A beginning of sorts – a new tradition in the history of Thiel College begins in 2014, celebrating the inaugural members of the Lifetime Giving Society. Thiel College has approved a number of new giving society levels to honor the distinguished group of contributors, who, over the course of their lifetimes, have created priceless opportunities for deserving students and faculty.
The Lifetime Giving Society comprises five levels of giving, each of which derives its name from key markers across the 150-year history of the College:
Our highest giving level pays homage to the original gift bequeathed by our Founders Louis and Barbara Thiel, who founded Thiel College in 1866.
The funding for the College came as an initial gift of $4,000 presented on New Year’s Day 1865 to William A. Passavant, by Louis and Barbara, German immigrants who had settled in Pittsburgh a decade earlier and become active members of the Lutheran church. The Thiels were early investors in the Columbia Oil Company, and devoted a tenth of their investment earnings to projects of social benevolence.
As you know, Brother Martin’s walk runs the length of our campus and celebrates our roots as a faith-based institution. Both the Society and the Walk honor Martin Luther, the founder of the Lutheran Faith.
For those of you who may not be familiar, this Society level is named in honor of Katharina von Bora, wife of Martin Luther, founder of the Lutheran faith.
Named in honor of both the first and fourth Presidents of Thiel College, Brothers Henry (top photo) and Theophilus Roth were Lutheran pastors who served Thiel in all but six of the first 32 years of the College’s existence.
A nod to the Reverend William Passavant, a respected leader of the Lutheran Church and noted philanthropist who helped establish many faith related hospitals, nursing facilities, and seminaries including Thiel College.
In recognition that every gift is essential and represents a meaningful investment in the College, the Thiel College also recognizes members of the President’s Circle – those individuals who give more than $1,000 annually. Their annual support is the foundation of our Thiel Fund, a key source of support for scholarships, student activities, and the emerging needs of the College.
As a member of the Society, or the President’s Circle, please know that each of you is an essential part of the College as we endeavor to make a meaningful statement about the quality and value of a Thiel education.