My husband and I came to Penn State in 1965. It was a very different university then, and we watched with pleasure the developments in such areas as science, faculty appointments, buildings, programs, fundraising and grants.
We have witnessed a change from a good university to an excellent one that rates with the great universities of the country. Many people have contributed to these advancements, but one person has guided and implemented them with skill and distinction.
That person is Graham Spanier. If he had completed his term as president, he would have been honored and feted; now he is denigrated and maligned.
We are so quick to point fingers, to rush to judgment, to ease our pain by finding scapegoats.
The Freeh report, meant to reveal the truth and to dispel our anguish, has had the opposite effect. It issued judgments, many of which are not supported by the facts. I believe Spanier when he writes that, as someone who was abused as a child, someone who chose as his academic focus the welfare of families and children, it is inconceivable that he would not have the welfare of abused children at heart.
He has offered us 16 years of honesty, integrity and vision; we must listen to him when he speaks, when he says, “As I have stated in the clearest possible terms at no time during my presidency did anyone ever report to me that Jerry Sandusky was observed abusing a child or youth or engaged in a sexual act with a child or youth.”
When we stop the blaming game in which we have been caught, we will begin to heal.
Helen Manfull State College