Penn State-hosted conference supports Dance Marathon

University Professional Continuing Education Association's Mid-Atlantic Region chooses THON as beneficiary of its annual conference service project

Professional conferences are all about the speakers, presentations and networking opportunities, but this year's Mid-Atlantic Region of the University Professional Continuing Education Association conference will have an impact far beyond the event, held recently at Penn State. Participants contributed nearly $1,300 for the Penn State IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon (THON), the largest student-run philanthropy in the world.

"We have tried to tie the UPCEA Mid-Atlantic service project to a cause in the community of the host institution," said Ed Donovan, director of Education Programs for Penn State Academic Outreach and chair of the conference. "The State College area was rich with worthwhile projects for us to consider, but THON provided us with a project directly tied to Penn State that also had a wide impact."

UPCEA is an international professional association for those in higher continuing education and lifelong learning. The Mid-Atlantic Region is one of five UPCEA regions and encompasses Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, the District of Columbia and West Virginia. Penn State hosted the conference Sept. 29 to Oct. 1, with planning assistance from Penn State Conferences, a unit of Penn State Outreach.

This is the third time the Mid-Atlantic Region has conducted a service project, whose beneficiaries are chosen by members of the conference planning committee. In addition to asking participants for contributions, committee members passed around the familiar blue-and-white THON cans used by Penn State students to collect donations, Donovan said. THON 2011 will be held Feb. 18-20 at University Park campus.

Penn State Conferences plans and manages more than 300 programs each year, with enrollments of nearly 45,000. It is part of Penn State Outreach, the largest unified outreach organization in American higher education. Penn State Outreach serves more than 5 million people each year, delivering more than 2,000 programs to people in all 67 Pennsylvania counties, all 50 states and 114 countries worldwide.

Media Contacts: 
Last Updated November 18, 2010