Posts tagged ‘Bryce Jordan Center’

Inside Our May/June 2017 Issue

A look back at some of the musical acts to make their way through Happy Valley, starting on the cover with Jon Bon Jovi.

If you’re feeling nostalgic, our May/June issue will help you relive some of the more memorable and iconic musical acts to play the Bryce Jordan Center since its opening in 1996. Starting with Jon Bon Jovi on the cover, longtime BJC marketing director Bernie Punt ’84 takes us backstage to talk about what it took to land Paul McCartney, the parenting skills of Gene Simmons, and what makes Garth Brooks a favorite among BJC staff, among other behind-the-scenes stories. The retrospective begins on p. 44.

The new issue, arriving in mailboxes soon, also tells how Dr. J. Richard Ward ’66, a civilian chemist, befriended a Russian defector in the waning days of the Cold War and unwittingly became a secret operative for the CIA. The tale of “The Accidental Spy” begins on p. 38.

You’ll also get a look at how Penn State experts are helping the Central American nation of Colombia move away from the cocaine trade by instead growing the key ingredient in chocolate (p. 30). You’ll meet Rob Turrisi, a professor whose research has shown that short, targeted conversations with teenagers can have a substantial impact on reducing high-risk behaviors like tanning and binge drinking (p. 52). Plus a look back at memorable seasons for Penn State wrestling (again) and men’s ice hockey.

What do you think about the new issue? Let us know by commenting below or emailing us at

B.J. Reyes, associate editor

April 26, 2017 at 12:00 pm Leave a comment

Good Ol’ Garth

Photo by Mark Selders

Back in March, we spent a couple of very fun hours listening to Bernie Punt ’84 share his memories of 20-plus years of concerts at the Bryce Jordan Center. (Check out the cover story in the May/June issue of The Penn Stater, which Alumni Association members should be getting any day now.) And no one inspired more—or fonder—memories than country superstar Garth Brooks.

Brooks has played a record 11 shows at the BJC: a five-night stint in 1997, the arena’s second year in existence, and a six-night run in 2015. His popularity with concert-goers is hardly surprising: By at least one measure, he’s the second-best selling musical artist of all time, behind only The Beatles. But according to Punt, the BJC’s longtime sales and marketing director, Brooks’ success goes beyond the music. Despite his massive fame, Brooks might just be the most down-to-earth star in the biz.

We’ll let Punt tell it: (more…)

April 25, 2017 at 12:00 pm 1 comment

Out There: Paul McCartney Plays Penn State

A look back at last night’s Paul McCartney concert at the Bryce Jordan Center.

View the full layout here.

B.J. Reyes, associate editor

October 16, 2015 at 11:19 am Leave a comment

New Time-Lapse Video from THON

Recent Penn State grad Maxwell Kruger ’09 has just posted a new video of this year’s THON—a time-lapse video made up of more than 13,000 still images shot over the course of the weekend.

Maxwell did the same thing last year, but this year he tried to outdo himself—with new equipment, more photos, different angles. The result is pretty impressive.

Tina Hay, editor

P.S. You can read more about THON here and here.

March 15, 2010 at 8:23 am 1 comment

THON: Not Just for Current Students

Diana Hirsch, left, and Candace Brown represented the Dance Marathon Alumni Interest Group at THON 2010.

Diana Hirsch thought she knew what she was in for. She’d danced in THON before, and she had recently participated in AlumniTHON, which gave her the chance to experience a baby-powder massage again.

Hirsch’s second THON, however, wasn’t quite what she expected. Her previous THON was in 1991, and those 19 years did take a bit of a toll. “I don’t remember there being so many peaks and valleys,” Hirsch ’92 said Sunday morning, after about 33 hours on her feet. “There are so many more ups and downs mentally and physically. And all kinds of aches!”

Everyone at THON wears a their own special T-shirts.

Her partner, Candace Brown ’00, was also dancing after a long layoff; she had last participated 10 years ago, and she couldn’t believe how much THON had grown in a decade. The two were representing the Dance Marathon Alumni Interest Group, which had two couples in THON 2010.

The last time Hirsch danced, THON was in White Building and raised less than $1 million for the Four Diamonds Fund. The last time Brown danced, THON was in Rec Hall, and raising $7.8 million, the 2010 total, was unimaginable.

Both women had to deal with more outside factors this time around. Brown, for example, fielded cell-phone calls from her three children, 5-year-old Bria, 4-year-old Casson, and 2 1/2-year-old Mayah. She explained that she was tired from dancing for hours, and Bria said, “Mommy, you need to go to bed. You need to go to sleep and rest.” That made Brown laugh, and she answered, “You’re right, but I can’t do that right now.”

Diana's friends and family made sure she'd be busy opening packages after Mail Call.

They were a bit of an odd couple. Hirsch didn’t want to have any idea how much time remained, so she adjusted the settings on her iPhone so that she appeared to be in Toyko on Wednesday, Aug. 27, 2014. Brown didn’t change a thing; she needed specifics. “I want to know down to the last second what time it is,” she said. “I am not going to be one of those dancers who needs to sit down around 3:50 p.m.” Hirsch got a stack of packages at mail call (see photo at right, by our graphic designer, Jessie Knuth), but Brown, who flew in from Denver, made her family and friends promise to send nothing big. “I travel light,” she said, grinning.

They agreed, however, that they were much less conscious of their appearance than their college-age counterparts. “They’re washing their hair in the sinks in the bathrooms, using hair spray and straightening irons,” Brown said, laughing. “They’re changing clothes five times. Me, I’ve got two shirts.”

And they were of one mind about the most important things: That THON was among the most meaningful experiences of their college years, and that they were thrilled and honored to be back on the floor.

“And we’ve already made plans,” Hirsch said, “to be back here again in 10 years.”

Jessie and I weren’t going to hold them to that, as we were talking at 3:15 a.m. Sunday. For all we knew, they were having some of those fabled hallucinations. But they felt the same way at the end, and given that they weathered 46 hours on their feet as well as—or better than—the students, we won’t be surprised to see them in 2020.

Lori Shontz, senior editor

February 22, 2010 at 7:34 pm 1 comment

The Bryce Jordan Center, All in Pink

The Penn State women’s basketball team got a great win on Sunday, beating Illinois 70-66—the Lady Lions have now won six straight and are second in the Big Ten standings, which is terrific to see after a couple of years where Penn State really struggled.

Today was the fourth annual Pink Zone Day, where everybody—and I mean everybody—wore pink; more than 250 breast-cancer survivors were honored at halftime; and more than $66,000 was raised for breast cancer charities.

Below is a montage of four photos I took today, with captions below.

Clockwise from top: Mimi Barash Coppersmith ’54, former chair of the Penn State board of trustees and a breast cancer survivor … Tammy Miller '93, '95g, another survivor … survivors and supporters dancing at halftime … the Nittany Lion in pink.

If you want to see a few more photos from Pink Zone Day (not a lot—just 13 in all), click here. And there’s still time to donate to this year’s Pink Zone cause; you can do that here.

Tina Hay, editor

January 24, 2010 at 7:51 pm 2 comments

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