BEAVER (KDKA) – Distance did not stop students at Penn State University’s satellite campus in Beaver County from honoring and remembering Joe Paterno today.

Students, alumni and faculty watched Paterno’s memorial service on a big screen at the Beaver campus, each with their own personal reasons.

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“I felt connected with Joe,” said Michael Dinardo, of Rochester. “I met him at a high school in Rochester, Pa. He came to recruit one of the athletes there. I was so excited to see him, I said, ‘Mr. Paterno, I’ve been waiting all my life to meet you,’ and he said, ‘What’s the matter, don’t you have a girlfriend?’ And the coaches laughed, and I just felt a connection with him.”

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Freshman Verushka Soto commented, “I think he’s a great inspiration for not only athletes, but students in general.”

Although Paterno is gone, it is clear that he still has the unique ability to bring people together.

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Lynne Hayes-Freeland