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Founders’ Day

Thiel College holds its annual Founders’ Day celebration on the first Thursday of February. The first official Founders’ Day was held on February 2, 1876 – the birthday of Mrs. Barbara Thiel.

The Louis and Barbara Thiel Distinguished Service Award is presented annually to community members who demonstrate exemplary character, continuity of leadership and long-term service to Greenville and its environs. The recipients must demonstrate a commitment to the common good above private interests.

The award is named after Louis and Barbara Thiel, whose generosity made possible the founding of Thiel College in 1866. The Thiels dedicated themselves to the welfare of others. The German couple immigrated to western Pennsylvania in the 1840s, and as their work was blessed with success, they faithfully served family, community and church.

Distinguished faculty and staff awards are also presented during the annual celebration.

Louis and Barbara Thiel Distinguished Service Award Honorees
2022 Mary Reames
2021 Brenda Wallace
2020 The Pittsburgh Promise
2019 Sen. Michele Brooks and Rep. Mark Longietti, J.D.
2018 Tom Roberts and Michael Walton
2017 John ’71 and Nancy (Gibson) Hauser ’75
2016 The Dietrich Foundation
2015 Dr. Robert Olson ’60, H’09, Thiel College’s 18th President
2014 Mark A. Nordenberg ’70, H’97
2013 Harvey and Uta Childs
2012 John M. Hudson
2011 The Frangakis Family Foundation
2010 Fred ’65 and Jill (Shackett) ’66 Haer
2009 Luther John Kuder ’59
2008 James D. Bittel Jr. ’60
2007 Senator Robert D. Robbins (R-50) and Cynthia A. Robbins
2006 Paul E. O’Brien
2005 The Rev. Martin M. ’66, H’06 and Sarah “Sally” (Fox) ’65 Roth
2003 Archie O. Wallace, Esq., Jeff A. Wallace, Daniel P. Wallace, Esq.
2002 Dr. Robert Baker H’12, Dr. John Scullin
2000 Peter Mortensen H’05
1999 James Weller Jr. Family
1998 Joseph A. George
1997 James E. Feeney
1996 F. W. Knecht III
1995 Dorotha E. Anderson
1994 Joseph M. Walton, D. Michael Walton, Joseph P. Walton
1993 Donna C. Winner, James E. Winner
1992 Richard L. Werner, H’87
1991 The Hon. Roy W. Wilt ’59, H’87
1990 Paul J. Miller ’69