By Gabe Angieri at OnwardState.com
Matthew R. Solomon knew he wanted to dance in Pennsylvania State University’s student-run dance marathon philanthropy, THON, ever since he was a wide-eyed freshman. Now, three years later, he’s made that dream a reality during THON 2022.
Brother Solomon, Alpha Psi 2022, is well known on campus as president of Nittanyville. According to Onward State, PSU’s independent student media, Nittanyville is comprised of students that camp outside of Gate A at Beaver Stadium each week leading up to a Penn State home football game. The group puts on several events throughout the week to help boost the excitement for that week’s game, ranging from dunk contests featuring the basketball team, to trashcan football tournaments, to appearances by the coaches and players and more.
Coming from outside of Pennsylvania, Solomon arrived in Happy Valley as a freshman without a clear understanding of what THON actually was. When he finally experienced it for the first time, it was love at first sight.
“Ever since I got to Penn State, THON was something that I always heard about, but I never really knew what it was because I’m from New York,” Solomon said. “When I got up here, I joined my fraternity and went to THON a lot and immediately fell in love with it. I knew that senior year, possibly junior year, I’d want to dance.”
Solomon instantly started to get more involved with the organization. He became the family relations chair for Zeta Beta Tau the following year. He started to become closer to the families his fraternity had. It was important to him to represent the families as best as he could and to give back as much as possible.
While participating in THON isn’t new for Solomon, being a dancer is a fresh experience. Ultimately, he says he couldn’t be more grateful for the opportunity.
“It means everything,” he said. “THON is the greatest event of the year at Penn State. There’s nothing like it. There’s no other day in the country that’s like this. Just having the entire student body and the entire community come together for something and for such a big cause that means so much to so many people.”
THON supports one of Zeta Beta Tau’s official philanthropic partners, Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.