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Mike the Mailman: THON Exemplifies Penn State Excellence

by on March 01, 2011 6:11 AM

$9.5 million.

THON—together without limits and for the kids—shattered all records this year.

Congratulations to all who were involved.

I was lucky to visit the Bryce Jordan Center three times over the weekend, and each visit offered unforgettable memories. The first visit was on Friday night. My wife and I took her brother Tony and his wife, Rebecca, to experience THON for the first time.

Tony and Rebecca were awestruck. We arrived at the perfect time, as the line dance started shortly after we got there. It was only the very beginning of this event, and all of us couldn't believe not only how all of the dancers had the moves down, but also how their support crowd in the stands did, as well.

Since I have attended so many THON weekends, it’s always refreshing to introduce it to someone who is experiencing it for the first time. My second visit of the weekend was from 1 to 5 a.m. Sunday, for Mail Call. This is always so much fun.

I think that there may have been 9.5 million pieces of mail this year!

I want to send out a special thanks to Nikki and Andrew, the Mail Call captains and to the entire Mail Call team who spent hours sorting and preparing for this early-morning special delivery. With e-mail, texting, and other instant ways to send a quick note, old-school letters and packages are not as popular, but on Mail Call morning, this “snail mail” turns into “jitterbug mail” and lifts every dancer’s spirit.

For the two minutes I spend on stage trying to say something encouraging to all of the dancers out on the floor, I was almost speechless by the accomplishments of these amazing students. As always, I was so honored to be a part of THON.

My third and final visit to THON this year was the final six hours, including when they announced this year’s total. Right before they revealed the number on stage, I looked around from the packed stands, with so many supporters, to the crowded floor filled with the newest group of successful dancers now allowed to sit for the first time in 46 hours. The energy was almost palpable, and I realized that although I have seen some amazing sporting events and concerts from these stands, this is my favorite event at the BJC.

When the $9.5 million sign was revealed, deafening cheers were followed by approximately 9.5 million tears of joy. Thank you and, again, congratulations to everyone who participated, contributed and donated this year. This fundraiser is one of the many examples of excellence displayed here at Penn State.

Speaking of excellence, it was recently released by the NCAA that Penn State is only one of two Division I colleges in the nation that has never had any violations. (The other school is Stanford.)

Even though February is a short month, I think here in Happy Valley we’ve made it a pretty unforgettable one! I want to wish you all a happy March.

Time for the March Madness-magic to commence….



Mike (The Mailman) Herr gives his stamp of approval to all visitors Monday through Friday at the University Park post office in the ground floor of McAllister Building, adjacent to the HUB. His views and opinions do not necessarily reflect those of Penn State University.
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