Monday, December 24

Yes, Virginia, There Is A Penn State

Top of Form
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?


VIRGINIA, 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.

Yes, 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 extinguished.

Not 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.

You 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. 

No 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.

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