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Joyous, historic and solemn moments mark year full of news for Thiel College


GREENVILLE, Pa.—Events and occasions covering the spectrum from the joyous to the somber made up the news items at Thiel College, a leading liberal arts college in northwest Pennsylvania, that received the most attention this year. Looking back on the year, the following are the top 10 stories based on the number of views in the Thiel College newsroom, media attention and social media impact.

10. Professor of Music Michael Bray conducting final tour with Choir

March 2/ Thiel College Professor Emeritus of Music Michael Bray, D.M.A., went on his final tour with the Thiel Choir in March before his retirement after Commencement 2017. Bray came to Thiel College in 1996 and was the sixth conductor in the choir’s 65-year history.

9. Select staff, faculty members to be honored during Founders’ Day celebration

Jan. 18/ Alumni John ’71 and Nancy (Gibson) Hauser ’75 were awarded the Louis and Barbara Thiel Distinguished Service Award and faculty members Matthew Morgan, Ph.D.; Marie Courtemanche, Ph.D.; Curtis Thompson, Ph.D.; Patrick Hecking, Ph.D.; and Rebecca Hecking were honored as were staff members Marla Barr; Christine Cianci ’96, Denise Urey ’00, Deborah Schreiber, Janet Groves and Mike Battisti.

8. Eight graduates earn valedictorian and salutatorian honors at 143rd Commencement

May 9/ Eight members of the Thiel College Class of 2017 earned valedictorian and salutatorian honors at the 143rd Commencement, which was held Sunday, May 7 in the College’s William A. Passavant Memorial Center. Elizabeth Carlson ’17, Nathan Flory ’17, Audra Franley ’17, Austin Hall ’17, Sara Matczak ’17, Ashley McMillen ’17 and Tiffany Rohm ’17 all shared valedictorian honors with perfect 4.0 grade point averages. Kelly Thompson ’17 was named salutatorian.

7. Alumni and friends of the College celebrate student success

Various announcements of student success were among the top 10 results for the year. The spring 2017 and fall 2016 Deans Lists and the February, March and April Students of the Month releases were all among the most popular releases based on Web traffic alone.

6. College appoints Elizabeth Frombgen, Ph.D., new Vice President for Academic Affairs

April 7/ Elizabeth Frombgen, Ph.D., was announced as the new Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the College in April. She replaced Lynn Franken, Ph.D., who retired at the end of the 2016-2017 academic year.

5. Ashley Josay Zullo named Vice President for Enrollment Management

Aug. 21/ Ashley Josay Zullo was named the Vice President for Enrollment Management in late August and started in the role on Sept. 13.

4. Thiel College president’s inaugural year culminates in installation ceremony and celebration

May 5/ The inauguration of Thiel College’s 20th President Susan Traverso, Ph.D. was May 5 in the William A. Passavant Memorial Center. Traverso’s keynote speech was titled “Roll Up Experiences and Think.” President Emeritus of Elizabethtown College Theodore E. Long, Ph.D., a colleague and friend of Traverso, introduced her during the ceremony. Another colleague and friend Mark Heckler, Ph.D., president of Valparaiso University in Indiana spoke at an Inaugural chapel service.

3. Recent developments renew interest in College’s connection to Amelia Earhart H’32

July 7/ A photo renewed interest in aviation pioneer Amelia Earhart H’32. The reboot was an opportunity to celebrate the College’s familial and academic connection to the Earhart family.

2. Thiel community mourns passing of longtime Professor of English

Feb. 7/ Professor of English Mark DelMaramo, Ph.D., passed away early Friday, Feb. 3 after a fight with cancer. DelMaramo, 57, a native of Erie, Pa., was a member of the Thiel College faculty since 1989. DelMaramo was diagnosed with lung cancer in March 2013. He went through treatments and was declared cancer free in November 2013. Just under a year later to celebrate the miracle of beating cancer and to thank the people praying for him, DelMaramo took a month to walk the 500-mile Camino de Santiago, the pilgrimage to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia, Spain. He returned to Thiel College to teach after his pilgrimage and shared his journey at a presentation to the Greenville and Thiel College communities.

1. Track & Field Complex, Science Connector dedications headline Homecoming

Oct. 14/ The College community welcomed back a school-record number of alumni for Homecoming 2017 and celebrated the day the historic dedications of its new track and field complex and the Haer Family Science and Arts Connector.

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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 Master of Science in speech-language pathology, a Leadership Master of Business Administration and a Management Master 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.

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