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Smeal Executive MBA Program Raises Money for THON

A Penn State Smeal Executive MBA Holiday Reunion event held in November, "THON Night Out," raised nearly $5,000 through a silent auction to benefit the Four Diamonds Fund of the Penn State Hershey Children's Hospital.
December 18, 2012

A Penn State Smeal Executive MBA Holiday Reunion event held in November raised nearly $5,000 through a silent auction to benefit the Four Diamonds Fund of the Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital.

The event, “THON Night out,” was held at the ACE Conference Center in Lafayette Hill, Pa., to benefit the Penn State IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon (THON) and was hosted by Jody Jacobs (EMBA ’08) and Jeff Kriscunas (EMBA ’11). The ACE Conference Center is where EMBA Program classes take place on Fridays and Saturdays throughout the year.

The 170 attendees included students, faculty, staff and alumni of the Smeal EMBA Program. Special guests Charles Whiteman, the John and Becky Surma Dean of Smeal, and his wife, Claire; the THON Overall Committee headed by Will Martin; and the McCauleys, a Four Diamonds Family, also attended. The McCauleys’ son, Lachlan, was diagnosed in 2006 with a rare but aggressive form of rhabdomyosarcoma and recently celebrated his five-year anniversary of being cancer free.

“Our EMBA THON event was a fantastic success, and it was affirming to have such a critical mass of the Smeal EMBA alumni community assembled together,” said EMBA Managing Director Alphonso Wilson. “THON makes Penn State special, and our event helps to raise money for a great cause as we build and broaden our community.”

Some items that were auctioned off included an autographed Jerry Rice San Francisco 49ers jersey donated by Tom Triano (EMBA ’12); a homemade Tex Mex dinner for four with Professor Ralph Oliva and family; a stay at a Whipple Dam Guest Cottage donated by EMBA Faculty Director Al Vicere and his wife, Nancy, and an in-home dinner party for eight prepared by Campbell’s chefs donated by Cynthia Betterson (EMBA ’14) and the Campbell Soup Company.

THON is a student-run philanthropic effort partnered with the Four Diamonds Fund at Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital to raise funds and awareness for the fight against pediatric cancer.

Launched in 2001, the Penn State Smeal Executive MBA Program is a 21-month program designed for working professionals, with classes held on alternating weekends at the ACE Conference Center in suburban Philadelphia. The program features personalized executive coaching, intensive communication training, a weeklong international residency experience and coursework focused on the unique challenges of the students’ firms. Learn more at

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