Penn State Groups Honor Nelson Mandela

By Mallory Lane

Published 12/09 2013 06:43PM

Updated 12/09 2013 08:18PM

PENN STATE, UNIVERSITY PARK - People across the world are gathering Monday night to honor the late Nelson Mandela, even at Penn State University.

The Penn State Chapter of the NAACP, the African Student Association and members of Phi Beta Sigma fraternity are hosting a candlelight vigil Monday night on the steps of Old Main to honor Mandela.

Dozens of students and members of the Penn State and State College communities gathered together to say thank you to a hero.

The world is saying goodbye.

"It's very important to speak about Mandela and his legacy and what he has done for our community," Penn State Senior, Claudia Oronto-Pratt said.

A community that spans across the globe.

"I'm just proud to be African and to know about my culture and his legacy and what he has done for the entire world," Oronto-Pratt said.

A legacy, she says has affected her education.

"One thing I do admire about him is his passion for education," she said. "That drives me to keep going, to give back."

Penn State Law School Professor, Randall Robinson, made it his mission to help free Mandela in the 1980s.

"Nelson Mandela ushered in a dramatically different kind of South Africa and we thought it was our responsibility to play a small part in that struggle," Robinson said. "Our country was a major part of the black community's problem in South Africa. We were on the wrong side of the issue and on the wrong side of history."

Emmanuel Ukpung calls Mandela a brother.

"He was a member of my fraternity, on a national scale," Ukpung said.

Ukpung says it's important for the community to honor Mandela.

"We would like people to leave this vigil remembering the man, but most importantly, taking his words and his legacy to inspire them to do what he did for his community in theirs," he said.

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