University Park, PA -- Aug. 15, 2013 — First, a confession and an apology: I haven't submitted a post to this blog, "Rooting for Penn State," for probably a couple of years or more, and I'm sorry. But now, today, I'm starting it up again. Before I get into the main subject matter, let me mention the former CDT editor who first offered me the chance to do this blog, Bob Heisse, and put a public thanks to him out there on the blogosphere.
"Rooting for Penn State" is not sports-related, despite its title (which I think is a terrific one, by the way). It's about the efforts, events, and initiatives of the Penn State Grassroots Network. (Get it? Grassroots, roots, rooting.) The Network is a group of 35,000-plus volunteers -- mostly but not exclusively Penn State alums, and mostly but not exclusively Pennsylvania residents -- who contribute their time, energy and voices to serve as advocates for Penn State.
The Network is more generally known as the Penn State Alumni Association's legislative education and advocacy network. Here's what that means:
As Network director, I keep Network volunteers informed and educated about legislative issues important to Penn State, mostly in Harrisburg but also in Washington, D.C. And I help give them the tools they need -- both online and off -- to reach out to their elected officials as advocates for Penn State.
One of the most important things Network volunteers do is to ask their state legislators to support the healthiest possible state appropriation for Penn State. This year's appropriation for Penn State was clearly a win for Penn State and its students, due in no small part to the efforts of Network volunteers: level funding for Penn State, plus an increase above level funding of $1.5 million for agricultural research and extension and an increase above level funding of $2 million for the Pennsylvania College of Technology, a Penn State affiliate in Williamsport.
Healthy annual state support is so important for the University because it helps keep the Penn State educational experience strong, helps preserve the in-state tuition reduction for Pennsylvana resident students, helps keep tuition increases as low as possible, and helps preserve the strength and vitality of Penn State's 19 undergraduate campuses across the state.
Thanks to all the volunteers for their continued support.
Just one more thing for today:
Yesterday, Aug. 14, I was at Penn State's agricultural research facility at Rock Springs for Ag Progress Days and a government/industry day lunch there. One of the speakers at the lunch was area Conigressman Glenn "GT" Thompson, who was honored last month by the Network and the Penn State Alumni Association. GT received the "Friend of Penn State" legislative award for his continued service to and support of Penn State.
And I'll also post a photo I took yesterday of GT while he was talking to Ag Progress Day visitors.
You can read more about the award, and why GT got it, here:
You can read a good account (in the CDT) of yesterday's Ag Progress Days activities here:
That's it for now. Please bear with any clunkiness in my writing style as I get back into blogging. I'll try to keep future blogs short and interesting!