Susan (Burroughs) Schoonmaker

Graduation Year:


Penn State Major:

Graphic Design

THON Logo Design (Year/Theme):

1997 / Miracles in Motion


I actually started out as an engineering major but switched to graphic design after my freshman year. At the time, graphic design students had to submit portfolios, as only a limited number of students were accepted into the program. Thankfully, I was accepted in the first round. Working under Lanny and Kristen Sommese for two years was the most challenging and rewarding time of my life. Two weeks after graduating from Penn State, I relocated to Washington DC to begin my design career with the federal government. I spent 10 years working for the government before transitioning to the contracting world. I have won numerous awards for design work that few will ever see. The next chapter of my life is to obtain a master’s degree so I can pursue teaching the next generations of designers/creatives.

How has designing a THON logo impacted you after graduation from Penn State?

Designing a THON logo has kept me in an elite club of fellow designers and THON alumni.

What was your inspiration for your THON logo design? 

Intuition. I honestly just went with my gut and utilized my design knowledge. Kind of just fell into place.

What is your favorite THON memory?

Walking into White Hall building and witnessing THON for the first time. It’s not something that can be described - you have to experience it first-hand. The energy was just amazing!