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Pittsburgh-based Dietrich Foundation executive to speak at 143rd Commencement


Pittsburgh-based Dietrich Foundation executive to speak at 143rd Commencement

GREENVILLE, Pa.—Edward Grefenstette, J.D., the president and chief executive officer of Pittsburgh-based The Dietrich Foundation will be awarded an honorary degree and address Thiel College’s 2017 graduates during the College’s 143rd Commencement Exercises at 2 p.m. Sunday, May 7.

Grefenstette is a trustee of The Dietrich Foundation, as well as its chief investment officer. The Dietrich Foundation was formed following the passing of William S. Dietrich II in October 2011. The Dietrich Foundation’s $25 million gift to Thiel College in 2011 is the largest in the College’s history. A portion of that gift was used to establish The Kenneth ’31 and Marianna Brown ’32 Dietrich Honors Institute. The institute was named in honor of Dietrich’s parents, who were Thiel College alumni.

Through Grefenstette’s guidance, The Dietrich Foundation has been a vigorous supporter of Thiel College, a leading liberal arts college in northwest Pennsylvania. The Dietrich Foundation provided resources to help Thiel send its first student to study at England’s Oxford University in 2016. Grefenstette has been on campus for milestone events, including Founders’ Day 2016 when The Dietrich Foundation was recognized with the Louis and Barbara Thiel Award for service to the College and Homecoming 2016 when ground was broken for the new $4.5-million, 7,850-square-foot science facility.

Prior to joining the Dietrich Charitable Trusts in April 2010 (now The Dietrich Foundation), Grefenstette served as treasurer and chief investment officer of Carnegie Mellon University. He co-founded Commonwealth Capital Group, L.P., a small-cap private equity fund, following seven years in investment banking and law. He earned his Bachelor of Arts in economics with honors from Georgetown University, a Juris Doctor with honors from Georgetown University Law Center, and a Master of Business Administration in finance and strategy with honors from Carnegie Mellon University.

In addition to serving as a trustee or director of Carnegie Mellon University, the University of Pittsburgh, The Hillman Company and the Hillman Family Foundations, he is also a member of the investment committees of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh.

Commencement Exercises will include the awarding of degrees to nearly 200 graduates and recognition of retiring faculty members. Professor of Music Michael Bray, D.M.A.; Adjunct Professor of Music Kathryn Gray; Professor of English Christopher Moinet, Ph.D.; and Professor of Religion and founding Director of the Dietrich Honors Institute Curtis Thompson, Ph.D., will all be recognized with emeritus status.

“Every Commencement is special because it represents such a monumental moment in the lives of our students,” said Thiel College President Susan Traverso, Ph.D., who took office on Aug. 1, 2016 as the College’s 20th president. “Our students are ready to begin the next chapters of their lives as leaders in the community and the workplace. Personally, this will be a special time as I get to experience my first Commencement at Thiel College.”

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.

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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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