There is one thing that unites Penn Stater’s and that is our collective pride in what it means to be a part of the Nittany Lion family.
Can you remember the moment you knew Penn State was where you belonged? Was it when you were a child and your parents brought you to see a game or the homecoming parade? When you got that acceptance letter in the mail and jumped up and down with joy? Maybe it was when you went for that job interview sat and across from a fellow alumni who put you at ease, or when you traveled to a foreign country and someone yelled “We Are” when they noticed you were a Penn Stater.
My Penn State Family Story
I became part of the Penn State family on a warm and sunny February day in State College (yes it was February). I was a sophomore in high school and my basketball team took the four hour road trip to watch a women’s basketball game in Rec Hall. The cheering fans were like a 6th man on the court. Intimidating the opponents and boosting the confidence of the home team. I was immediately sold on the idea of one day making Penn State my home. In fact, I left campus that day with a feeling deep inside like knowing you have found your soul mate. I was not yet an official Nittany Lion, but on that day my blood turned blue.
The day my official letter of intent to play basketball at Penn State arrived in the mail, I knew a whole new world of opportunity was awaiting me; opportunities that would not be possible without that college scholarship.
From the first day on campus we were welcomed into a family rich with tradition. Our coach instilled in us that our Lady Lion family was a part of something much bigger than just our team.
The Meaning Behind Always A Lion
To the members of the Lady Lion basketball team, “Once a Lady Lion…Always A Lady Lion” meant carrying on the traditions of those who came before us and supporting those that would come after us. It meant always doing things the right way. It meant each one of us was a part of something so much bigger than ourselves…and it was our responsibility to remember even after our graduation, that we represented the Penn State family. We needed to make sure our actions brought honor to “thy name” (Penn State). We ended every practice and game in a huddle with our coach huddling stating the phrase “Remember who you are and what you represent. We Are…” to which we would yell “Penn State.”
A Frame to Change the Game
To this day, I am mindful that my actions reflect on the image of what the Penn State family is all about. So when I decided to turn my drawing of the Nittany Lion into a diploma frame, I wanted it to be more than just something people would hang on their wall. I hope my diploma frames are a unique way for alumni to proudly celebrate their accomplishment, connect to their role in the Penn State Family, and help support future alumni.
Always a Lion is my way of paying it forward, by donating 22% of my proceeds to women’s sports at Penn State. Always a Lion represents what it means to be part of the Penn State Family. Each dot in the picture represents an individual alumni. Like all of us, each dot is unique. Alone they have little impact, but when all the dots are placed together they collectively complete the picture of who we are, and the family that we all represent. We Are…Penn State!