Penn State DuBois faculty member puts beard, hair on the line for THON

DUBOIS, Pa. -- For those who haven't taken his classes, mathematics instructor John Tolle is known around the Penn State DuBois Campus as "the guy with the beard." The beard hangs well below his chest, matched by the long hair on his head, usually worn in a ponytail.

Now, after years of letting it all grow out, Tolle has agreed to put all of his hair on the line in support of THON, the Penn State dance marathon that benefits pediatric cancer research. He has volunteered to participate in the annual THON Hair Auction, which will begin at noon on Friday, Feb. 10, at the Student Union at Penn State DuBois. Those who attend the auction can place bids for the opportunity to cut the hair of those who volunteer. Knowing his beard and locks would could bring big money, Tolle offered them up, under the agreement that $1,000 must be raised before he goes under the shears. All members of the public are welcome to join students at the event.

"If they meet their goal, they can do whatever they want to me, from the neck up. It's going to be fun," Tolle said. Once the $1,000 mark is reached, he said, he's willing to let the amateur barbers do as they please.

Tolle said the decision to allow his many years-worth of beard and hair to be removed was easy when he considered the cause and the students who are the driving force behind it.

"Penn State DuBois students are an inspiring group, committed to the kind of personal improvement and character development that makes our world a better place, one person at a time," he said. "THON, in particular, is a cause near and dear to their hearts. This year I thought I'd offer more than just a round of applause for all their hard work."

The DuBois THON Committee supports the efforts of THON that reach throughout all of Penn State. Money raised by THON is donated, each year, to the Four Diamonds Fund, a leader in the support of childhood cancer research. University-wide, THON raised over $9.5 million last year. Penn State DuBois contributed a campus record of nearly $14,000 to that total.

Last Updated January 30, 2012