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Homecoming Announces 2017 Honorary Grand Marshal Is Uplifting Athletes Founder Scott Shirley

The Honorary Grand Marshal for Homecoming 2017 will be Uplifting Athletes Founder Scott Shirley, Homecoming announced during its annual Legacy Celebration Wednesday in the HUB.

Shirley has served as the executive director of Uplifting Athletes since fall 2007. Prior to that, he was chairman of the board for the organization beginning with its incorporation in 2004. Uplifting Athletes is a nonprofit organization dedicated to inspiring the rare disease community with hope through the power of sport.

During Shirley’s time at Penn State, his father was diagnosed with kidney cancer and the family was told he had six months to live, as the cancer typically doesn’t respond to chemo therapy or radiation.

The football team rallied around the idea of leveraging a summer strength and conditioning competition into a fund raising event called Lift For Life by opening it up to their fans and the media, according to the Uplifting Athletes website. Their efforts soon grew to form Uplifting Athletes.

Shirley graduated from Penn State with his bachelor’s degree in 2003 and master’s degree in 2004 in engineering. He was a wide receiver for Penn State football, where he won the Frank Patrick Total Commitment Award and the Walk-on Award. He was also selected twice for Academic All-Big Ten honors.

The Homecoming theme for 2017 is “Embrace the Journey, Roar with Pride” and Homecoming also revealed its new logo last weekend at halftime of the Blue-White game.

This year’s Homecoming week will occur unseasonably late, from Sunday, November 5 through Sunday, November 12. It will also be held in conjunction with Penn State’s annual Military Appreciation Week. Both occasions will be recognized at the November 11 football game against Rutgers. The kickoff time for the game has not been announced yet.

Throughout the week, Homecoming will host other activities for students the Best of Penn State Carnival, Pollock Party, and the For the Glory Talent Show.

About the Author

Elissa Hill

Elissa is a senior public relations major and the managing editor of Onward State. She is from Punxsutawney, PA [insert corny Bill Murray joke here] and considers herself an expert on all things ice cream. Send questions and comments via e-mail ([email protected]) and follow her on Twitter (@ElissaKHill) for more corny jokes.



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