Letter to the editor | For future generations

April 24, 2014 

I pledged a fraternity with Seth Williams at Penn State two months removed from Joe Paterno’s second national championship — when the tuition cost less than $10,000 a year.

Today, Pennsylvania residents spend about $30,000 a year to attend once room, board and miscellaneous fees are considered.

Many of the alumni on the board of trustees, those who have turned blue-collared shirts into pinstriped suits, benefited from a good-quality education at a reasonable price.

The university needs a board member who can attract more money from the state and who would work to make Penn State affordable for future generations.

With respect to recent developments, our head is bloodied but unbowed. Nevertheless, we find ourselves refurbishing our brand in the wake of the scandal.

While university officials offer politically astute rhetoric about sexual assault, as the Philadelphia district attorney, Williams has actually put predators behind bars. It is the sort of headline our university would invite at a time when the board of trustees election will likely make national news.

I have known Williams for a quarter century. I watched him convince the university to divest from South Africa, to make things happen. In an age when demonstrative commitments to service and oratorical performances have become the norm, Williams actually gets things done.

Without the slightest of hesitations, I unequivocally endorse his candidacy for the Penn State board of trustees.

Ivory Johnson

Washington, D.C.

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