The Future of Paterno Fellows
While some Penn Staters may remember Joe Paterno as a football coach, the late head coach saw his primary duties to the university as an educator and philanthropist. Most prominently, his family’s name graces the library. In recent weeks, we learned about the Paterno Family Professorship in Literature. The Paterno family also set up the Paterno Fellows Program, a joint venture between the College of the Liberal Arts and the Schreyer Honors College that paves a path for Liberal Arts students to gain admittance into the Honors College.
In November, the program’s Student Advisory Board decided to keep the Paterno name until new information was released. Well, in eleven months, Centre County witnessed its trial of the century and Louis Freeh implicated Joe Paterno in the cover-up of Jerry Sandusky. Despite these momentous occasions the Student Advisory Board has decided to wait until the trials are finished to decide on the permanent status of its name.
According to Julia Schrank, the Student Senator for the Liberal Arts in the Faculty Senate, the Student Advisory Board “had a very strong say in the question of the program’s name.” As a part of the humanist education the program provides, the Board decided that this is a lesson where it is necessary to judge a person on his lifetime of works, not on one tragic episode.
Ms. Schrank also reported that the Paterno Fellows Program is a rising success. The College of the Liberal Arts is the highest supplier of Schreyer scholars.