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Career educator and author to deliver Thiel College Commencement address and receive honorary degree


GREENVILLE, Pa.—Respected academic and author Dr. M. Roy Strausbaugh will deliver the commencement address at the College’s 140th commencement ceremony at 2 p.m. May 4 at the William M. Passavant Memorial Center. He also will be conferred an honorary Doctor of Humanities degree by Thiel College President Troy D. VanAken.

Strausbaugh spent 47 years dedicated to higher education, including 29 years as a professor at Edinboro and Mercyhurst universities. He has written two books on higher education: “Edinboro University, An Administrative History, 1963-1993” and “The Foundations of a University, Mercyhurst in the Twentieth Century.” He was chair of the history department for five years at Edinboro and for six years at Mercyhurst. He received commendation from the Senate and House of Representatives of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and a citation for leadership and service as the President and Co-founder of the Flagship Niagara League, an affiliate of the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission.

“Thiel College has benefitted greatly over the years from the advice and counsel of this scholar, lead and friend,” VanAken said. “His service to this institution and achievements in higher education, in general, are worthy merit, and we are grateful for his many contributions.”

Strausbaugh served as a member of the Thiel College Board of Trustees from 2000-2011 and as Chair of the Board of Trustees from 2007-2011.

Strausbaugh’s commencement address, “There’s a Ship Lies Rigged and Ready in the Harbor,” will be delivered to 185 graduating seniors in the Thiel College Class of 2014 and their friends and families.

Thiel College also will recognize distinguished emeriti faculty Dr. Nicholas Despo, professor of biology and Paul M. Rike Professor of Life Sciences for his more than 39 years of service to the institution, in addition to Judith Newton, professor of mathematics and computer science, who began her tenure in 1973. Each was selected as a Professor of the Year last February.

Prior to Commencement, a Baccalaureate service will take place at 10 a.m. in the David Johnson Memorial Chapel followed by the Class of ’14 Tree Dedication event on Brother Martin’s Walk at 11:15 a.m.

For a complete schedule of Commencement day activities, visit the Commencement section of our website.

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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