Get Adobe Flash player
Bookmark and Share

Please Click on the Logo Above to Visit the Official Site


From a playground called Flatbush to an uninterrupted valley framed by the Allegheny Mountains of rural Pennsylvania, the life of Joseph Vincent Paterno seems perfectly formed by the physical landscapes that surrounded him. Rough and tumble.  Reaching and vulnerable.  Inspiring and embracing.

They say fate is the mother of destiny, but it was Paterno's unshakeable belief in family, God, work and education -- instilled by his parents -- that made him "Joepa" -- a character he could never have imagined becoming as he clutched his stickball bat, swinging for the third sewer cover on the streets of Brooklyn.

"Joe's Bench" is a community-based effort focusing on honoring Joseph V. Paterno with a Zenos Frudakis commissioned sculpture and hour-long documentary, "The People's Joe," -- the latter detailing the efforts behind "Joe's Bench" and Joe Paterno's life by the EMMY-nominated producers of "The Joe We Know" and "365 Days".  

These efforts reflect a desire to capture the essence of Paterno in film and form while memories are fresh, and the record of his life can be recognized by those who truly loved him.


* Joe Paterno's legacy is important to Penn Staters and State College.
* In an effort to galvanize those who admired Joe in life, we feel there is no time like the present to honor Joe.
* By getting involved, you can become a part of ensuring a proper tribute to Joe Paterno is realized. 
* We love this man and what he stood for.

The "Joe's Bench" team is growing daily. This effort welcomes every kind of support imaginable.  It starts with Indiegogo and an overall goal of $500,000 for the overall project. 


Our team is growing and led by a lot of great people.  One of the first to join was Honorary Committee Member, Franco Harris (PSU '72).  Franco's unique understanding of Joe Paterno's legacy, and his belief in this project, are why we also feel the way we do.  No doubt, we are happy to have him helping us meet our goals.  And like everything he does, he will see it through until our goals are reached.

There are also many others who are helping, including nine Penn State students who are working hard all summer on every aspect of this project.  And there is even an Indiegogo Penn State Alum working on this!!


This isn't just any tribute, but the first full-scale tribute effort.  The work of Zenos Frudakis is internationally known and you can learn more about his amazing work here: 

(Above: Zenos Frudakis and Arnold Palmer with Frudakis commissioned statue of Palmer in 2010.)

The film will be distributed via every digital platform available.  Documenting this historic time in our history and telling the story of the man we knew as "Joepa" should not be left to anyone else to achieve and/or define. 

As Franco put it, it is our job to make sure we honor him by sharing who Joe was with future generations.

  • Therefore, we are seeking $500,000 to commission the bench, create media to support the effort and to manage the project during the next 16 months. We hope to raise AT LEAST $250,000 during this campaign!

  • Our "perks" are incredibly cool and help underscore how incredibly cool you are for joining the team.
  • Every penny of your donation will go to these tributes: commissioning  and installing "Joe's Bench," insuring the bench, endowment to maintain the bench, and production and distribution of the film, "The People's Joe".


The very fact we are paying tribute to Joseph Vincent Paterno is important. Why? We've heard from the minority for three years -- how we couldn't and shouldn't honor this town, this man, this school. Well...this is our town, our school, our coach.  And you know what that means?  Of course you do.  We know better.  And it is our turn to make an impact.  To show we care. To rise and rally on behalf of someone who made life better for thousands.

Our team also includes eight Penn State student interns, Penn State Football Lettermen and alumni, State College residents and others who will spend the summer helping make this project a reality. Not because we don't care about anything else, but because we think it is entirely possible to respect many things in our history.  At the same time, we can pay long overdue homage to someone we believe deserves better than he's gotten.