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Bendapudi, Kraft, & Franklin Prep THON 2023 Crowd Ahead Of Pep Rally

Before the THON 2023 pep rally kicked off, a trio of Penn State leaders addressed the BJC in order to get the crowd primed for an electric competition.

To start off the event, first-year Penn State President Neeli Bendapudi got on the mic, praising the student body’s philanthropic efforts and willpower.

“THON is our love letter to every Four Diamonds family,” Bendapudi said. “This is our love letter to show humanity what our students are about.”

“THON, I’ve never seen anything like this. It’s an honor to be here,” Bendapudi continued before leading a “We Are” chant.

Annie Kubiak | Onward State

Afterward, Penn State’s new Vice President of intercollegiate athletics Pat Kraft employed his typical charisma to keep the hype train rolling.

“There is nothing like this in the world,” Kraft said. “When you walk in this building, even in my first time, you feel the love and the energy. What you’re doing is inspirational to the families, to everybody.”

“That’s why Penn State is the best university in the country,” Kraft continued. “We are so blessed to be part of this family.”

Annie Kubiak | Onward State

Penn State football head coach James Franklin closed out the opening statements, celebrating THON’s atmosphere.

“This is what makes Penn State special: nights like tonight,” Franklin said. “For the kids, there’s no doubt about it.”

“You guys do make a difference –– not only for the kids, but for their families,” Franklin continued. “Enjoy these 46 hours. Enjoy every minute of it.”

Annie Kubiak | Onward State

The THON pep rally features dances from multiple Nittany Lion teams, with a winner being crowned at the end of the competition –– all emceed by former Penn State quarterback Matt McGloin.

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About the Author

Sam Fremin

Sam is a senior from Ashburn, Virginia, majoring in journalism and political science & minoring in German and creative writing. He is a Dallas Cowboys fan who relishes the misery of Eagles fans. All hate messages can be sent to [email protected] or @SamFremin on Twitter.

He may or may not read every single comment he gets.

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