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Longest-tenured professor in Thiel College history to speak at 142nd Commencement


Longest-tenured professor in Thiel College history to speak at 142nd Commencement

GREENVILLE, Pa.—Thiel College celebrates the academic achievements of more than 200 graduates during its 142nd Commencement exercises at 2 p.m. Sunday, May 8 in the William A. Passavant Memorial Center on campus.

Professor of Economics and Business Administration and Norman P. Mortensen Chair of Economics David Miller ’61 will deliver the keynote address. Miller has been teaching at Thiel College since 1963. He is the longest-tenured professor in the College’s 150-year history. Miller has served as the director of the Haller Enterprise Institute since it was founded in 1996. He is also the first professor to hold an endowed academic chair at Thiel. Miller is the 1990 recipient of the Sears-Roebuck Teaching Excellence and Campus Leadership Award. In October 1999, he received the Service to Thiel Award from the Thiel College Alumni Association.

Professor of Mathematics and Computer Science and Department Chair Andrew Grover, Lecturer of Mathematics Max E. Shellenbarger, and Professor of Political Science Robert Wells, Ph.D., will be recognized as distinguished emeriti faculty. In addition, former Board of Trustees Chair Edward A. Bartko ’72, former Board of Trustees member Rev. Dr. David P. Gleason and generous friend of the College LaVonne Johnson will all receive honorary degrees.

“Commencement is one of my favorite days of the year. This year’s ceremony will be memorable as this class of graduates will cross the stage during Thiel College’s sesquicentennial, and it will also be my last as President of Thiel College,” President Troy D. VanAken, Ph.D., said. “I am very proud of what these young men and women have accomplished. I look forward to seeing their numerous successes in the years to come.”

VanAken announced earlier this year that he is leaving Thiel College to become the president at Elmhurst College (Ill.). A nationwide search to replace VanAken is underway.

About 2,000 friends and family of the graduates along with Thiel College faculty and staff are expected to attend the Commencement exercises. Prior to Commencement, a Baccalaureate service will be held at 10 a.m. in the David Johnson Memorial Chapel on campus.

About Thiel College

Thiel College is an independent college 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. The College is also home to a Bachelor of Science in Nursing program and graduate programs in, Business Administration, Clinical Mental Health Counseling, Communication and Leadership, Physician Assistant and Speech-Language Pathology. All of Thiel College’s master’s degree programs offer innovative and accelerated five-year paths which allow students to earn a bachelor’s and master’s degree in five years. A dedicated faculty paired with dynamic research and internship opportunities produce outstanding graduate school and job placements. Coeducational from its beginnings, the College remains committed to diversity and inclusion. The College combines tradition with innovation as it honors its past and celebrates its future.

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