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Thiel College fundraisers hope campus community’s polar plunge powers one-day campaign


GREENVILLE, Pa.—More than 60 Thiel College students, alumni and employees went for an icy swim in Pymatuning Lake in near-freezing temperatures Monday as a show of their commitment to the institution. On Thursday, Feb. 20, the larger Thiel College community can also show its commitment by contributing to the College’s one-day fundraising campaign, “Match Day.”

Monday’s event was recorded on video. A goal of 400 donors has been set before the video of the 2020 plunge will be released. The students, alumni and employees went for the swim because the event’s theme this year is “Plunge for the Fund”

 Match Day—the College’s one-day electronic fundraising campaign—has been a record-breaking event the past four years, setting fundraising marks for most donors and most money raised. In that time, Match Day events have raised nearly $700,000. To continue that momentum, the College is asking alumni, community members and friends of the College to make contributions on Feb. 20.

Donations support The Thiel Fund. In 2019, a school-record 456 donors contributed $190,000 to the event. The Thiel Fund supports the areas of greatest need of the College, funding need-based scholarships, academic programming, athletics, and campus improvements. Dollar-for-dollar and bonus gift match funds will be made available in response to gifts from alumni and friends of the College.

“Forbes magazine continues to single us out as one of the top private schools in the country for the commitment and dedication of our alumni,” Director of The Thiel Fund Mark Batt ’87 said. “The excitement our students and employees generated by jumping in that frigid water made a statement about the lengths our friends and family will go to in support of the College. We are sure that Thursday’s event will put an exclamation point on that statement.”

Donors will be presented with match challenges from academic programs, alumni and other affinity groups. If donor totals meet goals in various categories additional donations will be unlocked.

About The Thiel Fund

The Thiel Fund is the College’s largest source of unrestricted funds. It funds need-based scholarships, academic programming, athletics and campus improvements. It also provides for unforeseen expenses, student needs and special opportunities.

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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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