Friday, September 14, 2012 Coach William J. O’Brien 201 Lasch Football Building University Park, PA 16802 The Nittany Valley Society, Inc. 781 Galen Drive State College, PA 16801

Dear Coach O’Brien, You have come to live and work in a very, very special place. We imagine – and hope – that this is not the first time someone has told you as much. It bears repeating. Consider this letter yet another message of welcome to the Nittany Valley. Penn State began as an upstart agricultural school and has grown from those humble roots that were planted by our Founder, Evan Pugh, and nurtured by George Atherton, who is called our “Second Founder,” into a grand University. Old State has been guided along the path to greatness by many such leaders and caretakers. The spirit of a sleepy valley tucked away among the pastoral farmlands of Central Pennsylvania called them here and inspired them to undertake the great experiment in higher education that would become our Alma Mater, our “Dear Mother.” As the years passed, countless young people – many of them children and grandchildren of the farmers and laborers whose hard work fueled the Industrial Age – came to spend a period of their lives here, gaining knowledge and growing into adulthood, amidst the “blessed isolation” cradled in the shadow of Mt. Nittany. The lasting memories and unbreakable bonds of friendship formed here inspired their deepest affection, which found expression in the reverential customs and traditions that define the renowned Penn State Spirit. The wisdom of visionary educators built the University, but the youthful energy of the student body has always been what sustains it.

More than a half-century ago, another Brown University alumnus arrived in this Valley. Like those who came before, he also fell under its spell, and he went on not only to build the football program that is now yours, but also to fundamentally impact the modern face of this institution, which was built up out of the Pennsylvania soil by its Founders and friends. If it can be said that “We Are” because “He Was,” then it is also true that “He Was” because “They Were Too.” You, and all of us, stand on the shoulders of giants: The men and women who answered the call of our Dear Mother and honorably served her in times of need. Theirs is a mighty legacy, and perhaps no greater compliment could be paid you than to say that, in your manner and conduct since accepting the position of head football coach, you have shown yourself to be a worthy inheritor of it. You must treat this responsibility with the care due a great and rare honor, but you need not take the journey alone. This community will unite behind you, and the rewards of its devotion are as fulfilling as they are unique. Our organization dedicates itself to preserving the collective memory of this place and to fanning the flames of its spirit so that they burn ever brighter in the hearts of Penn Staters young and old. In your short time as a member of the Penn State family, you have earned our admiration and appreciation. We will do everything we can to support you, your staff, and the young men on your football team. We wish you success on the field and grace in your life away from football, and most importantly, we extend our deepest gratitude for the poise, determination and leadership you have exhibited during these tumultuous times. For the Future, and For the Glory, of Dear Old State: Board of Directors - The Nittany Valley Society, Inc.

Christopher Buchignani

Anthony Christina

Sean Clark

Michael C. Gallo

Jonathan Hartland

Christopher G. Miller

Joseph Paul

Thomas A. Shakely

Alex Smith

Rick Smith

Zachary Zimbler

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