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Brothers By Blood & Organization: Penn State Twin Brothers Dance In THON 2023

Members of fraternities all over the world refer to each other as “brothers,” but what happens when your “brother” is also your brother? Or better yet, your twin?

Penn State seniors Harrison and Jarrod Keating got to experience all of the above when they took on THON Weekend 2023 together as dancers for their fraternity, Alpha Epsilon Pi (AEPi). Being able to share the highs and lows of dancing for 46 hours with family is something they struggled to put into words.

“It’s definitely an experience. Not many people get to dance with their siblings,” Jarrod said during THON. “We do a lot of stuff together, but this is something we’ve been wanting to do for a while now.”

As twins, there’s not a lot they do apart. Both graduating from the College of IST this May, Harrison is a security risk analysis major while Jarrod is an applied data science major pursuing a certificate in the Smeal College of Business. They’re both members of the student hockey league and even served as primary co-chairs for AEPi’s THON committee last year.

The hands-on involvement from their chair position propelled them into dancing this year.

“Well ever since I learned about THON, I thought it would be cool to become a dancer, but I never really thought twice of it,” Harrison said. “I joined THON to meet our families and help fundraise. When the opportunity was presented to me, I took it.”

Though not in the driver’s seat this year, the two were still heavily involved in the fraternity’s events.

Hailing from New Jersey, the Keatings don’t consider themselves a “Penn State family,” though, the brothers have the unwavering support of their parents and younger sister, a freshman at Penn State, behind them.

The Keatings take their bond with two of their THON families, the Fischmans and McDonnells, both of which have a set of twins.

“It’s definitely something that’s really cool to do and it’s good for our THON families, too,” Jarrod said. “We have two families with twins, so it’s cool that we can relate to them that way.”

Throughout the weekend, the brothers were excited to experience everything THON had to offer, from the Pep Rally to Final Four and, of course, spending time with their families.

“The McDonnells, their twin sons, are tri-sport athletes, so throughout the school year they’re always super busy,” Harrison said. “I know they’re gonna be here today, so I’m super excited. It’s the first time I’ve seen them this calendar year, so it’s super cool.”

During the weekend, the Keatings danced for their THON families and children around the country in the same situation.

“I THON because, like most, my family has been impacted by cancer, [but] it wasn’t a child. Imagining how it can impact families, children — just a child that has cancer is unimaginable,” Jarrod said. “I think showing support, helping fundraise, and supporting the families is something really special. So that’s why I THON. So we can have birthdays and celebrations with all the THON children.”

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About the Author

Megan Kelby

Megan Kelby is a senior at Penn State majoring in journalism. She is from the great state of Delaware and does not tolerate any 302 slander. Megan is a fan of Sudoku, music, and rocket pops. If you feel the need to, you can email her at [email protected].

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