University Park, not the only campus

The following is a reader submission from Thomas Acker, who is transferring to Penn State World Campus in the fall from Central Texas College. He is currently a Sergeant in the US Army and has a knack for discussing Penn State sports. Acker wanted to share some thoughts about getting the Penn State experience from a distance.

Penn State has student-athletes
outside of State College too.
Photo: PSU Harrisburg Athletics 

Have you ever wonder what exactly it was that convinced a 17 year old athlete that Penn State was the spot for them?

Was it a coach, a family tradition or proximity to home? I asked a few student-athletes and there were a lot of different reasons. Penn State has 19 campuses in the Commonwealth, so University Park isn’t the only campus that has particularly good athletic programs. PSU-Altoona won a conference championship just last year, so I asked sophomore pitcher Josh Clark what intrigued him to play ball for Altoona.

“I chose Altoona because my dad went here and so did my aunts, so it was a no brainer for me. As soon as I was accepted it was a done deal, I knew I was going to play here.”

Penn State-Harrisburg women’s soccer freshman Allison Trutt said “Location was my reason. I wanted to stay close to home, they had the major I wanted and it’s a small school.”

With all things considered maybe the fact that Penn State is ranked 45th best university, worldwide had nothing to do with it. So many things other than athletics can lead someone to PSU. Obviously we can’t go on without mentioning the single largest philanthropic event held by students in the world, THON.

THON is something that every student at Penn state cherishes. Even new head football coach Bill O’Brien is buying in. He vowed at this year’s event to purchase season tickets to football games this year for the couple who raised the most money. All proceeds from THON go to the Four Diamonds Fund for Children’s Cancer research. Football players have their own event, called Lift for Life, every year they lift as many weights as they can to raise money for Kidney Cancer.

Our athletes are more than athletes. They are students, leaders, and philanthropists.

Maybe the chance to help others was a deciding factor, but what keeps them at Penn State?

“Baseball keeps me here, and so does the Penn State name, nothing has really changed since day one” said Clark. Trutt doesn’t seem to mind that she isn’t at the main campus “I stay at Harrisburg because of the professors, the proximity to home, and soccer.”

So not being at University Park is not a problem for these athletes. With all of the excitement from at main campus, it’s easy to forget about what goes on at the other campuses. They are just as proud to be a part of something special , they will restore the roar.

Thanks to Thomas Acker for submitting this. You can submit your own guest entries for consideration by emailing your story ideas to thenlden@gmail.com.

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Kevin McGuire

About Kevin McGuire

Contributor to College Football Talk on NBCSports.com. Member of the FWAA and National Football Foundation. College Football Hall of Fame voter. Also managing Bloguin's NittanyLionsDen.com and Macho-Row.com.