Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
placeholder article
placeholder article

Pillar President Molly Gentile

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at PSU chapter.

With the ending of THON and the realization that the spring semester is disappearing right before our very eyes, organizations across campus are being forced to make some important leadership decisions. A THON special interest organization known as Pillar is just one of them. They recently elected their brand new president for THON 2016, and we got the chance to speak with her. 

HC: What exactly is Pillar and how was it started?

MG: Pillar is a THON special interest organization that was started in 2008 by a group of friends in Tener Hall who were looking to get more involved in THON. We have about 100 members and spend the year raising money to support our two wonderful Four Diamonds families, the Waldrons and the Paynes. Check us out at http://www.pillarftk.org!


HC: We all know there are many special interest organizations serving THON, with more and more popping up each year. What drew you to Pillar and what do you feel sets it apart from the rest?

MG: I’d been involved with my middle school’s mini-THON since seventh grade, so when I got to Penn State all I wanted was to be as involved in THON as possible. I had actually never even heard of special interest organizations when my roommate told me about Pillar. It was the beginning of freshman year, and I didn’t really know anyone, so I decided to go to a meeting with her. From the first second that I walked into the room, I’ve never felt more welcome and more inspired by a group of people. Pillar genuinely feels like a family. We really strive to make sure that anyone and everyone feels at home with us, and I think that’s an incredible thing to find in any organization.


HC: What has your involvement been like, and what made you decide to take on the responsibility of president next year?

MG: I’ve been extremely involved all three years that I’ve been a member. Freshman and sophomore I was on Pillar’s Family Relations committee and this year I had the wonderful opportunity of being one of our Family Relations co-chairs with Danielle Zegman. I’ve been on almost every canning trip, visited both of our amazing families many times, participated in fundraisers and been in the stands supporting our families and dancers every year! Pillar is basically my family away from home and throughout my time at Penn State I’ve put my whole heart into it, so taking on the responsibility of president just seemed like the natural thing to do. I love our members, I love our THON families and I am extremely excited to work with our new executive board to make this amazing organization even better next year!


HC: What’s one quality you look for in your members?

MG: I think an important quality that we look for in our members is passion. Our members love THON and love Pillar. We have a very dedicated group of people. I know many of us spend the whole week looking forward to Wednesday just so we can hang out with Pillar, and we always have a great turn out for canning trips and fundraisers. A lot of our members spent almost the entire weekend at THON this year, and they’re still coming to meetings (even though THON was over a month ago) because they truly love Pillar and everything we stand for.


HC: What’s one goal you have for next year?

MG: Pillar was honored to be paired with a new THON family this past year. We have been paired with the Waldrons about five years now, and we were so excited to also be paired with the Paynes this year! The Paynes met the Waldrons and Pillar for the first time THON weekend, so one big goal that I have is to strengthen their relationship with the Waldron family and our members.


HC: What would you say to someone looking to get involved?

MG: I would say we’re always looking for new members! Send us an email, and come to a meeting (Wednesdays at 8pm)! We’re always willing to chat and our exec board usually hangs out in the room before and after meetings, so just come up, introduce yourself and ask any questions that you might have! We love meeting new members. It doesn’t matter what time of the year it is, it’s never too late to get involved.

Rachael David is currently a senior at Penn State University and serves as the Campus Correspondent for Her Campus Penn State. She is majoring in public relations and minoring in psychology. Her love of creative writing and all things Penn State is what inspired her to become a member of the HC team in the fall of 2013. Her background experience includes working for the Undergraduate Admissions Office at Penn State as a social media intern in the spring of 2014 and is currently working as a social media intern for an internet marketing company in Harrisburg called WebpageFX. This past summer she also served as a PR intern for Tierney Communications. Rachael enjoys anything media related especially catching up on her favorite shows, including Saturday Night Live and any show on Food Network. She has a passion for food but also loves being active and spending her free time running or hiking. She hopes to gain more experience in all aspects of the media industry during college and plans on pursuing a career writing for a life & style publication in the future.