Saturday, February 18, 2012

THON, Margaret Mead, and College Kids

This weekend, at Penn State University, is THON weekend.  Two of my best friends attend PSU, and I have always been a fan, not of the sports, but of the school spirit that Penn State has been able to foster in its current students, alumni, networks, and business contacts.  Looking at all of the pictures posted to Twitter every so many minutes makes my heart ache in a proud sort of way.  The number of students that participate in THON, as well as the organizational aspects of the event and year long fundraising, is amazing.  Students aren't given much credit these days, and true, a large number of our generation probably doesn't know what's happening at PSU this weekend, or other charity events across the globe, but the fact that this event is organized, funded, and participated in solely by college students blows my mind.  A former Student Council junkie, the logistics of this event amaze me.  There used to be a poster in my Social Studies teacher's room in high school that read: "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." - Margaret Mead.  Some college kids may have spent their weekends at home, sick, like me, or out participating in drunken shenanigans, or working multiple jobs, or studying, or maybe... just maybe... some college kids are out there just trying to change the world.


  1. Interesting post. Very encouraging to hear about this!

  2. Absolutely inspirational. Do you happen to know the origin of this? How it all began?

  3. T.O.- I've heard about THON since I was in middle school, due to my activity in Student Council and my constant desire to hold a dance marathon fundraiser like THON. According to the THON website ( THON began in 1973, when a small group of Penn State students held their first Dance Marathon. That year, 39 dancer couples participated and raised $2,000. Since then, THON’s presence in the Penn State community has grown exponentially. THON now has over 15,000 student volunteers, 700 dancers, and has raised more than $78 million, benefiting The Four Diamonds Fund at Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital. From what I hear, it's a Penn State student's DREAM to be a THON dancer, and it is very hard to become one. It is also very hard to BE one, as you must stay awake and dancing on your feet for the entire 48 hour event. This year's THON raised over $10.6million, and two of my friends were lucky enough to be dancers on the floor the entire time! Attending THON is on my bucket-list for sure; I am constantly in awe of this event.