Will Vincent

Executive Director

5th Year Student
Hometown: Downingtown, PA
Major: Mechanical Engineering

Previous THON™ Involvement

THON 2020: Donor & Alumni Relations Committee Member
THON 2021: Alumni Engagement Captain
THON 2022: Alumni Engagement Director
THON 2023: Special Events Director

Why did you want to become a director for the largest student-run philanthropy in the world?

I have been fortunate enough to experience 2 years on the Executive Committee in 2 different roles, and those experiences allowed me to see first-hand how THON is so impactful for our families and what makes this organization so special. I applied to be the Executive Director for THON 2024 so I would have the chance to pour all of my efforts into an organization that has changed the lives of thousands of families and children battling childhood cancer. Every single memory I have within THON, whether it is watching thousands of runners line up at 5K, playing games at Family Carnival, or dancers stand during THON Weekend, I have had the chance to see countless times how devoted this community is to our mission and to our families. THON has given me the chance to give my time to something bigger than myself or my years at Penn State, and I wanted to continue furthering these efforts and inspiring the next generation of volunteers - all in the pursuit of no family ever having to receive the news that their child has cancer.

What are your main responsibilities as a Director for THON 2023?

My primary responsibility is to support the 16 directors that make up the Executive Committee as they lead each of their respective committees and work alongside their captains, committee members, and other contacts to bring their initiatives and ideas to life. I serve as a resource to each of them while ensuring decisions being made within this organization align with the missions of both THON and Four Diamonds. I also serve as a liaison between THON, Four Diamonds, Penn State Health Children’s Hospital, and other groups including Penn State administration, University Development, student leaders, corporate and individual donors, and many other contacts that I have the privilege of working alongside.

What is your favorite THON memory?

I have had the opportunity to hear so many inspiring stories and witness some indescribable displays of strength and unity during my time involved in THON, but if I had to pick just one memory, I would say it was when dancers stood up to start THON 2022. Bringing THON back home to the Bryce Jordan Center after a year full of such immense darkness and hardship was such an amazing sight to see and a true testament to the resiliency and dedication of this community.

As a director, what are you most looking forward to for THON 2024?

There are truly so many parts of this coming year that I am extremely excited about. Another year of pre-THON events, another year of laughter and smiles, another year of working to make THON the best organization it can be. Ultimately, another year of fighting for our families and working as an organization to beat childhood cancer. I cannot wait to see our community come together all year and continue to support our families at each event and THON Weekend. While I am sure there will be challenges and unexpected roadblocks along the way, I cannot wait to see what all THON 2024 has in store!

If you could give your high school self one piece of advice, what would it be?

I think that I have learned a tremendous amount during my time at Penn State, both inside and outside of my classes. That being said, if I had to pick one thing that I have learned that I wish I knew in high school, it would be that opportunity can lie in the most unexpected places. I have made some of my best friends at school and had so many great experiences just because I said yes and got involved in things that pulled me out of my comfort zone. THON is certainly an example of this, as I did not know what THON was before getting to Penn State, but it is not the only time that getting involved in something I did not know much about led to such amazing experiences.

What are you involved in outside of being a THON™ Director?

I am involved in a business fraternity, Alpha Kappa Psi, and conduct undergraduate research in the Department of Chemistry.

What are your plans after graduation from Penn State?

I am not totally sure where I would like to end up after graduation from Penn State! I have thoroughly enjoyed my major, as well as my involvements at school, and would love to work in a job that allows me to use engineering to help better the lives of those around me.

Who is your role model? Why?

My parents are two of the hardest working people that I know, and they are constantly supporting my brothers and I while pushing us to be our best selves each and every day. Having them to look up to and learn from as I continue to develop myself as an individual is extremely inspiring, and I could not have asked for two better role models in my life.

What Disney character do you identify with the most? Why?

I admittedly am not as well versed on Disney characters as I probably should be, but I always thought Rex from Toy Story was funny and I could see myself responding to situations in a similar way to how he does. He also tries his best to be a good friend to everyone he meets, which is something that I think is a great character trait and something I try to do as well!

What is one thing you think everyone should try at least once?

There are many things that I still want to try in my life, but I believe that everyone should experience a time of uninterrupted attention to nature and the world around them – at least once, if not more often. A memory of mine that I will never forget was a clear summer night that I stayed up until the sunrise and stargazed. I did this with two other people and believe that we became much better friends after that night. Whether you do it alone or with a group, taking the time to enjoy the beauty of the world around us is such a privilege and something I try to do often.