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Honor, Integrity, and Pride

(The following contribution to the Being Penn State series on Speak Up is offered by Melissa Doberstein, Director of Penn State's Presidential Leadership Academy.)
(The following contribution to the Being Penn State series on Speak Up is offered by Melissa Doberstein, Director of Penn State's Presidential Leadership Academy.) 
 
 

With the start of the fall semester, with classes and football back, the campus seems alive again. With all the events over the past months, Penn Staters use the words honor, integrity and pride to express how they feel about Penn State, but what do these words mean?

 
In Dean Brady's blog he discusses the meanings of these words in different aspects. I want to discuss what these words mean from my perspective.   
 
There are many definitions of honor. One could use it as meaning fairness or as part of a code  one adheres to. It can also mean respect. Also, it can be used as a behavioral description, 'to act with honor'. The word honor can bring about different feelings and shades of meaning for all of us as Dean Brady describes in his blog. For me, honor brings about feelings of respect. As I write this blog on September 11th, I have respect for those who survived the attacks and for how our country came together in the days, weeks, and months afterwards. I have respect for Penn Staters who came together during the vigil held at Old Main for victims of abuse. I have respect for what Penn State stands for: a world-class institution that educates students through teaching, research, and service. I cannot let what has happened over the last several months take away the respect I have for Penn State. I honor how students came together during this time. I can describe this as a feeling I have and what has given me the strength to be a part of the Penn State community.   
 
 
Integrity is a word that has been said a lot since November. Many have asked, 'does Penn State have integrity?'. Many define integrity as adherence to moral and ethical principles, honesty. Well, in my mind, yes. We are not perfect and everyone has flaws as Dean Brady discusses in his blog, and I think the integrity we have is to learn from what has happened and take steps to move forward and to begin healing. Being Penn State to me is continued learning and having the integrity to do so. I hope students, faculty and staff are more honest moving forward.   
 
And there is that word pride. For me, I think of pride as being proud. I actually stand up a little taller when talking about pride. There is 'Nittany Lion Pride', being proud of our school, 'pride' in our country as I feel tremendous pride today as a New Yorker on September 11th. Can we still have pride in Penn State with everything that has happened? My answer is yes. As Dean Brady discusses in his blog, we should be proud of many things Penn State has to offer: academics, alumni, students, THON and our student-athletes. I take pride in our community and the support I have been a part of over these several months. I take pride in our students in the Presidential Leadership Academy for moving forward and being involved in our community. I take pride in being able to write a blog like this.
 
What do these words mean for you as a Penn Stater?