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Alumni Flock Back to Penn State for Homecoming Celebration

by on October 12, 2013 11:40 AM

Through the rain and through the cold, droves of Penn Staters past and present were crowding the streets Friday as the homecoming parade was getting ready to start.

Penn Staters young and old filled the downtown shops and streets even though weather wasn't on par with last years.

Many of the people walking downtown were Penn State alumni, eager to see the State College fall weather they once knew. Some of the grads traveled quite a way to get here.

Jerry Kessler, a 1965 graduate with a bachelor's degree in history, lives most of the year in Boca Raton, Fl., but still tries to make it to State College once a year.

"It's just a wonderful place," Kessler says of State College. "I always pick October, whether it's homecoming or not. The foliage is fantastic and it hasn't gotten cold yet."

Kessler has fond memories of his younger days at Penn State. "I majored in history but I minored in 'Skeller," Kessler jokes about the All-American Rathskeller.

For some, Penn State was home when they were just starting out. That's certainly true for Tony and Carol Pensa.

Tony has two degrees from Penn State. He has a masters of science and a doctorate in electrical engineering. He and his wife currently in in Jamestown, RI.

Carol never attended to Penn State but she has strong ties to State College. "We moved here a week after we were married," Carol says.

Asked where they lived at the time, the Pensa's both look up, and say in unison, "445 Waupelani Drive" as if they just moved in yesterday.

Tony, who is retired and the assistant director emeritus at MIT's Lincoln Lab, says that although he was at Penn State for a meeting, he came back last year and loves to come back.

Carol says that their time in State College was the most enjoyable of their life together. "We had the best years of our life here," Carol says. "All our dreams started here."

Dave Moyer, who graduated in 1977 with a bachelors of science in nuclear engineering, says that he never really started coming back to Penn State until last year. Moyer currently resides in New Ringgold.

"This is my second year back in a row in a while," Moyer says. "I came back last year to play with the alumni Blue Band and had a lot of fun."

Moyer, who is a science teacher now, played trumpet in the Blue Band during his stay at Penn State.

"I saw absolutely no one I knew last year," Moyer says. "But it was still a lot of fun."

Adam Lidgett is a freelance reporter who has covered news and feature stories in State College and Centre County.
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