After the Verdict: A Message from Executive Director Wayne Smutz

Published by on Tuesday, June 26th, 2012 at 7:30 am
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The Jerry Sandusky verdict late last Friday evening was the first step in a long journey toward healing for the brave young men who testified, their families, Penn State, and our surrounding communities. The last seven months have shaken many of us in Penn State World Campus and Continuing Education at University Park to our core, but it has been a help to focus our energy on our students during these difficult days.

Image of Wayne Smutz

Wayne Smutz, Associate Vice President for Academic Outreach and Executive Director, World Campus

You may be questioning what kind of an impact, if any, the Sandusky trial and subsequent investigations will have on the value of the Penn State degree you’re working so hard and sacrificing so much to achieve.

Here is what I believe: Penn State is my home, and the events of the last seven months will not negate the pride that I feel to be a Penn Stater. 

I’ve been a part of the Penn State family for almost 32 years, having earned both my master’s and doctorate degrees from the University and spending my entire professional career here. My wife also received her master’s degree from Penn State, three of our five children graduated from Penn State, and one of our sons was a member of the Penn State Blue Band.

Being a Penn Stater means being part of a world-class institution that helps prepare students of all ages to succeed in today’s workplace. In fact, the University was recently ranked among the top 100 colleges by more than 400 recruiters from companies across the United States. Our students are among the best academically in the country, and they are on the leading edge in their fields when they graduate.

You are a part of this exceptional family, and I hope that you will join me in remaining steadfast in the months to come about the good things that Penn State has done—and will continue to do as it learns from this tragedy and moves forward in building a stronger University.

Let me assure you that we are committed to providing you with the quality education you expect from Penn State. 

Visit for the latest information on the University’s ongoing legal matters and updates on the initiatives being put in place to address the serious issue of child abuse.

I invite you to share your thoughts with me via a comment below or by e-mail to

Wayne Smutz
Executive Director, World Campus
Associate Vice President for Academic Outreach, Penn State

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  • Jonathan Michael


    Thank you!

  • Susan

    I’m glad your family is flourishing and had a trauma-free experience with the school. My heart bleeds for the families and the children who were not as fortunate.

  • Wayne Smutz

    Susan, you’re right, my family is fortunate. In the course of the last seven months, however, I’ve come to learn about many World Campus team members who are survivors of childhood abuse, and watching them push through these difficult days with strength and dignity has not only been humbling but also has made me more determined to be an agent for change at Penn State. No verdict can undo the pain and suffering caused by Mr. Sandusky, but I do hope this judgment helps the victims and their families to heal in time.

  • John Rutan

    I am not going anywhere! In fact I will be there next week for my yearly summer visit. Stay strong Penn Staters! See you next Monday PSU.