Emotions were running high in the HUB last night as the stories and secrets of both Penn State students and inventor of PostSecret, Frank Warren, were shared in front of hundreds of people. According to senior Austin Skobel, logistics chair of the Student Programming Association, the sold-out, highly anticipated event brought about 850 students to the HUB’s Alumni Hall.
The amount of students who attended made it clear that many Penn Staters are fans of PostSecret, which is an online art project dedicated to posting anonymously sent in secrets written on postcards. Secrets are sent directly to Warren’s house for him to put up on the website, which is updated every Sunday.
“I’ve been called the most trusted person in America,” Warren says with a laugh.
During his talk, Warren flashed a picture of the massive pyramid of secrets he has received since he started the project in 2005. Thousands and thousands of secrets continue to arrive at his house every week.
Sophomore Emily Werns and freshman Sarah Shulbank-Smith are perhaps Penn State’s biggest supporters of PostSecret, staking out their first places in line for two hours prior to the event. Both have been checking the website every Sunday since they were young, and couldn’t wait to hear Warren speak.
“It’s a cool way of combining the new internet age with something old like sending mail,” says Shulbank-Smith.
Warren kicked off the talk with the music video to the song “Dirty Little Secret” by the All American Rejects. The video incorporated some secrets that were actually sent to Warren, and three that were the secrets of a few of the band member’s. Warren was the only one that knew which postcards belonged to the band members, and the audience got a laugh when he revealed one.
The postcard read, “I cheated on my SAT’s, and got a scholarship.” Everyone in the room was left to wonder which Reject the secret belonged to.
Warren has created five PostSecret books, his newest one being “PostSecret: Confessions on Life, Death, and God”, which reached the very top of The New York Times Bestsellers list.
After he was done sharing some of his story and a few in the audience courageously stepped up to the microphone to share their secrets, Warren offered to sign any PostSecret books the audience members had. Not surprisingly, the line was long.
Photo by Ashley Milillo