"I would like to show support for everything he's done for the university and show support being that he was done a great injustice," Penn State fan Mike Boyle says.
The group "Inspiration Way" organized the vigil and they say Paterno's legacy stretches far beyond the football field.
"You don't need to be a fan of Joe Paterno and you don't need to be a fan of Penn State you just need to be a fan of simple human decency to recognize that this was a great man who did so many wonderful things for so many people," Melinda Wright of Inspiration Way says.
409 candles were supposed to be lit, each one with an individual message for Paterno, and each representing one of the coach's 409 victories before NCAA sanctions from the Sandusky Scandal stripped 111 of them.
That number, though, ended up being a bit higher.
"We started at 409 but we couldn't close the gate because there are so many good stories and I didn't want to miss any good stories," Wright says.
The Paterno family did not attend the vigil, but Wright hopes the community sent them a message.
"It's a gift for them for sharing their husband and father with everybody who obviously over the last few months made just such an impact on peoples lives," Wright says.
But, a year after his death, students are still trying to find the balance between the good Paterno did and the accusations that ended his career.
"I think anybody could tell you on one hand he was definitely a hero and on the other hand there's clearly things about him that we didn't know and that will never be known," Penn State Freshmen Nate Grenko says.
The vigil lasted about a half an hour and ended with the singing of the Penn State Alma Mater.