Penn State news by
Penn State's student blog



Former THON Dancer And Penn State Great Valley Board Member Gary Generose Returns To THON

The THON line dance may be littered with today’s most well-known pop culture references, but for those in attendance like former THON dancer Gary Generose, a trip back to experience THON means it’s time to party like it’s 1995.

Generose, like most former Penn Staters, is always looking for reasons to make a visit to Happy Valley. A two-time Penn State graduate (B.S. Finance at University Park, Master’s in Leadership Development at the Great Valley commonwealth campus), Generose currently serves on the Penn State Great Valley campus Advisory Board, is actively involved as a graduate advisor with Phi Gamma Delta (FIJI), and is a former Great Valley campus Alumni Society president.

So when Generose saw that he would be able to attend the Penn State-Minnesota men’s hockey game this Friday, he kept an eye on the chance to bring his family in to take a look in at THON 2017. Although they had planned to come into the Bryce Jordan Center to take part in the event on Saturday, they noticed that the line outside of the BJC when they left Pegula Ice Arena on Friday night was pretty short. They came inside just in time for Joe Jonas to surprise the crowd with a concert.

“That was pretty amazing when he came out,” said Generose. “We’ve been sitting here trying to guess the next celebrity they’ll bring out. I mean, at this point with Jonas and Kim Kardashian and so many celebrities tweeting about it we are waiting on Beyoncé to come out next,” Generose joked.

In 1995, Generose was able to participate as a dancer for FIJI back when THON was still in the White Building. “It was 1000 percent smaller, that’s for sure,” said Generose. “I think ’95 was one of the first years that they raised a million dollars (Editor’s note: 1992 was the first) and we were blown away, and now they are raising over $10 million annually. At that point, it was still mostly the Greeks. There wasn’t really a strong presence from all these different types of organizations like we see now. The leadership has done a great job to bring everyone in.”

For Generose, there was no other place on his mind when it was time for him to pick schools, and THON helped confirm his brightest expectations for what the college life would bring him. “I was a one school application-type of guy,” said Generose. “My sister came here, and I was a huge Penn State football fan. I came here and joined FIJI and had an amazing time dancing in THON. It was an amazing cause and a great way to get involved. That’s why you go to college, to join something way bigger than yourself. It’s everything to me, and I believe that this is one of those things that shows the essence of what this university is. It’s in the foundation of this place, and it’s great to see.”

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

Mitch Stewart

Mitch is a senior majoring in broadcast journalism from Roanoke, Virginia. In addition to his role with Onward State, Mitch talks about all the #sprots on Penn State's CommRadio. To contact Mitch, feel free to send him an e-mail at [email protected], and if you really don't value your social media accounts, follow him as he yells on Twitter about Penn State basketball @mitchystew.

News & Notes From James Franklin’s Opening Summer Press Conference

Franklin spoke to the media for a half hour on Thursday about upcoming summer workouts.

‘We Have Competition At Every Single Position’: Penn State Quarterback Question Still Unanswered

With the clock ticking down until the start of Penn State football’s season, James Franklin has yet to name his starting quarterback.

Give Us Someone To Root Against: An Open Letter To The Big Ten

“It’s a lack of honor, a misplacement of regard, and a shortcoming of courtesy.”

Follow on Another Platform
Other posts by Mitch

Learning To Live With Yourself: Mitch Stewart’s Senior Column

Once described as a “Penn State student outlet whore,” Mitch talks about the many ups and downs of his unforgettable four years at Penn State, and how they’ve shaped him.

March Madness Or Not, This Season Changed The Narrative Of Penn State Hoops

An Ode To Lamar Stevens: The Leader Who Put Penn State Hoops On The Map