More than half of College’s 183 graduates recognized for honors at 143rd Commencement

GREENVILLE, Pa.—Thiel College, a leading liberal arts college in northwest Pennsylvania, awarded diplomas to 183 graduates with more than 1,500 faculty members, staff, family and friends in attendance at the William A. Passavant Memorial Center on Sunday, May 7 during its 143rd Commencement Exercises.

The College’s recently-inaugurated President, Susan Traverso, Ph.D., presided over the ceremony and awarded the graduates with diplomas. Ninety-six members of the Class of 2017 were awarded graduation or departmental honors during the Commencement Exercises. President, Chief Executive Officer and Chief Investment Officer of the Dietrich Foundation Edward J. Grefenstette, J.D. H’17, gave the Commencement address and was awarded an honorary degree. The Commencement Exercises’ theme was philanthropy, and Grefenstette urged the graduates to give to causes and institutions.

 “Whenever philanthropy is mentioned these days, people tend to focus exclusively on the treasure part, the money part,” Grefenstette said. “That’s regrettable, because sharing time and talent is just as important—often, more important.

“Your life’s body of work lies ahead of you.”

Retiring faculty members Michael Bray, D.M.A.; Kathryn Gray, M.M.; Christopher Moinet, Ph.D.; and Curtis Thompson, Ph.D., were granted emeriti status during the ceremony. The four professors combined for 106 years of Thiel College experience. Thompson, who is retiring after 33 years at Thiel, was also recognized as the founding and endowed director of The Dietrich Honors Institute.

Flickr  The Thiel College Flickr gallery has photos from a variety of campus-wide events and celebrations. 

About the Dietrich Foundation

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.

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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.