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Penn State’s End-Of-Year Video Highlights Community’s Resilience

In past years, Penn State’s end-of-year messages have come in all shapes and sizes, like “Home Alone” parodies with the Nittany Lion or wacky Uber trips with everyone’s favorite university president. But this time around, the university’s holiday greeting sought to highlight Penn Staters’ resilient spirit, passion, and drive.

The video, which premiered Friday afternoon, begins with a few dramatic shots of instruments and dancers before displaying the first definition of resilience: “the ability of a substance or object to spring back into shape; elasticity.”

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, it’s pretty easy to grasp just how resilient Penn State’s community has been over the past year. Rocked by the coronavirus pandemic, Penn Staters returned to campus and successfully completed an unprecedented semester, put together an unimaginable football season, and navigated challenges day in and day out.

Following more clips of Penn State cheerleaders, divers, gymnasts, and musicians, the video flashed its next definition of resilience: “the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness.”

Time and time again this year, Penn Staters rolled with punches and kept getting back up. Hundreds of students survived worrisome conditions in on-campus quarantine and isolation dorms. Fans at home endured Penn State football’s first-ever 0-5 start to a season. And when confronted with scattered instances of hate speech, Penn Staters united against it.

Finally, accompanied by clips and photos of Penn Staters from near and far, we see the third definition of resilience: “a quality shared by Penn Staters around the world.”

Hell yeah it is.

To close out the heartwarming message, Penn State President Eric Barron and his wife, Molly, thanked the university community for their efforts, spirit, and determination during an overwhelming and challenging year.

“This year, perhaps more than any other, we’ve seen the resilient spirit of the Penn State students, faculty, staff, and alumni,” Barron said. “You faced unprecedented challenges and met them with creativity and hope and determination. Thank you for showing us what it means to be a Penn Stater.”

Molly Barron echoed that sentiment and wished every Penn Stater a happy and healthy holiday season.

“We look forward to all we can accomplish together in the new year,” Molly said.

Even with a vaccine on the horizon, Penn State might not get back to normal anytime soon. THON will be virtual, classes could stay online, and hell, we might not even go back to campus. But no matter what, Penn Staters will meet challenges head-on and ride them out together.

From everyone at Onward State, happy holidays!

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About the Author

Matt DiSanto

By day, Matt is a senior majoring in journalism. By night, he's Onward State's managing editor. He's a huge Philadelphia sports fan, fantasy football lover, and washed-up drummer hailing from Collegeville, Pa. The quickest way to his heart is Margherita pizza and "Arrested Development" quotes. Follow him on Twitter @mattdisanto_ if you hate yourself or email Matt at [email protected] if you hate him.


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