University Source: Joe Paterno Statue Melted Down For Rodney A. Erickson Food Science Building
After years of wondering, we finally found the JoePa statue. In fact, it’s been hiding in plain sight for months now. According to a knowledgeable source in Old Main, Rodney Erickson’s final act as President was to have the Joe Paterno statue removed from storage and melted down in order to make the bronze letters affixed to the Food Science building that now bears his name.
Ever since that fateful summer morning when the curtains went up and the bronze JoePa was torn down, Onward State has been on a statue hunt of National Treasure-esque proportions. We’ve done everything from spending entire football games searching storage rooms in Beaver Stadium, to scouring the depths of Rec Hall, to getting latitude and longitude directions from John Ziegler in the Pugh Street parking deck at four in the morning.
The fact is, the staff of this site has dedicated years of time and effort to finding this statue for you, our readers. A few days ago, that persistence paid off in the form of a cryptic email sent from a since-deleted psu.edu e-mail address, whose owner wished to remain anonymous. That email in full below:
After receiving this e-mail, a red team was put together to investigate the situation. Penn State News Editor and resident architect Ted Hozza crunched the numbers, and realized the claim about relative size of the letters in proportion to a statue mold was absolutely correct. Our chief metals expert Zack Rickens, whose knowledge of steel beams and bronze statues is unparalleled, confirmed the material used in the letters. Finally, Kevin Horne used all of his accumulated university contacts from his nine years on campus to search every possible previously known location of the statue to no avail.
After hours of painstaking research, we at Onward State can officially confirm that Erickson’s final act before being succeeded by Eric Barron was to have the statue smelted and molded. The bronze likeness of the winningest coach in major college football history is now being used to promote the president who graciously saved the school from its massive culture problem. Next time you want to pay tribute to man who made Penn State football what it is today, all you have to do is take a trip down Curtin Road to the Rodney A. Erickson Food Science Building and pose with a finger raised to the air. You can’t cover up 61 years of success with honor, but maybe the delicious ice cream will distract you from it for a little while.