I’m on the way back to Philadelphia after spending 36 hours in State College for the first time in many months. It’s THON weekend at Penn State, which I visited with a few friends in its early hours. Fantastic energy, and I think one of the best traditions in any college community in the country. A few of us from The Nittany Valley Society met up with Paul Clifford for breakfast at the Corner Room yesterday. Paul took over as new head of the Penn State Alumni Association last month, and we were able to introduce him afterward to Old Willow, Penn State’s first student tradition.

We also took a tour of the Hintz Family Alumni Center with Tibbs Moyer, a 1949 graduate. She volunteers at the Penn State Alumni Association, and it was fantastic hearing about her time at Penn State in the 1940s, and how she met her husband when he was at Bucknell. (They both later studied at Penn.) She graduated when my grandfather was in his junior year, and she didn’t know him. It’s a gift to be able to connect with people like Paul and Tibbs and so many of the good people that live in Happy Valley. It’s always great to visit, and almost always feels like the good sort of reset, helping me reconnect with people in a direct way.

I lose sight of that sometimes when I get too into a routine.