Ivy Leaf - Spring 2009

Thoughts from the Chancellor

Dear Alumni and Friends,


Sports always have been a pastime in my life and in the life of my family. I played varsity tennis at Lock Haven, and I have watched my children from the sidelines as they tried their hand at one sport after another. I have attended numerous sporting events. But the most exciting sports moment that I’ve ever witnessed—beyond my son Adam’s game-winning grand slam in a little league ballgame—was our women’s soccer team’s recent clinching of the AMCC Championship, capturing the firstever undefeated season for a Penn State Altoona athletic team. In their great moment of glory, they scored a 1-0 victory in double-overtime. .

Sipping on hot chocolate in the press box with Athletic Director Fredina Ingold, I was captivated by this gutwrenching, nailbiting sporting event. But what was most exciting was the pride that I felt for the student athletes who had worked so hard, as well as for the coach who had worked tirelessly on our students’ behalf. Their triumphs and accomplishments this season make me so very proud to be a part of our Penn State Altoona family.

This spirit of drive and determination on the field also resonates with our faculty and students, both in and out of the classroom. Reading through this issue of the Ivy Leaf, I am reminded of the value of intellectual freedom and of maintaining the free and open discourse that we enjoy in college life. As one of Penn State Altoona’s recently founded student organizations, the United Skeptics Association reinforces how important it is to bring many people of faiths and non-faiths together in order to share in our academic enterprise—in order to define their positions and take ownership of their personal values and beliefs.

As with every family, members of our Penn State Altoona community may not always agree with each other’s views. Yet we must continue to strive to find new ways of understanding each other and the differences that make us so unique.

Dr. Lori J. Bechtel-Wherry
Chancellor