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THON Director Thursday: Meet THON 2024 Special Events Director Aidan Johnson

Name: Aidan Johnson

Major: Biobehavioral health

Previous THON Experience:

  • THON 2021 Hospitality committee member
  • THON 2022 Hospitality cadet
  • THON 2023 Hospitality captain

What made you want to apply for a director position for THON 2024?

It’s hard to find another community as selfless and passionate as the students involved in THON. Those who I have had the pleasure of working with within THON have left a lasting impact on my Penn State experience. I wanted to become a director to try and elevate the experience of every member of the THON community to give back to the community that has given so much to me.

What are your responsibilities as a THON director?

As the Special Events Director for THON 2024, I am responsible for the planning and execution of all pre-THON weekend events. This includes events such as the THON 5K powered by PNC, 100 Days ‘Til THON Celebration, Family Carnival, THON Showcase, all of our THON athletic events, and more. These events foster excitement throughout the community, engage our volunteers, and provide an avenue to outreach to audiences who may not know about our mission.

What do you want to implement in your position this year that’s unique and differs from years past?

This year, we are looking to expand upon our relationship between THON and Penn State’s student-athletes. Having THON athletic events is a great source of awareness for THON’s mission and expanding upon how student-athletes can get involved in the fight is an interesting area of opportunity.

What makes your committee so cool, fun, and/or important?

One of the coolest parts of the Special Events Committee is that we have the ability to put our own personal spin on the events we put on throughout the THON Community. Finding unique ways to make each event unique allows more people to make more and more memories at the event.

What are the overall goals you hope to reach with your committee for THON 2024?

Overall, I hope to expand on our events throughout the year. Whether it’s the addition of a small facet to an existing event or a grand introduction of a new event, innovating the processes and moving the community forward through these events is an area of focus for Special Events this year.

Why do you THON?

In high school, there was a young girl in my community who unfortunately passed away from childhood cancer. Before she passed, the entire community rallied around her, and I thought it was so inspirational to see that. Since then, I have seen the same level of support throughout the THON community, and it pushes me to make my mark on the organization.

What’s your favorite THON memory?

My favorite THON memory is from this past year’s Family Carnival. A few co-captains and I had the opportunity to play with a few Four Diamonds children and seeing them running and laughing around the event space showed how much THON means to the families we support. 

Per Onward State tradition, if you could be any dinosaur, which one would you choose and why?

I would be a velociraptor because they are quick and agile.

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About the Author

Haylee Yocum

Haylee is a senior studying immunology and infectious disease. She is from Mifflintown, PA, a tiny town south of State College. She is fueled by dangerous amounts of caffeine and dreams of smashing the patriarchy. Any questions or discussion about Taylor Swift’s best songs can be directed to @hayleeq8 on Twitter or emailed to [email protected]

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