Penn State dedicates Catholic center with a familiar name: Paterno

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Sue Paterno’s dream came to fruition Saturday morning while she was surrounded by close friends and family.

The Suzanne Pohland Paterno Catholic Student Faith Center was dedicated and opened at 10 a.m. during a Eucharistic celebration and blessing ceremony. The Paternos helped to raise the money for the $6.5 million structure.

Paterno’s children and grandchildren came to support her and watch the opening of the first Catholic student center at Penn State.

“This will be a great place for (students),” she said, adding that it will be a “home away from home” for many Penn Staters.

But Paterno wishes her late husband and former Penn State football coach Joe Paterno could have joined her at the dedication. She said the coach would describe the building as a “national championship for Penn State.”

Joe Paterno had a large part in raising the funds for the project as Sue said the couple did almost everything together.

“We did everything that way,” she said. “I didn’t coach, but he didn’t cook.”

Paterno recognized the Rev. Matthew Laffey, director of the Catholic Campus Ministry at Penn State, as also playing a large role in the center. Laffey said the building came out just as he had hoped, and he said it will be a “stunning addition” to Park Avenue architecturally.

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