DeSales and Character U to Host Adam Taliaferro

by Tom McNamara | Nov 03, 2012

On Wednesday, November 7, attorney Adam Taliaferro, former Penn State University football player, will speak at DeSales University. The lecture will be delivered at 3:00 p.m. in the Commonwealth Room of the DeSales University Center and is free and open to the public.

In 2000, Taliaferro, who was a standout two-way back at Eastern High in Voorhees, N.J., joined the Penn State Nittany Lions football team as one of the top-rated freshmen of their 2000 recruiting class. He earned playing time as a true freshman for the team, despite Head Coach Joe Paterno's well-documented tendency to redshirt freshman players.

On September 23, 2000, while playing in only the fifth game of his college career, Taliaferro sustained a career-ending spinal cord injury while tackling tailback Jerry Westbrooks during Penn State's game versus Ohio State.

Taliaferro's helmet had hit Westbrooks' knee during the tackle, bursting the fifth cervical vertebra in his neck and bruising his spinal cord. Unable to control his fall, the crown of his helmet hit the turf and his body rolled awkwardly over his neck. Taliaferro was paralyzed on the hit, which left him with no movement from the neck down.

Taliaferro was only given a 3% chance of ever walking again.  After eight months of rehabilitation therapy, Taliaferro had learned to walk again.

Character U, the first-year portion of the DeSales University Experience, is sponsoring Taliaferro’s visit. Character U serves as a resource for first-year students to help make the transition from high school to college a little smoother, while also giving students character development opportunities through keynote speakers, diverse programs, campus events and meetings with their peer mentors.

For more information, contact Chad Serfass, director for DeSales Experience in Character and Leadership, at 610-282-1100, ext. 1599.


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Tom McNamara
Executive Director of Communications
DeSales University
2255 Station Avenue
Center Valley, PA 18034

610.282.1100 x1219
Tom.McNamara@desales.edu