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President’s Office

Welcome to Thiel College’s home on the web! I invite you to spend some time here, look around and get a taste of what makes Thiel such a wonderful place. From our caring, dedicated professors to the exciting co-curricular opportunities, from campus ministry to career services – there is so much at Thiel for you to experience. Our deliberately small size and commitment to the Lutheran ideals of vocation and service helps us provide our students with a high-quality, affordable liberal arts education and individual attention – both of which will give you the flexibility to flourish and succeed wherever life may take you!

I think of myself as a “student champion,” and since arriving on campus in July 2009, we’ve worked hard to develop programs and initiatives that will enhance the student experience here at Thiel. And as a first-generation college student, I know the transformational power of a liberal arts college education personally. From the Thiel Commitment – which is our promise to you before, during and after you graduate from Thiel – to new academic programs like biochemistry or film studies, from new varsity sports like lacrosse or tennis to co-curricular leadership opportunities like marching band or study abroad, Thiel College may be small, but we offer something for every interest or dream.

“Commitment” is more than a word at Thiel College. It is the driving force behind everything we do. We are committed to our students as individuals. We are committed to providing you with the resources and support you need to succeed. We are committed to being a place where you’re greeted by name by everyone from myself to the housekeeper in your dorm – and where your successes and achievements are celebrated throughout the Thiel community – from your professor to our more than 10,000 alumni!

Thiel’s students are a special group of young people filled with passion, intellect, purpose, curiosity and enthusiasm. The only thing that this fantastic group of students is missing is you. So why not take the next step and visit Thiel College? You can set up a personal campus visit or register for one of our many special visit events by stopping by the admissions page.

Thank you for visiting us digitally, and we look forward to meeting you in person very soon!


Troy D. VanAken

Troy D. VanAken, Ph.D.
Thiel College

About the Thiel College President

The president is the executive head of Thiel College, serving as the official link between the College community and the Board of Trustees and charged with general oversight and direction of the instruction, discipline, co-curricular interests and management of Thiel College. He presides at all public exercises of the College and at meetings of the faculty and administration.

The president of Thiel College is Troy D. VanAken, Ph.D., who became the 19th president of Thiel College on July 1, 2009. President VanAken resigned as president of the College in February 2016, and will serve in his current capacity until mid-summer.

Susan Traverso, Ph.D., was offically announced as Thiel College's 20th president on May 17, 2016. President Traverso comes to Thiel from Elizabethtown College (Elizabethtown, Pa.), where she served as the provost and senior vice president. She earned her bachelor's degree in history and communication from Simmons College (Boston, Mass.), and doctoral and master's degrees in history from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. President Traverso takes office in August as the College's first female president.