STUDENTS EARN DEGREES AT THIEL GRADUATION
For release May 17, 2000
GREENVILLE, Pa. - One hundred and thirty five students were
awarded diplomas at Thiel College's 126th annual spring commencement Sunday at the college's William A. Passavant
An honorary doctorate of laws degree was awarded to Edward
W. Gnehm Jr., director general of the U.S. Foreign Service and director of personnel for the U.S. Department of
State. In February, President Clinton
nominated Gnehm as the U.S. Ambassador to Australia.
Gnehm, who provided the keynote address at Sunday's graduation,
spoke with graduates about "America and the World."
Class President Melissa G. Lewis, a philosophy and political
science major from Freedom, Pa., provided the class greeting and presented Thiel President Dr. Lance A. Masters
with the class gift.
Lisa A. Giese offered the senior address, "Don't Put
the Past Behind You - It is the Key to Your Future." Giese, a psychology major, is from Piscataway, N.J.
Masters and Dr. Robert C. Olson, vice president for academic
affairs and dean of the college, conferred degrees. Monica Sue Copley, an art major from Pleasantville, Pa., earned
valedictorian honors while Randall John Olon, a business administration major from Greenville, earned salutatorian
Three retiring faculty members also were honored at the commencement
and awarded professor emeritus status. Dr. Philip E. Ode, professor of biology, retired after 34 years at Thiel;
Ronald A. Pivovar, professor of art, retired after 32 years; and Dr. Sonya M. Wilt, professor of communication
arts and sciences, retired after 35 years.
Special recognition was also extended to Dr. Paul M. Rike
and his wife, Hazel. This spring the Rikes donated $1 million to Thiel College for an endowed chair in life sciences.
The college presented the couple with a Thiel College chair in appreciation of their gift.
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NAMED TO THIEL'S BOARD OF TRUSTEES
For release May 16, 2000
GREENVILLE, Pa. - Two men were named to Thiel College's Board
of Trustees at the board's semi-annual meeting on Saturday, May 13.
Joseph P. Walton of Greenville and William P. Barley of Alamo,
Calif., were elected to two-year terms. Both nominated by Thiel President and Chief Executive Officer Dr. Lance
A. Masters, each will serve on the board through November 2002.
"Both Joe Walton and Bill Barley are fine, upstanding
citizens in their communities," said Masters. "They are both committed to service and they bring a wealth
of experience and insight to the Thiel Board of Trustees."
Walton, executive vice president and treasurer of Jamestown Paint & Varnish Co. in Jamestown, Pa., earned the
Louis and Barbara Thiel Distinguished Service Award in 1994 and has served on the Thiel College Board of Associates.
Walton, a former mayor and councilman of the Borough of Greenville,
is a member of the Greenville Borough Civil Service Commission and the Greenville Hospital (UPMC Horizon) Authority.
He also serves as a director of the First National Bank of Pennsylvania and is past president of the Federation
of Societies for Coatings Technology (FSCT).
He has received the FSCT Distinguished Service Award, the
CPCA Distinguished Service Award, and was named National Management Association (Western Reserve Chapter) Manager
of the Year.
Walton is a graduate of Kennedy Christian High School, Sharon.
He earned his bachelor of arts degree from Wheeling Jesuit University in Wheeling, W. Va., and did graduate coursework
at the University of Pittsburgh,
Drexel University, and Penn State University.
He and his wife, Kathleen, reside in Greenville.
Barley, founding principal of TechSynergy, is a chairman
emeritus of Sales and Marketing International, San Francisco. He has served on Info Sciences and Manufacturing
Academic committees at Penn State and San
Jose State universities, as well as acting as a consultant for technology relationship development in Silicon Valley.
He is a member of Eta Kappa Nu and Tau Beta Pi and has been
awarded the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award.
He earned his bachelor of arts degree from Penn State University,
and did graduate study at Harvard University and the University of Texas-Austin.
He and his wife, Diane, reside in Alamo.
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DIRECTOR OF U.S. FOREIGN SERVICE, KEYNOTE SPEAKER AT THIEL COMMENCEMENT
For release May 5, 2000
GREENVILLE, Pa. - The director general of the U.S. Foreign
Service will be honored during Thiel College's 126th commencement at 2 p.m. Sunday, May 14 at the college's William
A. Passavant Memorial Center.
Edward W. Gnehm Jr., director general of the Foreign Service
of the United States and director of personnel for the U.S. Department of State, will provide the commencement
address - "America and the World" - and receive an honorary doctor of laws degree.
In February, President Clinton nominated Gnehm as the U.S.
Ambassador to Australia. In his career, Gnehm has been awarded two Presidential Meritorious Service Awards - one
in 1990 for his public service as deputy assistant Secretary of Defense, and one in 1991 for his service as deputy
assistant Secretary of State.
