Posted: March 9, 2022

Ag IT's Systems and Infrastructure Team Lead Roger Tharp is known throughout the Ag Community for his talent, dedication and hard work 'keeping the lights on' for our College, Extension offices and research centers. What the Ag Community may not know is that Roger similarly devotes dedication, time and talent to THON - the largest student-run philanthropy in the world.

2022 THON Lighting rig. Credit: Roger Tharp, Penn State

2022 THON Lighting rig. Credit: Roger Tharp, Penn State

For over a decade, Roger has volunteered on the THON production team. This mighty team is comprised of Bryce Jordan Center staff, Penn State University students, and stage hands who handle much of the behind-the-scenes work that occurs during the 46-hour dance marathon.

The THON production team's work begins nine months before the March event. Roger attends meetings, planning sessions and starts designing the lighting system. As THON approaches, the production team builds and tests (and tests and tests!) the final lighting design. Once perfected, Roger's team begins assembly and deployment of the lighting rigs and conducts pre-event refinement. When THON begins, Roger assists in operating the lighting equipment during all 46-hours of dancing! And once THON is over, the production team tears down and packs up equipment, rests for a short period and then begins THON-planning for the next year.

As Roger has said, "I'm part of a team...that takes on the herculean effort." Ag IT is proud of you and your volunteer work, Roger!

Roger Tharp, Systems Administrator

Information Technologies


401 Ag Administration Building
State College, PA 16802