Olbermann on the tele.

Editor’s Note: Yesterday, we published a column asking Keith Olbermann to stop embarrassing his fellow Cornell alumni. Olbermann had insulted Penn State undergraduates raising money for cancer research on Twitter.

Since then, we’ve been flooded with emails from Penn State students and alumni thanking us for the column. One of those is reprinted below with the author’s permission.

— Jeff Stein

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Letter to the editor:

I want to acknowledge your open letter excoriating Keith Olbermann for his insulting remarks.

I realize the purpose of your letter was to defend the reputation of Cornell alumni and integrity. Many of us Penn Staters are grateful for your defense of civility, and recognition that Penn State students do, in fact receive a high quality education.

Mr Olbermann’s tweet that our students and philanthropic efforts are pitiful was in response to someone who tweeted to him “We Are….”.

Olbermann on the tele.
Olbermann on the tele.

What Olberman doesn’t get is what that phrase means. It means solidarity among ALL Penn Staters, including alumni. This identity was originally stated to show solidarity within our football team at a time when there were very few black players in NCAA football. It was in defiance of racial bigotry that persisted in the South as our opponents wanted to prevent our black players from participating in the Cotton Bowl. Our team captain told the Cotton Bowl that our black players ARE going to play because “WE are Penn State.”

“We Are Penn State” has come to mean a unity among all students and alumni; pride and loyalty to each other and to this very special place, which is unique among all universities in the country.

We Are…, The Grand Experiment, Success With Honor. This is the true culture at Penn State.

Mark Emmert at NCAA, Louis Freeh, Keith Olbemann and the rest of the sensationalist news media have it entirely wrong. And WE will not rest until the pubic record is corrected.

Keith Olbermann and other critics of the supposed “culture” at Penn State simply do not grasp the true meaning of We Are Penn State.

Again, thank you sincerely for your open letter.

— Mark E. Kubiske
PSU, ’90, ’93

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Jeff Stein is the founder and former editor of the Ithaca Voice.