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THON 2023 Day Two Recap

We’re almost there, folks. Day one of THON 2023 got off to a hot start thanks to a lively performance by Natasha Bedingfield, but it didn’t let up there. More surprise musical guests and the annual THON Pep Rally headlined the second day of dancing in the Bryce Jordan Center.

With the first two days of THON 2023 in the books, here’s all that happened during day two inside the BJC.

Homecoming Executive Committee Reveals 2023 Theme

The 2023 Homecoming theme was revealed to be “Illuminate the Lion Within.”

“Even though we come from different backgrounds, we are one community, forever a home, united by the lion within,” said the Homecoming executive committee.

The logo for Homecoming 2023 is expected to be revealed during the annual Blue-White Game on April 15.

Paul Clifford Offers Words Of Encouragement

Penn State Alumni Association CEO Paul Clifford took the stage to give a message to the dancers during the late afternoon window of day two.

“THON grows leaders, THON inspires the community, THON changes lives and saves,” Clifford said.

“Royals” Rocks The Stage At The BJC

Shortly after Paul Clifford exited the stage, pop-punk band Royals electrified the large crowd with covers of some of the best hits from the 2000s and 2010s.

The New Jersey group got the crowd going with a cover of Maroon 5’s “Moves Like Jagger.” Throughout its lengthy performance, Royals got the dancers going with renditions of classic songs such as Whitney Houston’s “I Wanna Dance With Somebody,” and Earth, Wind & Fire’s “September.”

Royals concluded its performance with a cover of the fan-favorite Killers song “Mr. Brightside.”

Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro Gives Speech

Alongside university President Neeli Bendapudi, newly elected Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro spoke to those at the Bryce Jordan Center to offer words of encouragement to the dancers as well as express his love for THON.

“It’s Gen Z every day, making a difference to protect our freedoms to make sure we solve the big problems,” Shapiro said.

Kids & Teens Talent Show

Before the Pep Rally kicked off, the Kids’ Talent Show took over the BJC in the early evening to entertain the crowd with performances ranging from a dance routine set to One Republic’s “I Ain’t Worried” to a full-on lightsaber battle.

The talent show participants were eventually joined by the Lionettes to collaborate on a dance routine set to Rihanna’s “Don’t Stop the Music.”

In total, there were 22 total performances during the Kids’ Talent Show.

Pep Rally

A classic THON tradition made its return to the BJC on Saturday night: The Pep Rally. To start things off, the Blue Band performed alongside the Nittany Lion, officially marking the start of the Pep Rally.

Bendapudi, Vice President for Intercollegiate Athletics Pat Kraft, and football coach James Franklin to said a few words to hype up the crowd before the performances got underway.

Outside of the athletes participating on stage, the Pep Rally featured a plethora of familiar faces. Former Penn State quarterback Matt McGloin emceed the event, and former Penn State wrestler and UFC fighter Bo Nickal made an appearance.

Men’s and women’s golf, men’s and women’s Lacrosse, men’s and women’s gymnastics, football, the Lionettes, women’s volleyball, men’s and women’s soccer, and field hockey all gave unbelievable performances that electrified the BJC but there could only be one winner.

Paul Clifford took to the stage to announce that women’s lacrosse won the THON 2023 pep rally.

Whethan Makes Suprise Performance

Many in the BJC were stunned when artist and producer Whethan stepped onto the stage to perform at THON 2023.

Whethan is best known for collaborating with artists such as Dua Lipa, Charlie XCX, and the Chainsmokers to produce record hits.

The Chicago native, who is now based out of Los Angeles, combined his own sounds with a few classic songs such as Foster The People’s “Pumped Up Kicks.”

In an ode to Friday night’s surprise performer, Whethan played Natasha Bedingfield’s “Pocket Full of Sunshine” much to the delight of a packed BJC.

To conclude his performance, Whethan pulled out his phone to take a selfie with the crowd in the background for what is guaranteed to be an iconic picture.

Power Hour

The graveyard hours at THON 2023 just wouldn’t feel complete without an epic power hour performance. Luckily, those in attendance got two great performances from two great bands. My Hero Zero and Donny Burns & The Third Degree both did more than enough to keep the dancers energized in the early morning hours of THON.


Country Hour was headlined by local band Adam and the Armadillos and kept the crowd going as dancers entered the final stretch with original songs and covers by prominent country bands and artists.

Finally, an update on our managing editor attempting to do 46 push-ups an hour for every hour he’s at THON: he couldn’t do it.

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About the Author

Devon Craley

Devon is a junior studying sports journalism. He has the genuine misfortune of being a Philadelphia sports fan...IYKYK. Send your hot takes and preferably your freezing cold takes on Twitter to @devon3134. Devon is also your friendly, neighborhood State College movie nerd.

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