He is the recipient of numerous State Department awards, including Superior Honor Awards for his service in Kuwait
in Riyadh, in Washington as deputy assistant Secretary of State and in Taif, Saudi Arabia as special envoy to the
Kuwaiti Government and Meritorious Honor Awards for his work in Damascus and Beirut. Gnehm has been awarded two
Secretary of Defense Medals for Meritorious Civilian Service in his career. Secretary of Defense Frank C. Carlucci
presented one to Gnehm for his service in the office of the Secretary of Defense, and the second medal was presented
by former Secretary of Defense William Perry for his support to U.S. forces during and after Desert Storm.
Also during Thiel's commencement, the college will honor
three retiring professors. Biology professor Dr. Philip E. Ode, who began at Thiel in 1965, will be awarded professor
emeritus status, as will art professor Ronald A. Pivovar. Pivovar joined the Thiel faculty in 1967. Dr. Sonya M.
Wilt, professor of communication arts and sciences, will also retire and will be awarded professor emerita status.
She began her career at Thiel in 1964.
Thiel College will graduate 138 students at the 2 p.m. ceremony.
Thiel senior Lisa A. Giese of Piscataway, N.J. will provide the senior address titled "Don't Put the Past
Behind You, It is the Key to Your Future."
Baccalaureate service will be held at 10 a.m. in the Passavant
Center. Participating clergy in the service will be the Rev. Dr. Beverly A. Nitschke, Thiel College pastor; the
Rev. David P. Gleason, senior pastor of First English Evangelical Lutheran Church in Pittsburgh; the Rev. Kenneth
E. Rudkin of the Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Youngstown, Ohio; and the Rev. Wilfred K. Goetze, chaplain of LAS/St.
John Specialty Care Center in Mars, Pa.
Student participants in baccalaureate services will be Nicole
Rowles of Greenville, Lisa Elliot of Coram, N.Y., Steve Maynard of Erie, Pa., and Shawn White of Maple Heights,
A commencement reception will be held at 3:30 p.m. in the
Howard Miller Student Center.
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CENTER TO BE DEDICATED FOR THIEL GRAD, FIRST LOCAL VIETNAM WAR CASUALTY
For release May 3, 2000
GREENVILLE, Pa. - The first Greenville serviceman to die
in Vietnam will be remembered Friday, May 12 when a new fitness center at Thiel College is dedicated in his name.
The dedication ceremony for the new Paul E. Bush '66 Memorial Fitness Center on the Thiel College campus will be at 4 p.m. Friday at the center, located
in the upper level of the Rissell-Beeghly Gymasium. The free event is open to the public.
Thiel President Dr. Lance A. Masters, board of trustees chairman
Ronald Doerr, the Rev. Martin Roth, pastor of Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, and personal friends of Bush are scheduled
The fitness center, named for the Thiel College graduate
and Greenville native who was killed in the Vietnam War, is located in the Rissell-Beeghly Gymnasium. Bush was
also the first Thiel College graduate to die in the fighting in Vietnam.
Bush, who earned a degree in accounting in 1966, enlisted
in the U.S. Marine Corps following graduation and successfully completed officer's candidate training.
Just a few weeks later he was sent to Vietnam and assigned
to "C" Company with responsibility for guarding the Khe Sanh perimeter, the first line of defense for
the encircled US Marine base.
A news story appeared on March 2, 1968, giving a detailed
account of the company's bunker sustaining a direct hit and the captain being seriously wounded. Included in this
release was the description of Bush, the
impressive 23-year-old lieutenant who had been promoted to company commander.
Three weeks later, on Friday, March 22, 1968, Bush was killed
instantly when that same bunker was hit by hostile artillery.
A perpetual candle in Bush's memory burns in Greenville's
Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, and a stained glass window in the college's Burgess Chapel is dedicated in recognition
of his ultimate sacrifice.
Bush grew up in Greenville where he had been an active member
of Holy Trinity Lutheran Church.
While at Thiel, Bush earned dean's list honors, was featured
in Who's Who in American Colleges, and was graduated magna cum laude. He had been a member of Lambda Chi Alpha
fraternity, was active in the Thiel Band and served as the chair of the Student Government Rules Committee.
The fitness center, open to students, faculty and staff,
features an aerobics/dance studio in the area which formerly housed the Thiel swimming pool. Upstairs, in what
was once known as the Rissell gym, are free weights, plate machines, selectorized strength and conditioning machines,
and various cardiovascular machines such as treadmills, stair machines and elliptical trainers.
The fitness center is made possible in part by contributions
from the brothers of Lambda Chi Alpha and the Emma Clyde Hodge Memorial Fund.
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