Thiel To Graduate More Than 200 Students,
Recognize Retiring Faculty Saturday
For immediate release
May 12, 2005
GREENVILLE, PA - More than 200 Thiel College seniors are expected to graduate at
the institution's spring commencement at 2 p.m. Saturday, May 14 in the college's William A. Passavant Memorial
Approximately 225 students will earn degrees at the college's 131th spring graduation
ceremony, which will also pay tribute to five retiring faculty and staff members and award honorary doctorates
to four individuals.
Dr. Robert C. Olson '60, vice president
for academic affairs and dean of the college, is retiring after 40 years with the college. Olson joined the Thiel
faculty in 1965 as an assistant professor of history and rose through the associate and professor ranks. In 1999
he was appointed to his current position after having served as interim vice president and dean since 1998.
A Warren, Pa., native, Olson graduated from Thiel summa cum laude in 1960 and earned
his master's and doctoral degrees in history from The Pennsylvania State University in 1962 and 1969, respectively.
He resides in Mercer, Pa.
Douglas J. Cerroni, director of the library,
is retiring after 36 years with the college. He joined Thiel College in 1969 as a reference librarian, and in 1974
was named director of the library. Prior to coming to Thiel, he served as a reference librarian at Youngstown State
University. He also taught at the junior high and high school levels in the Union Area School District and Geneva
(Ohio) Area School District.
A native of Sharpsville, Pa., Cerroni is a 1963 alumnus of Slippery Rock State College.
He earned his master's in library science degree from Kent State University in 1967.
He resides in Farrell, Pa.
Barbara B. Hassel, professor of Spanish,
is retiring after 34 years at Thiel. She joined the Thiel faculty in 1971 on a part-time basis. She was named instructor
of Spanish in 1973, and subsequently rose through the assistant, associate and professor ranks. Prior to joining
the Thiel faculty, she taught in the Hermitage School District in both the elementary and high school levels.
Hassel earned her bachelor of arts degree from Wilson College in 1960 and her master
of arts degree from Instituto de Filologia Hispanica in Saltillo, Coahuila, Mexico, in 1976.
She resides in Hermitage, Pa.
Dr. John C. Nichols, professor of mathematics,
is retiring after 34 years at the college. He joined the Thiel faculty in 1971 as an associate professor of mathematics,
later rising to the rank of professor. Prior to coming to Thiel, Nichols spent five years as an assistant professor
of mathematics at Monmouth College in Illinois.
Nichols earned his bachelor of arts degree in mathematics from Blackburn College
in Illinois in 1960, his master of science degree from Southern Illinois University in 1962, and his doctorate
from the University of Iowa in 1966.
He resides in Greenville.
Dr. Frank M. Stratiff '61, professor of
education, is retiring after 19 years at Thiel. He joined the Thiel faculty in 1986 as an English department adjunct
professor. In 1995 he was named assistant professor of education and has risen through the associate and professor
ranks. Prior to coming to Thiel, Stratiff was a 30-year English teacher at the junior and senior high school level,
working Greenville, Kenmore (N.Y.), Meadville and Hermitage school districts.
After earning his bachelor's degree from Thiel in 1961, he was awarded a master's
degree from Penn State University in 1967 and his doctorate from the University of Pittsburgh in 1984.
He resides in Greenville.
Thiel will also award honorary doctorates to commencement speaker U.S. Rep. Phil English; Ralph
E. Jones, bishop of the Northwestern Pennsylvania Synod of the Evangelical
Lutheran Church in America (ELCA); Virginia Lancaster McGarvey, the former owner and director of Meadow Brook Dairy and Country Fair convenience stores;
and Peter Mortensen, chairman F.N.B.
Saturday's events include:
- 10 a.m. - baccalaureate services in the William A. Memorial Passavant Center
- 11 a.m. - Honor Circle (classes 1955 and before) lunch in Weyers' Student Lounge,
Howard Miller Student Center (HMSC)
- 11:15 a.m. - Tree dedication from the Class of 2005 along Brother Martin's Walk
- 2 p.m. - Commencement exercises in Passavant Center
- 3:30 p.m. - Commencement reception for graduates and their families on the HMSC
For more information about the day's events, please contact Sherrie Greenlee-Ogello
in the Office of Special Events at 724-589-2240.