2011 Senior Class Gift: Joe Pa The Redeemer
The 2011 Senior Class Gift was announced yesterday by the Senior Class Gift Committee and will feature a gargantuan statue of Joe Paterno overlooking Happy Valley, a la Christ the Redeemer in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. The project will cost roughly $10 million dollars and the committee is asking for only a small donation from students, a mere $1000, or more if possible. The committee is also looking into burning down one of the campus buildings to collect the insurance money to help fund the project. No word yet on which building will be targeted, but the committee said they will give at least five minutes notice before torching the place.
The statue will be made of a combination of different metals and will be placed on the mountainside in a specific position so that at noon on Saturdays, the sun will hit the statue, causing it to gleam brightly. The glare from the statue will be able to be seen from miles away, according to architects. The design also allows for the statue to cast a four-mile-long shadow over town.
Much of the metal used to sculpt the monument will come from bleachers and steel beams taken from Beaver Stadium. When asked about the concern of safety for those in Beaver Stadium after many of the steel beams are removed for the project, stadium officials said:
Oh, we didn’t really think about the safety part. I’m sure it’ll be fine, I guess we’ll find out this coming football season.
Some are wildly against the Joe Pa the Redeemer statue, however, and instead would like to see a more prominent or famous individual that has contributed more to Penn State than Joe Paterno. Some suggestions included President Graham Spanier kneeling on a chair, newly elected UPUA President Christian Ragland sitting atop a golden throne, or one of the Willard preachers holding a large, illuminated bible that could be seen throughout the valley at night.
Other opponents to the monument argue that the monument’s current cost estimates don’t do Joe Paterno justice and would like to see even more money go into the monument’s creation. University official Tanner Reisling said:
Joe Pa has dedicated his entire life to this university, and how do we honor him, by building a monument made of scrap metal and bleachers? I’ve spoken to a lot of people and there is a general consensus that it should be made of solid gold.
Many, however, don’t want to see the statue made at all. Environmental studies major Callista Wilder said of the statues impact on the environment:
Such a massive statue would severely disrupt the habitats of the three-toe rats, a rare and indigenous species to the Nittany Mountains. They’re ugly, yes, and they have been known to cause horrendous diseases in humans and become aggressively violent, but these wonderful, hideous creatures must be preserved.
Joe Pa the Redeemer has already been selected as the final choice for the 2011 Senior Class Gift by the committee, whose spokesperson said:
We didn’t really feel like waiting for the students to vote on it. They mocked last year’s gift proposals, so screw ’em.
Construction is set to begin in May and the monument should be completed by the end of the summer.