A THON Love Story: Julie & Vince
When Julie Graham was chosen to dance in THON 2014, she was expecting knee-high socks, crazy costumes, and the most energetic 46 hours of her life. Little did she know that the weekend would change her life in more ways than one. Now, a year later, Julie is happily graduated, furthering her degree — and she is currently dating Vince, whom she first met last THON weekend as her moraler.
Ever since she was a freshman, Julie knew she wanted to dance in THON. “I joined Tri-STATE and was the Family Relations Chair,” she said. Always eager to involve herself more, she was involved with THON throughout college, and when she was able to dance her senior year, she was elated. This had been what she was working toward for so long — what an incredible weekend it would be.
Enter Vince, her moraler.
So it must have been all fireworks, romantic music, and wedding bells — right?
Actually, according to Julie, it wasn’t immediately love at first sight. “We met at the pizza party before THON,” she said — and then revealed, “But we didn’t hang out much before THON.” Aside from Color Wars or the initial meet and greet, the pair remained rather casual and cordial. She looked forward to dancing, but she had her org alongside her, and her family was showing up for THON, too.
What ended up happening, however, is like something out of a rom com.
On the floor of THON, they got along like the best of friends. Julie said that, by Friday night of THON, she had already lost her voice from singing along with Vince to all of the hit songs. In only a few hours, the two grew incredibly close, forming a bond that would eventually continue to expand.
When asked what was her favorite moment of last year’s THON, Julie thought for a moment, and then responded, “My parents were at THON all weekend, and they would be in the stands, saying, ‘You just need Vince.'” During Sunday in particular, when Julie was struggling to stay on her feet, she would be telling herself, “I just need Vince.” Over the weekend, he had become a sense of security in a way. “He helped me so much,” Julie said.
Julie and Vince at THON 2014
After THON weekend in 2014, they remained close friends — they lived within one hour of one another throughout college, and this gave them a way to stay in touch and be able to visit throughout the summer. Eventually, their close friendship transformed into something more, and out of it came a new THON love story.
This weekend, Julie and Vince are still together and connected through THON — except this year it’s Vince that’s dancing as a senior with the org HEAL, and Julie is visiting him as a pseudo-Moraler.
“I’ve only been on the floor once,” Julie said, “but when I went on, we just looked at each other and started dancing — it was like last year all over again!”
When considering that they have essentially flipped roles for this year’s THON, she was very excited about the concept. “It’s awesome, being like his Moraler,” she said. “I love it! I just feel like I owe him so much — I did so well [last year] because of him.”
Julie and Vince at this year’s THON weekend
All the best wishes to this adorable couple — here’s to many more laughter-filled THONs in your future.
Photos: Julie Graham
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Barkley discussed a number of topics — including his cameo at this year’s Met Gala and progress towards earning his Penn State degree — following his youth football camp in Happy Valley.
Stevens will reunite with Joe Moorhead, Penn State’s offensive coordinator during the two best statistical seasons of the quarterback’s career.
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