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State College Forgets To Renew Name, Still Called ‘City Of THON’

In a press conference, Mayor Elizabeth Goreham announced State College as we knew it will never be the same. Goreham signed a proclamation in February to temporarily rename State College the “City of THON.”

In what was originally intended to be a 46-hour change to concur with Penn State’s 46-hour dance marathon, the borough forgot about a little-known federal policy that allows other cities to claim available names at any time, including those forfeited during ceremonial name changes. The policy, similar to how website domain names are bought and sold, was signed into law in late 2007 by President George W. Bush in order keep the circulation of historical American city names in place for future generations.

“I, nor the rest of the council, even knew this policy existed,” Goreham said. “While it’s unfortunate the name no longer belongs to the borough, we’re happy the students’ incredible philanthropic efforts raising money for THON will continue to be recognized. Now, we can say ‘FTK’ everyday.”

As soon as Mayor Goreham signed the proclamation on Feb. 9, 2015, State College was added to a public database that tracks the addition of newly available names. Seeing an opportunity to get even after being suspended from ESPN for calling Penn State students “pitiful” after THON, Keith Olbermann received a tip from an intern that the name was available and immediately claimed the rights to State College.

In a strange letter addressed to borough council, Olbermann demanded a batting cage be installed on the first floor of the new apartment complex under construction on the corner of S. Atherton Street and College Avenue in return for the city’s naming rights.

“This is a batting practice world now, and there’s no time for anything good, only fast,” Olbermann said. “As fast and as resonant as the sound of the ball hitting the bat.”

While it remains to be seen whether the borough will meet the sports show host’s demands, the city is preparing to undergo a few changes in order to meet the expectations of its new name. Starting Thursday, April 2, mail will no longer be delivered to individual houses or the post office. Instead, there will be a daily mail call every morning in front of the Municipal Building where residents can pick up their envelopes and packages. In addition, the State College Police Department has been renamed the Rules & Regulations Committee.

“Really, every day is THON,” THON 2015 executive director Megan Renaut said. “With the ceremonial name change in place for good, we can keep that FTK spirit strong all year long.”

People who don’t THON are planning a rally through the streets of Downtown State College  the City of THON for later this week.

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About the Author

CJ Doon

CJ is a senior journalism major from Long Island and Onward State's Sports Editor. He is a third-generation Penn Stater, and his grandfather wrestled for the university back in the 1930s under coach Charlie “Doc” Speidel. Besides writing, one of his favorite activities is making sea puns. You can follow him on Twitter @CJDoon, and send your best puns to [email protected], just for the halibut.

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