Thousands filled the Bryce Jordan Center on the campus of Penn State Thursday afternoon for the public memorial for Joe Paterno.
Tickets to the memorial service were given out in less than 10 minutes Tuesday. That meant there were a lot of people who were not able to see the service in person.
Penn State University made it easy for students to view the program.
More than 12,000 people attended Joe Paterno’s memorial service at the Bryce Jordan Center, but thousands more were not able to get tickets. Penn State University knew it would be a problem, so the school showed a live stream of the event at locations all over campus.
“It’s something to pay respect to someone who did so much. Not everyone could make it to the service today so we can now watch it with everybody. It brings everyone closer together,” said student Brendan Gruss.
Hundreds of students gathered at The HUB, the Hetzel Union Building, where the memorial played on dozens of television screens.
“It’s awesome that the university is giving us a way to all come together. It reminds us why we’re all so proud to be at Penn State,” said student Rachel Marcantuno.
Just as it was inside the Bryce Jordan Center, all was quiet at The HUB. Students were silently paying their respects to JoePa.
“Just to be part of something so great, to be a student while Joe Paterno coached was great. I want to see him go to heaven this way and share with my fellow students,” said student Rayna Carney.
Several professors made class optional so students could watch the memorial service. Some said they went anyway, saying that’s what JoePa would have wanted.
“I figured Joe would have wanted me to go to class and not stay home and watch it. I didn’t get tickets, so I’m watching it here quick before I go to class,” said student Scott Weaver.
Penn State officials said in addition to watching the memorial at The HUB, people watched it at many other buildings on campus and at restaurants and sports bars around State College. It seemed like more people were watching it than not watching it.