players who were struggling in English classes. On several occasions, players had been told that they could only attend Penn State if they took lessons from SuePa.

Sue Paterno has had a major impact on Penn State, both within the football program we hold so dear, and the rest of the community. Her husband agrees:

“I’ve said many times that they won’t have any problems replacing me, but if they can find a coach’s wife like Sue, they’ll hit the jackpot.”

Well said coach, well said.

[source]

[image source]

About the Author

Chase Tralka

Chase Tralka is a Senior majoring in Information Sciences and Technology with a minor in Security and Risk Analysis. He is from Northern New Jersey and is involved in far too many organizations to list here. He enjoys photography, cycling, and listening to obscure free jazz music.

Comments

More by Chase

Three Words: For the Glory

When I sat back one night in January thinking about my time at Penn State, I tried to come up with a single word that would adequately describe my experiences here. As I attempted to determine what that magic word might be, my mind began to grasp the absurdity of that challenge. How could I possibly distill four years of my life, countless friendships, and untold numbers of memories, down to a single word? An impossible task to be sure. So instead, I took the easier road and went with three words: For the Glory.

Distinguished Speakers Chosen to Speak at Commencement Ceremonies

PSU Contacts Minnesota-Duluth’s Hockey Coach

Athletics

Penn State Women’s Soccer Beats Duquesne 6-0

Emily Ogle, Frankie Tagliaferri, Kerry Abello, Rachel Wasserman, and Kim Dubs scored for the Nittany Lions in Sunday’s lopsided victory.

Shea Moyer Lifts Penn State Women’s Soccer Past West Virginia 1-0

Penn State Women’s Soccer Poised For Strong 2018 Season

Incoming Penn State Track & Field Athlete Kristian Marche Shot To Death In Philadelphia

Former Women’s Gymnastics Coach Files Lawsuit Against Penn State Over Handling Of Abuse Allegations

Student Life

Lisa Salters To Serve As 2018 Homecoming Grand Marshal

The Grand Marshal will be present at many of Homecoming’s events throughout the week and will be featured in the parade Friday night.

Student Body President Cody Heaton Welcomes Class of 2022 At Convocation

Start The Semester Off Right With These Welcome Week Activities

Plans Submitted For New KFC In State College

Developers have submitted preliminary land development plans to build a new KFC restaurant at 1780 S. Atherton St. in State College.

Join Onward State: Fall 2018 Application

Onward State is hiring for the fall semester and we’d love to have you join us.

Penn State Officially Welcomes Class Of 2022 At Convocation

The Class of 2022 joined the Penn State family Saturday evening at Convocation.

Be the first to know

  • Top posts and the best Penn State stories

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.

Assessing Penn State’s Front Seven Following Tuesday’s Medical Retirements

Penn State’s defensive line rotation will be shaken up following Ryan Buchholz’s medical retirement from football, while the coaching staff is letting the linebackers duel it out during camp.

Send this to a friend