The ABCs of 2011

A is for Avicii, who had the BJC bouncing in late November, and for the Alabama Crimson Tide, who Penn State hosted in one of the most highly-anticipated football games in recent Beaver Stadium history.

B is for bin Laden’s death, which thousands took to Beaver Ave. to celebrate on what our own Becky Perlow coined “The Night America Won”, for the Beat Zone, which we can all agree just didn’t work, and for the PA budget cut crisis.

C is for cancer, which Penn State’s Hershey Medical Center may have found cures for two separate times this year (breast cancer in September and leukemia in December).

D is for Dallas, where Penn State will play in the TicketCity Bowl on Monday, and for Devon Still (@Dev_Still71) because I’m afraid of what he may do to me if I don’t mention him in this post.

E is for earthquake (did you ever think you’d experience one of those in Happy Valley?) and for President Erickson, who has sent me more e-mails in the past two months than all of my professors combined.

F is for For The Kids, of course, as THON 2011 raised over $9.5 million FTK!

G is for Graham Spanier, now a former Penn State President, for graduation being moved in attempts to end Senior Week, and for Guy Gadowsky, whose significance is explained by…

H is for hockey, which began its transition to Division I play by hiring head coaches for the men’s and women’s teams. And don’t forget about field hockey, who won a Big Ten championship in 2011.

I is for the Illinois Fighting Illini, who Penn State defeated on October 29th to give Joe Paterno a Division I record 409 wins in what would ultimately be his last game as head coach.

J is for JoePa, whose legendary career came to a shocking and sudden end in November and who was diagnosed with treatable lung cancer shortly after.

K is for Mike “Coach K” Krzyzewski, who came to Penn State in June for the taping of ESPN’s Difference Makers special, co-starring with Joe Paterno.

L is for Lift for Life, through which Penn State football raised over $94,000 for kidney cancer research, for (Maggie) Lucas, who was named Big Ten Freshman of the Year, and for the Lion Shrine, where an armed robbery occurred in October that students apparently didn’t need to know about.

M is for Mounting Nittany, which captured our interest for a few brief weeks thanks to its scandalously sexual contents, for March Madness, which the men finally got to experience after a ten year drought and the women extended into the second round, and for the Millenium Science Complex, which was finally completed.

N is for no night games at Beaver Stadium for the first time since 2004.

O is for Occupy Penn State, which consisted of students “occupying” the HUB for about a month in protest, and for the Outback Bowl, which gave many a reason to keep drinking straight through New Year’s Day.

P is for President Barack Obama, who spoke at Rec Hall in February, for Pat Chambers, Penn State basketball’s new head coach who has been all over campus spreading #ATTITUDE, and for the passing of Bill Schreyer, the creator of the Schreyer Honors College.

Q is for quarterbacks. After months of heavy debate over who should start, Matt McGloin and Rob Bolden shared the role for the first half of the season. McGloin eventually won the job, until, well, you know the story.

R is for renovations to the library, White Building, Pollock Commons, and the Old Main bell tower. Oh, and for the “Riot That Never Should Have Happened.”

S is, unfortunately, for Sandusky and scandal. Otherwise, S is for Simmons dining hall, which closed to make room for The GLOBE, for Women’s Soccer, who captured their fourteenth-straight Big Ten title, and for snow, which we saw plenty of before Halloween yet again.

T is for Talor Battle, who completed his illustrious career as the greatest player (statistically, anyway) in Penn State basketball history.

U is for Urban Meyer, who went from a potential candidate to replace JoePa to Public Enemy #1 in Happy Valley in a matter of weeks, and for the upheaval of the Beaver Stadium student section, which moved into the endzone.

V is for vigil, which we held to recognize the victims of child abuse, and for Women’s Volleyball, who saw their streak of four-straight National Championships come to an end.

W is for Penn State wrestling, who in March won their first National Championship since 1953, and for the Whitehouse,which returned for the Alabama game after a two-year absence.

X is for xenophobia, defined as an unreasonable fear or hatred of foreigners or strangers or of that which is foreign or strange. Suggested by @Devon2012, this definitely captures the attitude of many Penn State students towards the media that flocked to State College in November and December.

Y is for Young Money, who made their presence known at Penn State in 2011. Students camped out at “Weezyville” to get tickets to see Lil Wayne, Rick Ross, Travis Barker, and Nicki Minaj in March. Drake, also a part of Young Money, performed at the BJC in November.

Z is for zero idea what to expect in 2012.


A big thanks to everyone who helped with this post, most notably @TheLarsTC and @phammershlag.

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About the Author

John Tecce

John is a senior in the Smeal College of Business majoring in Marketing. He currently serves as the President of the Paternoville Coordination Committee and as a THON Chair for Nittany Nation. He tweets a lot.

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