10 Reasons I Love Sue Paterno

10 Reasons I Love Sue Paterno

From a very young age the name Paterno was very familiar to me. Being from a (mostly) Penn State family, Joe and Sue Paterno were frequently discussed in my home. Although I’ve never had the pleasure of meeting her, over the years Sue Paterno has taught me many lessons on the importance of making a positive impact in the world. I feel lucky to be able to call her one of my heroes. In no particular order, here are ten reasons I love Sue Paterno.

1. SuePa’s grace, elegance and poise can be matched by no other in State College, let alone many in the world. She is truly a mom to everyone in the community. At various community events, she is always quick to share positive and meaningful words accompanied with a bright smile.

2. Sue’s generosity is displayed throughout Happy Valley, most notably on campus. Thanks to Sue and Joe’s contributions to academic and athletic excellence, Penn State has Paterno Library, the All-Sports Museum and the Pasquerilla Spiritual Center. Mrs. Paterno has also been instrumental in developing many scholarships and worked closely with the College of Liberal Arts and Schreyer Honors College to develop the Paterno Fellows program.

3. Over the last year, Sue has certainly taught us all an important lesson on patience and not jumping to conclusions. In a world that is quick to judge, Sue Paterno has taught us that it is important to take a step back and to reflect on all sides of a story.

4. Sue Paterno is a beyond caring woman. As she stated in the letter she wrote to the Penn State Letterman, “My heart and home will always be open to you.” As I said before, I have never met Sue, but there is no doubt in my mind that if I walked up to her home on McKee Street and rang the doorbell, she would welcome me in with open arms; she would welcome any Penn Stater into her home with open arms.

5. Perhaps nothing is nearer or dearer to my heart in Happy Valley than Penn State Dance Marathon. As a four year THON participant, I love Sue Sue at Special OlympicsPaterno for her continued support of the largest student run philanthropy in the world. Sue’s life encompasses the Four Diamonds; courage, wisdom, honesty and strength.

6. For over 15 years, Sue Paterno has served on the board for the Pennsylvania Special Olympics. Her dedication and years of service to this worthy cause exemplify and embody everything she stands for. One of my fondest memories of seeing Sue at a public event was during the Special Olympics 5k in 2012. She greeted each runner and walker with a vibrant smile at the start of the race and happily took pictures with the runners and walkers at the finish line. It was not difficult to see that everyone participating was bringing joy to her life and to a cause she holds so dear.

7. One of the many reasons I love Sue Paterno and think she is such a wonderful person is because of her sense of humility. Through everything she remains humble and gracious. Her humility is displayed in everything she does.

8. I love SueDanielle and Jay Special OlympicsPa because for over 50 years she has happily shared her family with the community. This was especially apparent in January 2012 when Joe Paterno passed away from cancer. Sue knew that it was important for Penn Staters to have the chance to say goodbye to her husband. I cannot even begin to imagine how difficult this was for her as a wife.

9. If you look the word “strength” up in the dictionary, I am pretty sure you will find a picture of Sue Paterno. Sue defines what it means to be strong. This too has become especially apparent over the last year. While the national media and certain individuals did everything to break her spirit, she remained strong. If I can ever be one tenth as strong as her, I will consider myself VERY lucky.

10. The final reason I love SuePa may seem rather simple but I don’t think the reasoning needs much explanation. I love Sue Paterno because she embodies what is means to be Penn State. Sue Paterno IS Penn State. Anyone who loves Penn State knows exactly what I mean when I say this.

I am incredibly lucky to have SuePa as one of my heroes. Like Sue, I try to make each day count; to live each day with a purpose. If I ever accomplish even a small percentage of what Mrs. Paterno has accomplished, I will have lived a VERY fulfilling life. Thank you Sue!

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