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Informing, Forming, Transforming
Informing, Forming, Transforming

The Kenneth & Marianna Brown Dietrich Honors Institute of Thiel College endeavors to help students become full human beings whose breadth of knowledge, strength of character and thoughtfulness of action make them natural leaders in the world. The DHI curriculum is designed to inform through the acquisition of knowledge, to form through the building of character and to transform through engagement in service to the larger world.

Download the program flyer today!  

The program offers students a distinctive set of core courses that are taken instead of the core courses taken by non DHI students.

2017 marks the end of the four-year developmental phase of the Dietrich Honors Institute. We are currently composed of 150 diversely gifted and engaged scholars, each of whom are in the process of informing, forming and transforming their lives and those around them. We are a driven and enthusiastic community whose active minds and hearts, led by our now complete curriculum, will produce ethical, globally-informed leaders.

Academic Criteria

To be eligible for enrollment in the Dietrich Honors Institute, students must have a 3.5 GPA and a reading and math test score of at least 1100 (SAT) or 24 (ACT, composite).

Co-curricular Opportunities

Dietrich Scholars can enrich their honors experience in a variety of ways - here are just a few examples!

  • Be a part of field trips such as exploring New York, Chicago, Washington, D.C. or Toronto
  • Serve on the Dietrich Honors Council or the Dietrich Honors Student Advisory Board
  • Study abroad with Honors study tour scholarships of up to $2,000
  • Participate in annual service projects, such our recent Good Shepherd Drive
  • Present research at honors conferences


Philanthropist, businessman, scholar and proud northwest Pennsylvania native William S. Dietrich II, bequeathed a $25 million fund to Thiel College upon his passing in 2011. Dietrich’s gift is the largest made to the College in its 150–year history. His gift founded the Kenneth and Marianna Brown Dietrich Honors Institute in honor of William's parents.

About William S. Dietrich II

After graduating from Princeton University in 1960, Bill served in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves before joining Dietrich Industries, Inc., the company founded by his father, and transforming it from a small steel warehouse and distribution business to the nation's largest manufacturer of light metal framing for the construction industry. In 1996, Worthington Industries bought the company and asked Bill to remain as director, which he did until his retirement.

He is the author of "In the Shadow of the Rising Sun: The Political Roots of an American Economic Decline" and "Eminent Pittsburghers: Profiles of the City's Founding Industrialists." He also was a regular contributor to Pittsburgh Quarterly magazine.

Bill was well known for his commitment to the betterment of the Pittsburgh region. He served on the boards of the University of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon University, the Carnegie Museum of Art, the Allegheny Conference on Community Development, Chatham University, the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, the Pittsburgh Symphony Society, the Southwestern Pennsylvania Growth Alliance, the UPMC Health System and the Greater Pittsburgh Council of the Boy Scouts of America.

Bill's Connections to Thiel

Dietrich's connection to Thiel College began in the 1920s when his parents, Kenneth '31 and Marianna (Brown) '32, met as students on Thiel's campus. Ken was a business major and Marianna studied English as a Humanities major.

Shortly after graduation, they married in 1933, began their life together in Pittsburgh and had two children, William and Linda. The Dietrichs returned to the area in 1947 to run a small hotel in Conneaut Lake, Pa.

Soon after, Ken Dietrich started a small lumber business near Blairsville, Pa., which would grow to become Dietrich Industries Inc. and would later flourish under his son's direction. Ken stayed connected to Thiel, serving on the college's Board of Trustees from 1978 to 1984.

Bill Dietrich was honored by Thiel College in 1996 for his leadership of Dietrich Industries with the Haller Enterprise Institute's Entrepreneur of the Year award, which is given annually by the college to a business owner who has demonstrated entrepreneurial leadership.