Penn State alumna: 'THON doesn't stop after graduation'

Maddy Pryor, left, has attended the annual Penn State IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon every year since she was a freshman, and she's pictured here at THON 2010 with fellow Penn State alumna Brittany Piccicacco. Pryor oversees regional events and social media for the Alumni Association's Dance Marathon Alumni Interest Group (DMAIG), and also serves on the group's board of directors. "THON doesn't stop after graduation," Pryor said, referencing the many opportunities that DMAIG provides.  Credit: Maddy Pryor / Penn StateCreative Commons

Editor’s Note: Visit the Alumni Association’s Facebook page and share your THON memories, photos and watch party details, and use #AlumniFTK on social media to stay connected and hear what other alumni are saying about THON 2016.UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — So you’ve graduated, which means your THON experiences are over, right?

It doesn't have to be that way.  

The Alumni Association’s Dance Marathon Alumni Interest Group (DMAIG) plays a crucial role in keeping Penn Staters connected to THON, whether you graduated last year, last decade, or when The Rolling Stones topped the charts.

As Maddy Pryor said, “THON doesn’t stop after graduation.”

Pryor oversees DMAIG regional events and social media while also serving on the group’s board of directors, and she joined the organization shortly after graduating in 2013. She remembers thinking, at the time, that her only participation with THON moving forward would be as a spectator, but then she learned about DMAIG and that all changed.

“I was elated,” Pryor said about learning of DMAIG. “You never want college to end, and especially THON. It’s great to find out that there are alumni chapters all over the country and that you can still dance as an alumna, and to learn you can get involved on the executive board like I did.”

You can follow DMAIG on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram (@pennstatedmaig) for more information and year-round happenings, and that’s Pryor’s world. She focuses on social media for the group (and her career), saying her main goal is ensuring alumni around the country know they can maintain a connection with THON.

As Pryor said, if you follow DMAIG on social media, “you’ll be in the loop with alumni-related THON events.”And if you’re attending THON this weekend at the Bryce Jordan Center, keep an eye out for DMAIG. The organization will host a table on the concourse throughout the weekend, selling photos for the DMAIG Mosaic project, and also sharing information and informing alumni (and students) about their efforts. The specific times DMAIG will be available on the concourse are 7-11 p.m. on Friday, 8 a.m.–11 p.m. on Saturday, and 8 a.m.–noon on Sunday.

The connection that DMAIG provides can take on different forms: fundraising, of course, but the organization also can act as a conduit for conversation, Pryor said, giving Penn Staters common ground and a post-graduation home.

“It’s great that alumni are engaged throughout the country,” Pryor said. “People always say you don’t get THON until you’re there, and once you graduate, there’s still an opportunity to get it.”

Pryor is pictured during the 2012 THON Family Carnival with the the Kreider family, which at the time was the THON family for Nittany Nation (now Legion of Blue). From left: Meredith Fausey-Kreider, Evan Kreider, Pryor, and Dylan Fausey-Kreider. "Evan lost his battle with cancer in 2013, and he's one of the biggest reasons why I continue my THON involvement," Pryor said.  Credit: Maddy Pryor / Penn StateCreative Commons

You can join DMAIG by visiting the group’s website, and also stay updated on alumni happenings across the country by visiting the alumni events page.

“Leading up to THON, we want everyone to know how much our alumni across the country are doing for students and Four Diamonds,” Pryor said.

“There are events across the country, from New York to Los Angeles, and it’s our job to really get the word out about them. We want alumni to find their local chapter, and if they’re having a THON event, go all out. And let us know about it, because we can go all out for you, too," she added. 

DMAIG members will meet (informally and formally) with alumni and THON supporters throughout the weekend, with Pryor saying, “It’s absolutely vital” to maximize their time and make the most of the weekend.

You can view DMAIG’s weekend schedule by clicking here, and also register for the group’s reception on Saturday evening at the Hintz Family Alumni Center. There’s also the opportunity to sign up for a tour of the Bryce Jordan Center during THON weekend, and if you can’t attend THON in person, check out this list of watch parties the group has assembled.

Personal interaction is crucial, Pryor said, and it's also important to share even what might seem like basic knowledge — such as alumni can dance in THON ­— and Pryor's story is a good example. After graduation, she went from being bummed to feeling excited after learning about the opportunities that DMAIG provides, and those opportunities are available near and far from University Park.

As Pryor pointed out, alumni can join a chapter and get involved, saying, “There’s definitely a way to help, and it’s really about that THON isn’t over when you graduate.”

The Alumni Association Dance Marathon Alumni Interest Group (DMAIG) helps keep alumni connected to THON with year-round events and news. Maddy Pryor (back row, second from right), joined DMAIG shortly after graduating in 2013, saying that she was elated after learning about all the opportunities available.  Credit: Alumni Association Dance Marathon Alumni Interest GroupAll Rights Reserved.

Last Updated February 16, 2016