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Thiel College recognizing its 18th president as GameDay Honoree at Saturday’s football game


Thiel College recognizing its 18th president as GameDay Honoree at Saturday’s football game

GREENVILLE, Pa.—Robert Olson, Ph.D. ’60, who served as Thiel College’s 18th President, will be the GameDay Honoree for Saturday’s football game against Westminster College at Alumni Field.

KIckoff is at 1 p.m. Olson graduated summa cum laude in 1960. He earned his master’s and doctoral degrees in history from The Pennsylvania State University in 1962 and 1969. Olson returned to his alma mater in 1965 as an assistant professor of history and rose through the associate and professor ranks teaching a variety of U.S. history courses with a special interest in the history of Native Americans.

In 1999, Olson was appointed to the position of vice president for academic affairs and dean of the college after having served as interim vice president and dean since 1998. Olson retired in 2005 but was recalled to become the interim presidency of the College in March 2007. In November 2008, the Thiel College Board of Trustees officially designated Olson as the 18th president of the College, retroactive to his interim appointment. Olson served as president for 27 months.

Beyond campus, Olson has been active in the community. He served as President of the Reynolds School Board from 1981-89. He has been a member of the Mercer County Historical Society and belongs to Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Greenville. He has also been involved with the Greenville Salvation Army and as a member of the Organization of American Historians.

Olson received the Louis and Barbara Thiel Distinguished Service Award in 2015. The Louis and Barbara Thiel Distinguished Service Award is presented annually to individuals who demonstrate exemplary character, continuity of leadership, and long-term service to Greenville and the surrounding community.

A longtime member of the Thiel College Athletic Hall of Fame Committee, Olson has been a steadfast supporter of Thiel College Athletics and its student-athletes.

The GameDay Honoree program recognizes at halftime of each home football game members of the Thiel College community and the region for their contributions.

Other GameDay Honorees this season:

  • Shawn Cupples ’87
  • Football coaches families
  • Community Day “Revamp the Amp” volunteers
  • Alan Fager, Ed.D. ’69
  • Robert Olson, Ph.D. ’60

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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 Master of Science in speech-language pathology, a Leadership Master of Business Administration and a Management Master of Business Administration. Both 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. The speech-language pathology program also has an accelerated 15-month graduate-level program. The M.B.A. program also has a 12-month post-graduate program. A dedicated faculty paired with dynamic research and internship opportunities produce numerous graduate school and job placements. Coeducational from its beginnings, the College remains committed to combining tradition with innovation.

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