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Thiel College to award degrees to 185 graduates at Commencement


GREENVILLE, Pa.—Thiel College will celebrate the academic achievements of 185 graduates at its 140th commencement ceremony at 2 p.m. May 4 at the William A. Passavant Memorial Center on campus.

Regionally-recognized career educator and author Dr. M. Roy Strausbaugh will deliver the keynote address and will receive an honorary Doctorate of Humanities degree.

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.” 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.

In accordance with tradition, distinguished emeriti faculty will be recognized; this year’s honorees are Dr. Nicholas Despo, professor of biology for 38 years, and Judith Newton, professor of mathematics and computer science, who joined Thiel College in 1973.

President Troy D. VanAken said, “At Thiel, we strive to deliver a memorable commencement event for our graduates, their families and friends to observe this important passage in life. It is a time to look forward to the future with confidence knowing that our faculty has prepared Thiel men and women well for productive, responsible careers and rewarding lives.”

Along with the students about 1,000 friends and family of the graduates and Thiel College faculty and staff will join in this celebration of academic excellence and achievement. 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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