September 15, 2012

Ms Karen Peetz
Vice Chairman;
Chief Executive Officer, Financial Markets & Treasury Services
The Bank of New York Mellon
One Wall Street
New York, NY 10286

Re: Passion

Dear Ms. Peetz:

This is a letter about passion. My friends and family and I have often joked about how Penn State alumni are fanatical about Penn State. Our passion for our University is unlike any other school. I honestly believe that.

My passion is still strong. But it is expressed often through tears. I cry over the loss of my fanaticism.

My emotions have changed to devastation, sadness, and even anger over the too many losses. I once held my head high. Now it is with conscious thought that I force myself to hold my head up high while I wait in dread for the negative comments to fly at me from all kinds of unexpected sources.

I cry over the tremendous misrepresentation in the media about Penn State. I cry over the cruel things people say about my school. I cry over the loss of a wonderful reputation. I cry over the injustice of the placement of blame on everything Penn State instead of on Sandusky, the Second Mile, the Attorney General, the District Attorney, the Governor, law enforcement, social services, and others where it rightfully belongs. I cry over the loss of a great man, Joe Paterno. I cry over the hurtful things people say about Joe Paterno. I cry over the mishandling of the crisis by the Board of Trustees. I cry over the continued lack of understanding and lack of recognition by the Board of Trustees of what I and my fellow alumni have lost, of how we feel, of how you have destroyed what we have valued so highly for so many years, and especially how you have almost made us ashamed and afraid to say we are from Penn State.

Do you have any idea what you have done to us, your valued alumni? You don’t. That is evident in your strategy of acceptance—of the media’s demands, of blame, of the Freeh report, of the sanctions. It is evident in how you callously fired an icon. If I wanted to write a case study that demonstrated how not to handle a crisis, this would be it.

I watched the BOT meeting yesterday. It was exciting to me that questions would be heard from the audience. But once again I cried. Why? Because you refuse to examine anything other than the governance recommendations of the Freeh report. You diminished us once again by not making sure the conclusions were sound and based on sound facts and information. You diminish us by not asking questions and looking around you. You diminished us by not fighting for us and with us -- not fighting for what we were proud of, what we valued, what we helped create.

I am hurting. I am heartbroken. Because you do not recognize our truths and you do not fight for us and for the glory of Penn State. For whatever reason, you failed us and continue to fail us. You damage us by letting the media and the public believe Penn State and the former leaders at Penn State were evil. You belittle what Joe Paterno did for the University through your actions and your silence. You did this by showing no faith in him even in the face of the great things he did for Penn State. You chose to forget. You did this even in the face of knowing he was retiring. But you couldn’t wait. You did this even in the face of knowing what his strong value system was and his focus on students. But you somehow thought he would neglect to protect children. You did this by firing him and then remaining silent. You did not defend him or the University or us, the alumni. You did this by taking down the statue. Once again demonstrating to the world you believe the worst. Maybe you think what you believe makes Penn State better? It hasn’t made the public think any better of us. It is certainly not what I believe.

I believe in standing up for what is right and fighting injustice. I do not believe in rolling over and playing dead as a strategy for righting wrongs. I do not believe in burying my head in the sand and hoping the issues will go away. That is why I do not fade into the background and move on.

You have damaged me; you have damaged the alumni, you have damaged the reputation of a great University; you have damaged our self-esteem; you have damaged our standing in the eyes of others; you have damaged our pride; you have damaged our personal reputations; you have damaged our fanaticism.

How could you?


Peggy Bauer Glaser, Ph.D.
Class of 1970

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Last updated Sept 20, 2012, jlb