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Anonymous donor endows scholarships at Thiel College in honor of two catering specialists


Anonymous donor endows scholarships at Thiel College in honor of two catering specialists

GREENVILLE, Pa.—Patricia Murrin (above, second from right) and Patricia Turcic (above, second from left) have spent nearly three combined decades at Thiel College helping students, staff, faculty, alumni and friends of the College feel at home. Now a unique gift set up in their honor will help students in a different way.

An anonymous donor and their employer, AVI Foodsystems, Inc., have donated the funds to create the $25,000 Patricia Murrin Endowed Scholarship and the $25,000 Patricia Turcic Endowed Scholarship. The scholarships will help cover educational expenses for students of their choosing.

The two women were stunned by the formal announcement of the scholarship on Wednesday, April 22. The anonymous donor, impressed by their work ethic and kind and generous nature, donated $20,000 in each woman’s name for the scholarship and AVI added another $5,000 for each woman.

Soon the two women who have been working the annual endowed scholarship luncheon—where donors and students met each fall—will now attend the event to meet their scholarship recipients.

Both women were stunned and surprised by the announcement Wednesday, April 22. They were told about the scholarship at private luncheon, which was followed by a surprise reception with more than 100 friends, family and colleagues.

“I don’t understand this all. I don’t know what I did,” said Murrin, 72, of Maysville, Pa. “I just love them all. I just think of them as my kids.”

“This is really an honor. I can’t believe it,” Turcic, 62, of Greenville said. “This is the most wonderful thing I have ever seen.”

The scholarships are a company first for AVI Foodsystems, Inc., President and Chief Executive Officer Anthony Payiavlas (above, far right) said. The Warren, Ohio-based company serves more than 6,000 institutions, including colleges, business and industry and healthcare.

“They so perfectly embody what our organization stands for,” Payiavlas said. “As a company we are very proud. We’ve never had something like this happen. We are thankful to the trustee for honoring them this way. People really do notice and appreciate when you treat them kindly.”

Thiel College President Troy D. VanAken, Ph.D., said Patty and Patty are great examples of kindness being paid forward.

“In many organizations you have individuals silently making profound contributions. Patty and Patty symbolize that,” President VanAken said. “They are rays of sunshine. Their hard work, dedication and cheerful disposition are reflected in the relationships of substance they have created with students, faculty, staff and friends of the College. They are two examples of what makes the Thiel College community great.”

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About Thiel College

Thiel College is a private liberal arts institution founded in the Lutheran tradition. Located in Greenville, Pa., the College offers 60 majors and minors, 24 varsity sports, and an 11:1 student-faculty ratio. A dedicated faculty paired with dynamic research and internship opportunities produce numerous graduate school and job placements. Coeducational from its beginnings, the College celebrated its 150th anniversary in 2016 and remains committed to combining tradition with innovation.

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