There will soon be a new Joe Paterno statue in State College. A project known as “Joe’s Bench” is seeking to erect a bronze statue of the late Nittany Lions coach sitting on a bench, reading the Aeneid. According to Onward State, the plans have been constructed independently of Penn State University.
“There’s a culture of people in State College that clearly appreciates what Joe has done,” [Organizer Ted] Sebastianelli said. “Our alumni always want to know how we will honor him. This is something we can do for State College while getting Penn Staters from around the country involved. This has nothing to do with university. We are doing this on our own.”
The project will reportedly cost $300,000, and will use crowdsourcing website Kickstarter to procure the funds. As CBS Sports notes, the Kickstarter campaign will begin in July, nearly two years to the date that university president Rodney Erickson had the Paterno statue outside of Beaver Stadium removed.
Organizers view the art as a remembrance for everything Paterno did, not just for the university, but for all of State College.
“There’s been some level of frustration among Penn Staters with what happened with the statue at the stadium,” Ted Sebastianelli, one of the organizers of the project, said. “We wanted to come up with a way to honor Joe for all that he did for the State College community. It wasn’t just the university he impacted — it was the whole town.”
The new statue has been cleared for approval by the local government, and will be erected downtown outside of the Tavern Restaurant.