By Deborah C. Beidel "This letter to Virginia is based on the original editorial that appeared many years ago in the SUN as written by then editor Francis Pharcellus Church. The original piece was entitled 'Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.' Francis Pharcellus Church is the author of the original letter - a small number of words were changed from the original to make this Penn State version."
"DEAR EDITOR: I am 8 years old.
"Some of my friends say the Penn State we believed in no longer exists.
"Papa says, 'If you see it in THE SUN it's so.' "Please
tell me the truth; is there still a Penn State?
WEST NINETY-FIFTH STREET."
your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the BOT and the NCAA.
They do not believe except what they read on ESPN. They think that nothing can
be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia,
whether they be men's or children's, are little. In this great universe of ours
the BOT and the NCAA are mere insects, ESPN a mere ant, as compared with the
boundless world about us, as measured by alumni intelligence capable of
grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.
VIRGINIA, there is a Penn State. It exists as certainly as WE ARE and Success
with Honor and Thon exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life
beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Penn
State? It would be as dreary as if there were no VIRGINIAS. There would be no
Peachy Paterno then, no academic excellence, no 500,000 alumni and friends to
make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and
sight. The eternal light with which Penn State fills the world would be
believe in Penn State! You might as well not believe in Joe Paterno! You might
get someone to hire men to search the campus for the Joe Paterno statue, but
even if they did not find it, what would that prove? Nobody sees Penn State,
but that is no sign that there is no Penn State. The most real things in the
world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see the
Nittany Lion dancing on Old Main lawn? Of course not, but that's no proof that
it is not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are
unseen and unseeable in the world.
may tear apart Old Main to see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil
covering the unseen world which not the Emmert, nor even the united strength of
the BOT and the entire NCAA, could tear apart. Only thousands of college
students standing in the cold collecting $10,000,000 for kids with cancer, can
push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory
beyond. Is it all real? Ah, VIRGINIA, in all this world there is nothing else
more real and abiding.
Penn State! Thank God! Penn State lives, and lives forever. A thousand years
from now, Virginia, nay, ten times ten thousand years from now, Penn State will
continue to exist – for the glory, for the founders, for the future.