Penn State Freshmen React to Their First THON

Story posted February 24, 2021 in CommRadio, News by Matthew McLaughlin

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — While 2021 THON went completely virtual, the results were still incredible for the State College community. Over the weekend, the Penn State community raised $10,638,078.62 in cancer research funds.

Although this year’s incoming freshman class did not experience the full atmosphere of a typical THON weekend, freshmen were still getting as involved as possible with the annual fundraiser.

Will Cinkler, an actuarial science major and member of an operations committee that aided in setting up the stage and other parts of the Bryce Jordan Center, explained his experience.

“It was very different this year with [THON] being virtual,” Cinkler said. “You didn’t get that more connected feeling that you were in it and part of a big group.”

Frank Scolieri, who is majoring in cybersecurity and is a member of the rest and relaxation committee, elaborated on the difficulty of accomplishing things with the uncertainty surrounding attendance to this year’s THON.

“It was definitely hectic,” Scolieri said. “We didn’t really know how to approach it in the beginning, but we just kind of took it as THON would be in person.”

Despite the hurdles of raising money online, Penn State’s dance marathon was a success and continues to add to the legacy of one of the greatest fundraisers in the country.

Although there were no mosh pits on the floor of the BJC, THON 2021 will go down as another incredible accomplishment during one of the most difficult periods of recent human history.


Matthew McLaughlin is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email