Alumni interest group establishes first endowment for THON alumni engagement

Members of the DMAIG board at THON 2020 Credit: Penn StateCreative Commons

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- Since 1984, when the Dance Marathon Alumni Interest Group (DMAIG) was established under the name “Silver Shoes Committee,” THON alumni have demonstrated their continued commitment to Penn State, THON, and Four Diamonds.

DMAIG recently took the next step in establishing permanent and lasting support of THON through the creation of the Dance Marathon Alumni Interest Group (DMAIG) Endowment for THON Alumni Engagement. Established with gifts from the group and matching funds from the Penn State Alumni Association, this $50,000 endowment will facilitate innovative alumni engagement opportunities for THON for many years to come.

“As an organization dedicated to championing the efforts of THON, the Dance Marathon Alumni Interest Group (DMAIG) is honored and excited to create the first endowment offering support to THON leaders every year in perpetuity,” said Josh Kirwin, DMAIG president. “As Penn State alumni, we continue to be inspired by the passion and resilience of THON’s student volunteers, and it is our hope that these funds not only reinforce DMAIG’s commitment to THON, but also help establish programs and opportunities to keep that THON spirit alive in Penn State alumni around the world.”

Specifically, the Dance Marathon Alumni Interest Group (DMAIG) Endowment for THON Alumni Engagement will provide discretionary annual funding for the THON alumni engagement director and THON executive director to support innovative means of outreach and inspiration to effectively engage more alumni in THON’s mission.

“The DMAIG Endowment is one of the many incredible ways Penn State alumni continue to demonstrate their support of THON, reminding us that the fight goes far beyond four years,” said Katie Solomon, THON 2021 executive director. “The funds that we receive allow us to pursue impactful, long-term projects to boost our alumni engagement efforts that may not have been possible within our budget otherwise. This financial support ensures that the most of every dollar raised can go directly to Penn State Children’s Hospital — as our motto says, ‘For the Kids.’”

Every year, DMAIG seeks to expand and grow alumni support to best benefit THON through fundraising, hosting events and engagement opportunities, supporting alumni dancers and fostering partnerships with the Penn State Alumni Association and its Chapters.

“THON doesn’t end at graduation — it continues on throughout the alumni experience for thousands of Penn Staters,” said Paul Clifford, CEO of the Penn State Alumni Association. “We are grateful for this generous gift from the Dance Marathon Alumni Interest Group in support of the efforts of our dedicated student leaders to activate alumni to defeat childhood cancer.  We all must continue to dance for a cure until we can dance in celebration, this is who WE ARE!”

This gift will advance "A Greater Penn State for 21st Century Excellence," a focused campaign that seeks to elevate Penn State’s position as a leading public university in a world defined by rapid change and global connections. With the support of alumni and friends, “A Greater Penn State” seeks to fulfill the three key imperatives of a 21st-century public university: keeping the doors to higher education open to hardworking students regardless of financial well-being; creating transformative experiences that go beyond the classroom; and impacting the world by serving communities and fueling discovery, innovation and entrepreneurship. To learn more about “A Greater Penn State for 21st Century Excellence,” visit

If you would like more information about the Dance Marathon Alumni Interest Group or the Penn State Alumni Association, contact: Haley Staub at or Nancy Bird at


Last Updated January 19, 2021