Penn State news by
Penn State's student blog



Things You (Probably) Didn’t Know About THON

THON has long been one of the largest and most widely recognized organizations on campus, but there are many things in THON’s past that you might not know. Here is a list that we’ve compiled of things that you (probably) didn’t know about THON.

1. Coors is a former sponsor — In 1989, Coors became the first corporate sponsor of the Penn State Dance Marathon. If you know someone with old THON t-shirts, check out the back and see if you can spot the Coors logo.

2. THON wasn’t always 46 Hours — The first THON in 1973 lasted only 30 hours. Out of 39 couples, only 17 were able to finish the dance marathon. Then, in 1974 THON was extended to 48 hours. In 2007 when THON moved to the Bryce Jordan Center it was shortened to only 46 hours.

3. The First line Dance took place in 1976, which was also the first year a theme was revealed — “Dance For Those Who Can’t”. Several years later in 1987, The IFC Dance Marathon became officially known as THON.

4. For the first six years of THON, dancers competed against each other. Those who raised the top amount of pledges, as well as those who took the least amount of breaks were given prizes, including monetary rewards. This was also the same year that the annual Road To THON celebration was introduced.

5. Larry Moore danced in THON 1977, and 1982 was the first year to have over 500 dancers.

6. Until 1977 when THON paired with the Four Diamonds Fund, the money raised was donated to various causes including the Butler County Association of Retarded Children, the American Heart Association, and Easter Seals society.

7. In order to meet the demands of the growing event, THON was moved from the HUB (where it had been located since the inaugural year in 1973) to the White Building in 1979.

8. Each participating commonwealth campus held a 24-hour dance marathon to determine who would represent them at the University Park Dance Marathon in 1984.

9. There used to be themed events throughout THON weekend each year, including a “time warp.” For this theme, festivities from every month were celebrated including an Easter egg hunt and a summer beach party during the weekend.

10. Miss America spoke at the THON kickoff dinner in 1989. Then, in 1990, Panhellenic was officially added to THON’s name.

If you would like to find out more about THON’s history, check out this great resource.

Your ad blocker is on.

Please choose an option below.

Sign up for our e-mail newsletter:
Support quality journalism:
Purchase a Subscription!

About the Author

Mara Kern

Mara is a senior majoring in public relations with a minor in business. She is from Cranberry Twp., PA and enjoys blogging, cats, tweeting, and not wanting to graduate.

Penn State Football Remains Ranked No. 6 In AP Poll

Penn State most recently put together a 41-13 victory over Northwestern on Saturday in Evanston, highlighted by a 17-point third quarter.

No. 4 Penn State Women’s Soccer Defeats Michigan State 3-1

After picking up a draw against Michigan on Thursday, the Nittany Lions came out hungry against the Spartans and converted a goal in the first six minutes of play.

Penn State Football Struggles During First Quarter In Northwestern Win

Despite ultimately defeating the Wildcats in a blowout, the Nittany Lions were trapped in a shootout in the first half.

Follow on Another Platform
Other posts by Mara

10 Questions With 2015 SPA Director Liz Malara

The Student Programming Association, or SPA for short, is one of the most funded organizations on campus. Between bringing music acts, comedians, or countless other forms of entertainment, everyone at Penn State has probably taken advantage of one of SPA’s free programs. From Keenan Thompson to Timeflies, SPA has plenty of awesome acts to live up to for next year, so we caught up with the newly selected Director, Liz Malara, to ask her ten questions.

Started From Altoona Now I’m Here: Mara Kern’s Senior Column

Stereotypical Ways to Decorate Your Mortarboard