Written By: Roman Sciote and Keona Montague
This month we got the chance to interview THON™ alumni Gianna Corpora and Terri Lynne.
Gianna was an active member of THON through Penn State’s Blue & White Society’s THON organization. For her position, she organized entrance plans for their members to have seats in the stands to support the group’s dancers, as well as making sure the seats were always filled so their dancers had a great support team to see. When asked what her favorite THON memory was, she said it was, “when Mason Ramsey (the Wal-Mart singing boy) was a guest singer at THON Weekend back in 2019. Along with dancing at THON Weekend back in 2022 with many of the other THON dancers.”. When we asked her, “What advice do you have for future THON dancers?”, Gianna said, “It will be one of the greatest accomplishments of your life. It is a weekend filled with so much emotion, and at some points it may feel too overwhelming. But just keep thinking about your role and purpose as a THON dancer and volunteer.”
Currently Gianna is a student at Penn State Dickinson Law. She joined the BAR Association recently formed that supports THON, while also donating to the Blue & White Society to benefit THON. When asked if she would ever want to relive a moment from THON, she said “I wish I could go back and relive all 4 years of college at Penn State and participate in THON again. But the one moment I would love to relive for the first time again was when the line dance for THON Weekend 2022 played for the first time. Blue & White Society’s THON child, Sean, spoke during a portion of the dance. Each hour I heard the voice of one of the children that had the greatest impact on my decision to dance.”. It is clear to see how important THON was to Gianna during her years at Penn State and how her memories will stick with her forever.
Terri was the other alumni who we interviewed, and she attended Penn State back in the 90s. Terri comes from a Penn State. We interviewed her and got the chance to ask her only a few questions, but in her answers, it was clear she had great pride for having gone to Penn State. She explained that her first THON was in the early 90s and she said she is “so proud of students like you who have kept the tradition alive”. Obviously, she had her experiences with THON a long time ago, but she said it, “seems like only yesterday to me” when telling us about her THON memories. The next question we asked her was “what was your favorite memory relating to THON” and she reminisced about a time when she said, “everyone got dressed up in crazy outfits and the entire campus got shut down for a weekend to focus on THON.”
The final few questions asked to her focused on her involvement in THON more recently. When talking about how she interacts with THON now, she told us about how she always watches the livestreams of THON Weekend but must include sleep breaks to keep up. She also said she always said she contributes to THON’s financial mission. Finally, we asked what she missed most about Penn State as a whole and she answered by saying “I miss seeing the Nittany Mountains daily and the feeling that I was at the best university in the country with my best friends!”.