Thiel College

Dr. Joseph Nairn elected new president of Thiel College Alumni Board

GREENVILLE, Pa.—Dr. Joseph Nairn, of Rochester, N.Y., was recently elected president of the Thiel College Alumni Association Board of Directors during its meeting last weekend.

Nairn is a 1979 graduate of Thiel College and is a native of Aliquippa, Pa., where he attended Hopewell High School. Upon graduation he accepted a position as admissions counselor at the college and recruited prospective students from across the Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Connecticut regions to study at Thiel College. Thiel President Troy D. VanAken said, “We welcome Joe Nairn to the ranks of our alumni leadership group confident that his enthusiasm, expertise, and love for this institution will propel us forward in ways our alumni will find meaningful and important.”

Nairn earned a Master of Education degree in Student Personnel Services in Higher Education at the University of Vermont in 1983. His career took him to the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) in Rochester, N.Y. where he spent 25 years in Orientation and Special Programs, the School of Engineering Technology, the College of Applied Science and Technology, and Part-time and Graduate Enrollment Services. For nearly a decade he was the primary RIT recruiter for India and Sri Lanka. He also was active in developing partnerships for RIT in Turkey and the Dominican Republic. Nairn retired from RIT in 2008 to become the Executive Assistant to the President at Finger Lakes Community College in Canandaigua, N.Y. While serving as Executive Assistant and later as Executive Director of Advancement, he pursued a Doctor of Management degree in Community College Policy and Administration through the University of Maryland University College, completing his doctorate in 2013.

“For me, the greatest aspect of the Thiel College experience was the value my education added not only to my career, but my quality of life. I came away from the college recognizing how incomplete I was and how much more I had to grow, learn and experience,” Nairn said. “It has been the realization that I was not quite finished that has sustained me through my work and family life. Learning is like breathing. Life stops when you quit. That is why I have stayed engaged with and continue to want to serve my alma mater.”

Joe and his wife, Terri, have three adult children, Caitlin, Thomas, and Craig.


About Thiel College

Founded in 1866, Thiel College is an independent liberal arts, sciences and professional studies institution located on a 135-acre campus in Greenville, Pa. just 90 minutes from Pittsburgh, Cleveland and Erie. Committed to combining the best of the liberal arts tradition with career and life skills, the Thiel College faculty offers a high quality undergraduate education to more than 1,100 students across more than 60 majors and minors in 19 discipline areas that inspire, challenge and prepare students to succeed.


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