THON 2019 in pictures and words

Story posted February 17, 2019 in News, THON 2019 by Belisario College of Communications

THON bills itself as the largest student-run philanthropy in the world, both in revenue and volunteer participation. The organization estimates that 16,500 students -- about one in three undergraduates at University Park -- participate in the 46-hour event, which since its inception has raised more than $150 million to benefit the families of children with cancer.

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Navigate this blog by time of day:

Sunday afternoon

The big reveal, via 46 Live:






Sunday morning




Throughout the 46 hours of THON, journalists from student media publish news about the event from press row high above the BJC floor. You can follow their live coverage here:







A beautiful sunrise overlooks the BJC as the last day of THON is underway. #COMMTHON2019 7:41 am

A post shared by Zach Hall (@zach_hall1996) on


A few minutes before dawn, inside the Bryce Jordan Center, the dancers are still going strong.


Saturday night





Saturday afternoon





Saturday morning

THON in full stride




Friday night

Approaching midnight






Surprise performance from Andy Grammer, Friday February 15, 2019 at 8:30 P.M. EST! #commthon2019 #thon2019

A post shared by Aeisha Gauba (@gaubaaeisha) on


Friday afternoon: Launch Time


Remembering the roots of THON



Preparation: Choosing the right accessories for THON

This weekend senior Gabrielle Houser will be spending her first, and last THON as a dancer for her organization, NSSLHA (National Student Speech-Language-Hearing Association).

After a rough fall semester, she is looking forward to an uplifting experience during her 46 hours this spring in the Bryce Jordan Center. Last semester, Houser and her family suffered two deaths in the family – her grandmother, DeLoris Houser, and her cousin, Ryan Clark. After mourning their losses, she decided she wanted to make a positive impact in her final semester at Penn State.

She will be wearing a special necklace given to her from her grandmother, which features her grandmother’s name in hieroglyphics. Houser never thought she would find herself dancing in THON, but said she is excited, and very nervous, at the same time. She said some of her biggest fears are the pain of standing, and no sleep will cause her to have a mental breakdown on the floor of the BJC.

Her parents and little brother, PJ, will be visiting from New Jersey to support Houser and help her to sustain her motivation throughout the long weekend.

Timeline: THON 2019 in social media



Just One More

Although the focus during THON is on what's happening on the main floor of the Bryce Jordan Center, some of the most special things happen behind the scenes. Photographer Juan Duran documented one of these moments Saturday evening as Owen Bonn, 5, a THON child from Boiling Springs, Pa., holds his ears to prevent hearing noise from Coach James Franklin during THON's Explorers Program.


Photo by Juan Duran

More pictures in this photo gallery: The Best Images of THON 2019

Tagged in:

campus , thon , thon 2019

About the Contributors

Claire Going's photo

Claire Going

Senior / Broadcast Journalism

Claire is a reporter for The Centre Country Report from Macungie, Pennsylvania and is passionate about the evolving television news industry. She had the opportunity to intern for Spectrum NY1 News in Manhattan, Men’s Health Magazine and Women’s Health Magazine in Emmaus, PA, and The Center for International Policy in Washington, D.C. She is involved with Penn State Network News, The Society of Professional Journalists, and THON’s live webcast, 46LIVE. She looks forward to gaining more experience in multimedia journalism and pursuing a career as a reporter in local news. Follow her on Twitter @claire_going or email her at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Nouran El-Ashry's photo

Nouran El-Ashry

Senior / Photojournalism and Rehabilitation & Human Services

Nouran El-Ashry is a senior at Pennsylvania State University with a double major to become a future photojournalist aiding to break stigmas of mental health. As the social media chair for the Rehabilitation & Human Services Club, she aids the club in spreading awareness about disability, advocacy, and mental health. After graduation, she would like to work in either field to provide the skills she’s gained from two different colleges to positively affect the lives of others.

Cayley Urenko's photo

Cayley Urenko

Senior / Broadcast Journalism

Cayley will be graduating in May 2019 with a degree in broadcast journalism with a minor in political science. She has previously interned with Penn State Athletics as a Live Video Production Intern and is currently working part-time with the Penn State Athletics department. She is also currently interning at WHVL-TV in State College as a Production Intern. After graduation, Cayley hopes to work at a news station as a reporter.

Zach Hall's photo

Zach Hall

Senior / Journalism

Zach Hall is a writer/podcaster for CommRadio Arts as well as a writer/actor for two PSNtv shows. After college, Zach would like to pursue a career in investigative journalism with an emphasis on filming and editing.

Kerry Dunphy's photo

Kerry Dunphy

Senior / Broadcast Journalism

Kerry Dunphy is from Huntingdon Valley, PA. Through her experiences she aspires to be an anchor for a news station. She was a writer for The Lion’s Roar where she had her own beauty column. This role highlights her interests in the beauty industry. Her biggest dream is to become a host for the Today Show.

Caitlin Bowman's photo

Caitlin Bowman

Senior / Broadcast Journalism

Caitlin will be finishing up her senior year at The Pennsylvania State University in May 2019. With her Digital Media Trends and Analytics (DMTA) minor as well as her major, Caitlin has interned as a Communications and Marketing intern for ESF, she is a Package Producer for 46LIVE (a live broadcasting of Penn State’s THON), and has worked as a congressional intern for a congressman in Washington, D.C. After graduation Caitlin hopes to return home to the DMV area and pursue a career in Communication and Public Relations.

Nikolas Rose's photo

Nikolas Rose

Senior / Journalism

Nikolas Rose is from Bucks County, Pennsylvania where he started at community college and transferred to Penn State after one year.  In his transition to Penn State, he started a college apparel line and created a personal brand on campus using his marketing expertise.  Since then, Nik has acquired a minor in entrepreneurship and has continued marketing for businesses around the country while hosting his own podcast on iTunes called “The Nik Rose Podcast.” Nik has an internship last summer at Pond Lehocky Stern Giordano Law Firm in Philadelphia and will be working full time at the firm this may May working in marketing and culture development.  He hopes to continue growing his platform with marketing and cultural development to help impact the world.

Aeisha Gauba's photo

Aeisha Gauba

Senior / Broadcast Journalism

I am a current undergraduate student at Penn State University studying communications with a major in Broadcast Journalism and a minor in Political Science. I am expected to graduate in May 2019 and hope to adapt my skills in storytelling for marketing and advertising. I am a young motivated individual with strong communication skills and offer a fresh mindset of ideas.

Lauren Lee's photo

Lauren Lee

Senior / Digital and Print Journalism, Political Science

Lauren has worked as a reporter for the Centre Daily Times, a video production intern for WPSU and C-NET. Lauren has a passion for telling stories on a variety of topics that include diversity and mental health.