Thiel College Receives Second Largest Estate Gift in its History

GREENVILLE, Pa.—Thiel College announced today that David E. Baughman, a Greenville native and life-long resident of the borough who passed away on Nov. 8, 2012, bequeathed $3.7 million to the college.

The gift, the second largest estate gift in Thiel history, will fund the Emerson A. Baughman, Agnes F. Baughman and David E. Baughman Endowed Scholarship, which will bestow full-tuition scholarships each year to attend Thiel College for students from the Greenville, Reynolds, Commodore Perry or Jamestown school districts.

“Dave Baughman had a passion for his community and higher education that is clearly reflected in his many years of community service and his generous gift to Thiel College and others in the community,” said Dr. Troy VanAken, Thiel College president. “Several students each year will have their lives changed by Dave’s generosity. His faith and support of the transformative power of a Thiel College education is truly inspiring.”

Baughman was born in Greenville in 1920 and was a graduate of Penn High School and Grove City College. He was a World War II veteran, serving in the Air Force’s 318th Fighter Control Squadron in the Asiatic-Pacific Theater. He was a long-time employee of Greenville Steel Car Co. (1946-1983), retiring as director of personnel. In his retirement, he was very active in community affairs, serving on government and related committees for more than 55 years, including the Greenville Borough Council and the original Greenville Recreation Committee (serving with Charles “Tod” Rissell 1900, the “father of Thiel athletics,” and Jack B. Stoeber, Thiel’s legendary football coach, athletic director and dean of men). He also was instrumental in building of the first Little League ball field in Greenville (on Alan Avenue) and the Memorial Swimming Pool. He also was involved in the Greenville Library Board, Mercer County Boroughs Association, Greenville Lions Club and many, many others. He was well-known for his love and care of his town and its people.

“Dave wanted to help local students to achieve and fulfill their dreams of an education at Thiel College,” said Mario Marini ’91, director of special and planned giving, who helped Baughman to set up the fund. “He was very grateful for the college’s presence in Greenville.”

Baughman bestowed the first scholarship in person on Aug. 23, 2012, to Samuel T. Lackey ’14, a Greenville, Pa. native and a Commodore Perry High School graduate who is pursuing a psychology and sociology double major.

Baughman’s estate, which includes bequests to other Greenville area organizations as well as Thiel College, is administrated by the Northern Mercer County Community Foundation, which is part of the Community Foundation of Western Pennsylvania and Eastern Ohio.

Students interested in Thiel College and the Baughman scholarship should contact the Thiel College Admissions Office at 724-589-2345 or

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.