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Penn State Alumni Association CEO Paul Clifford Speaks At THON 2020

Penn State Alumni Association CEO Paul J. Clifford took the stage at THON 2020 Saturday, belting out his trademark, “Where else would you rather be than a room full of Penn Staters?” to raucous applause.

“On behalf of our 174,000 members of the world’s largest alumni association, I’d like to congratulate everyone here on an amazing dance marathon.”

Clifford appeared alongside many alums as well as the Nittany Lion to kick off THON 2020’s Alumni Hour. He led a vigorous “We Are” chant before speaking to the Bryce Joran Center crowd Saturday morning.

“You are demonstrating to the world the impact of philanthropy and what it means to be a Penn Stater,” Clifford continued.

Clifford ensured dancers that the entire Penn State alumni network is following THON closely from all over the world and supporting them each and every step of the way.

“These alumni who are up here with me represent over 700,000 alumni worldwide cheering for you, and many of them are tuning in on 46Live,” Clifford said.

Clifford continued, noting that THON’s efforts, alongside the Four Diamonds Foundation, have helped to increase pediatric cancer research and help save lives every year.

“THON is a movement,” Clifford said. “It’s a mobilization of this community to put an end to pediatric cancer. THON inspires the community, THON changes lives, THON saves lives! You know, it’s not too long ago that three out of five kids who were diagnosed with cancer would lose that battle. Today, because of what you’re doing, four out of five of those kids actually beat cancer!”

Clifford wrapped up his speech by urging students, dancers, volunteers, and alumni to keep supporting THON each year.

“The way to beat cancer is to face it head-on and say, ‘Caner cannot,'” Clifford said. “The way to beat cancer is through love. The way to beat cancer is to laugh and smile and dance. The way to beat cancer is to THON.”

He then ended his speech in the only way how: an energetic rendition of Penn State’s alma mater.

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About the Author

Matt DiSanto

Matt proudly served as Onward State’s managing editor for two years until graduating from Penn State with distinction in May 2022. Now, he’s off in the real world doing real things. Send him an email ([email protected]) or follow him on Twitter (@mattdisanto_) to stay in touch.

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