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Adventures In the BJC: Part 3

In the last installment of Adventures in the BJC, we found some well-hidden features for THON dancers and families in the halls deep within the Bryce Jordan Center. The THON family trees were a really special touch, and we hope to share the THON video blogs to the world.

Continuing along the forbidden halls of backstage BJC, we stumbled across some Harry Potter things. Actually, I lied — it was a lot of Harry Potter things. Large tapestries with scenes from Hogwarts, Diagon Alley, and Platform 9 ¾ adorned the walls and pretty much every visible thing you could imagine.


The “murals” were made by several committee volunteers, created by projecting the images on the paper, tracing the outline, then filling in everything with paint. It wasn’t just murals either — they even build a custom Hogwarts-themed concession stand.


At this point, we were pretty confused. Harry Potter, while a great series, has seemingly nothing to do with THON. We had questions, and we needed answers. So we tracked down Ian Merrit, a senior entertainment captain, who told us there were different themes spread all throughout the BJC.


There are separate themes in both the dancer halls, overall/individual captain rooms, and the family room (where the families eat and relax in between floor stops). After finding about the other themes we decided that we needed to find more.

Our next stop took us to the family room, usually off-limits for us newsies. However, the nice R&R committee members let it slide since we were just taking pictures of the walls. It was awesome to see some of the Four Diamonds families relaxing and enjoying themselves in this little secret room. Keeping their audience in mind, the theme of this room was “circus.” Giant giraffes, elephants, and lions littered the walls, giving it a more cozy atmosphere. They even included characters from the well-loved kids movie Madagascar, surely to bring a smile to any kid’s face.


After taking our pictures, we made a hurried exit in order to give the families some privacy to eat their much-needed breakfast for the long day ahead. As we walked back through the main floor and now not-so-secret hallways, I think we were both feeling pretty overwhelmed. What started out as a simple hunt for the THON salon had turned into a huge revelation.

This was only our first time on the floor at THON, and we had seen so many things not many other people have had the priviledge to see. It was amazing to see all the little intricacies that made up the backbone of THON — the small things you might not notice unless you just stop and take a look around. Organized chaos is really the only way to describe it. Each volunteer knew exactly what they were doing and exactly what was going on around them. While we, as outsiders, felt completely overwhelmed, the committee members took the mayhem in stride. I think I can speak for both of us when I say just how glad we are that we decided to head down to the floor early this morning. Although there’s much more that remains unseen, I’d like to think we now understand THON a little better than when we came to the BJC this morning.

If you want to see more of the awesome wall art, check out the Onward State Facebook album.

If you missed it, check out parts one and two of our Adventures in the BJC series!

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About the Author

Catie Simpson

Catie is a junior majoring in Human Development and Family Studies. She's also the resident townie and culinary enthusiast due to a brief stint at the CIA (the culinary school not the secret government agency). She currently works at a Baby Temperament Lab on campus where she tries to get babies to do dangerous things. She's also on the twitter.

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