500 Things to Love about Penn State: #496 The Willard Preacher

OK, so everyone might not actually love this guy. But seriously, who isn’t at least slightly fascinated by Penn State’s infamous Willard Preacher? I passed him every day on my way to class my freshman year, and all I could think was 1) Who is this guy? and 2) Wow, I should really start using the side entrance.

A decades-old staple on campus, Gary Catell (aka the Willard Preacher) can be heard rain or shine outside of the Willard Building. If by some small miracle you’ve managed to avoid having class in Willard, do yourself a favor and swing by to catch a late-afternoon sermon on the way to class. Everyone should be required to listen to this guy at least once in their lives — it’s just a part of Penn State campus culture.

While you might not fully agree with (or comprehend) his religious rambles and viewpoints, you have to admit that this guy has guts. Not a fan of public speaking myself, I cannot even imagine how the Willard Preacher manages to defend his ideals to thousands of college students every day (in the rain, snow and wind nonetheless). Seriously, this guy should be teaching a couple sections of CAS 100.

So if you’re looking for a little Penn State culture, new viewpoints on the meaning of life or just some entertainment on the way to class, look no further than the Willard Preacher. Just one more reason why we love Penn State.

Photo by Jill Podhor

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