Elizabethtown College President Emeritus introducing President Traverso’s inaugural keynote speech

GREENVILLE, Pa.—Susan Traverso, Ph.D., will be formally installed as the 20th president of Thiel College during a ceremony at 2 p.m. Friday, May 5, which will include an introduction from her friend, collaborator and colleague Elizabethtown College President Emeritus Theodore E. Long, Ph.D. The day of events begins with a chapel service where Valparaiso University President Mark A. Heckler, Ph.D., leader of one of the nation’s largest Lutheran universities, will deliver the keynote address.

The chapel service is at 11 a.m. in the David Johnson Memorial Chapel. Heckler, the leader of one of the nation’s largest Lutheran institutions of higher learning, will highlight the values of Lutheran higher education.

Long’s presentation will “highlight Traverso’s leadership virtues” and discuss the vocation of college presidents in his keynote titled, “The Presidential Calling.”

Long served as president of Elizabethtown College from 1996-2011 and since 2004 has served as a trustee of Capital University. Since leaving Elizabethtown, he has focused on building effective presidential and board leadership for transformative change in colleges and universities as a senior consultant for the Association of Governing Boards. In addition, he now also works with AGB’s Institutional Strategies unit to help colleges to revise their business models for long-term sustainability. Long holds degrees from Capital University (B.A.), Duke University (M.A.) and the University of Virginia (Ph.D.), all in sociology.

The title of Traverso’s keynote speech is, “Roll Up Experiences and Think.” Traverso was announced last May as the College’s first female president, being unanimously selected by the Thiel College Board of Trustees for her prolific career in higher education, significant achievements in leadership, and fundraising accomplishments at Elizabethtown College and other institutions. She took office August 1, 2016.

In her first year, she has overseen the completion of the Thiel 2016 Campaign—raising $65 million, the largest fundraising campaign in school history—as well as the implementation of a new strategic plan and development of new programs designed to engage first-year students. She also broke ground on a $4.5 million, 7,850-square-foot “Science Connector” expansion that is scheduled to be completed this summer. Also expected to be completed this year is a new track and field facility.

A reception will be held at 3:30 p.m. on the Howard Miller Student Center terrace and campus lawn.

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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 new Master of Science in speech-language pathology and 2Master 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 as it celebrates 150 years.