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The Dietrich Foundation to receive prestigious award during sesquicentennial kickoff


GREENVILLE, Pa.—Thiel College will honor The Dietrich Foundation with its 2016 A. Louis and Barbara Thiel Distinguished Service Award at its annual Founders’ Day celebration on Feb. 4.

“It is with great gratitude that we are honoring The Dietrich Foundation for its significant, lasting, and ongoing contributions to Thiel College and the Greenville community,” Thiel College President Troy D. VanAken, Ph.D., said. “Bill Dietrich II’s dedication to higher education has made an indelible mark at Thiel College.”

The Dietrich Foundation’s $25 million gift to Thiel College in 2011 remains 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 (DHI). The DHI was named in honor of Dietrich’s parents, who were Thiel College alumni.

VanAken will present the Distinguished Service Award to Edward Grefenstette, president of The Dietrich Foundation, during the Founders’ Day ceremony. The celebration also serves as the official kickoff for Thiel College’s year-long sesquicentennial.

The A. Louis and Barbara Thiel Distinguished Service Award is presented annually to individuals who demonstrate exemplary character, continuity of leadership, and long-term service to Greenville and the surrounding community. 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. As part of the Founders’ Day tradition, five faculty members and 10 staff members will be recognized for their hard work and dedication to the College.

About The Dietrich Foundation

Based in Pittsburgh, The Dietrich Foundation is a Pennsylvania charitable trust created through the vision and generosity of William (Bill) S. Dietrich II, who passed away in October 2011. The primary mission of The Dietrich Foundation is to benefit higher education, principally in the greater Pittsburgh area, by providing ongoing and increasing financial support to six educational institutions that were important to him. However, the Foundation also provides financial support to nine other charitable beneficiaries in Western Pennsylvania, including funds for both Greenville and Conneaut Lake communities, for which Dietrich felt great fondness.

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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