Thiel College granted degrees to 203 men and women during Saturday’s commencement exercises in the
President Olson stands with valedictorians, from left, Kristen Reed, Jamie Long, Kimberly Gagliardi and Anthony Cancro, and salutatorian Molly Darr.
college’s William A. Passavant Memorial Center.
Two hundred and two bachelor of arts degrees, two associate of arts degrees and one associate of science degree were awarded during the college’s 133rd graduation ceremony. Three honorary doctorates were also presented.
Thiel College President Dr. Robert C. Olson ’60 welcomed the graduating class, parents, and friends. He also conferred the degrees and distributed the diplomas.
Dr. Jagdish N. Sheth, noted Charles H. Kellstadt Professor of
Marketing in the Goizueta
Business School at Emory
University, provided the keynote address “Are you Ready for the Future?”
Sheth, internationally known for his scholarly contributions in consumer behavior, relationship marketing, competitive strategy and geopolitical analysis, told the students that they all have far greater potential than they realize themselves. Potential, Sheth said, will be discovered by professors, friends, peers, employers.
In life, Sheth added, success will be measured on how well an individual can adapt to changing environments. Finally, Sheth instructed the students to have a passion for learning throughout life’s journey.
The common thread of potential realization, adapting to change, and continued learning, Sheth said, is change.
“Embrace change and you will be changed forever,” he said.
Following his address, Sheth and two others – alumni James W. Ummer ’67 and Firdaus Kharas ’78 – were awarded honorary degrees.
Ummer is a partner with the law firm Rothman Gordon, P.C., in Pittsburgh, while Kharas, a resident of Ottawa, Canada, and former resident of Greenville, Pa., is a world renowned director and producer of animation, film and television media.
Four students – Anthony V. Cancro of Greensburg, Pa., Kimberly A. Gagliardi of Hermitage, Pa., Jamie R. Long of Home, Pa., and Kristen L. Reed of Manheim, Pa. – earned valedictorian honors for achieving perfect 4.0 grade point averages. Molly B. Darr of Kane, Pa., was named salutatorian.
Cancro graduated summa cum laude, an honor presented to students who have earned a grade point average of 3.8 or higher. He graduated with a bachelor of arts degree in biology and conservation biology. He received departmental honors in political science was also awarded a Dean’s Key for being named to the dean’s list all eight semesters.
Gagliardi, who also graduated summa cum laude, earned a bachelor of arts degree in elementary education. She earned departmental honors in education.
Long graduated summa cum laude and earned a bachelor of arts degree in biology. She received departmental honors in biology and was also a recipient of the Dean’s Key.
Reed graduated summa cum laude and earned a bachelor of arts degree in elementary education. She received departmental honors in education and religion and was also a recipient of the Dean’s Key.
Darr graduated summa cum laude and earned a bachelor of arts degree in elementary education. She received departmental honors in education was also a recipient of the Dean’s Key.
Senior Class President Brandon T. Lewis of East Palestine, Ohio, offered greetings from the graduating class. Senior Gift Committee members Darr and Mallory A. Voltz of Pittsburgh presented the class gift – a tree to adorn Brother Martin’s Walk and $6,500 to be used for the production of decorative Thiel College signs to be placed in Greenville.
Abigail M. Lubanovic of Chicora, Pa., delivered the senior address “Thiel College: A Soundtrack to Live By.”
Dr. W. Jeffrey Welsh, vice president for academic affairs, presented the class for degrees. Dr. Mark DelMaramo, English professor, led the procession as assistant faculty marshal. The Rev. Dr. Paul A. Baglyos, college pastor, provided the invocation and benediction. Special music was provided by members of the Thiel Choir under special direction of students Maggie Babinka and Justin Herald. Kathryn A. Gray, adjunct professor of music, served as accompanist.