Marion Roger, Diamond Donator
Marion (Hughes) Roger, a 1983 Penn State graduate, did much more than design the logo for THON in 1981 for the “Dance for Tomorrow” theme.
Back in the 80s, THON was much smaller than it was today. It was so small that over 400 dancers danced the night away in the White Building. It was held at the end of January into the first day of February, as opposed to solely February. It was also the year that the logo was a round, symmetrical image, featuring a character inspired by the French mime, Marcel Marceau.
Marion Roger is the woman behind that logo. She wanted to show the polar opposites of day and night in a symmetrical image. “It’s like yin and yang; night and day,” she said. It also represented a partnership between two people, or the dancer pairs.
Designing the logo fit perfectly in her niche, as she was an advertising major with the College of Liberal Arts, before the advertising program became a part of the College of Communications.
Aside from designing the logo, she made a rather generous donation to the Four Diamonds Foundation: a beautiful ring, featuring…four diamonds.
This year marked the first anniversary of the death of her father. The death of her father made her forget to donate to THON, and this year she really wanted to make an impact by donating her mother’s old diamond ring. The ring was custom-made with four diamonds in the center, with a total of eight smaller diamonds as the inlay.
But why did she decide to donate her ring? Her father, a survivor of six cancers, gave the ring to her mother, who was a smoker when they got married. He told her if she stopped smoking, he would buy her a nice ring. Roger has no children, but loves what THON does for the Four Diamonds Fund. She has friends in France whose daughter, Margo Blanc, died of a brain tumor in June 2010. She was diagnosed with the tumor around THON weekend in February 2008. Her donation also went to help future children, like Margo, and the hope of finding a cure.
Roger had it written in her will that when she dies, the ring will go to the Four Diamonds Fund, but nobody knew at Penn State. Now, they are fully aware of her generous donation. It is, as Roger says, “double protection” for the ring, because she wanted to make sure it would not go missing. It will stay with the Four Diamonds Fund. The ring’s value was appraised at $22,000, but that was two years ago, and the value could have gone up since then.
“I’m happy I know where [the ring] is going when I die…and I could live for another 30 years!” she said.
She and the Four Diamonds Fund have not exactly worked out when they will receive the ring from her, which is why she still wears it for the time being.
She likes the idea of donating something other than money to a charity. Instead of donating money, donating artwork, sculptures, or even pieces of jewelry can be a unique way to give to philanthropies.