Student organizations hosting Thiel College Virtual March on Washington event

GREENVILLE, Pa.—The Thiel College Organization of Black Collegiates, the Student Government Association and the Office for Diversity and Inclusion are hosting an event on campus to participate in the Virtual March on Washington program at 8:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 28 in the William A. Passavant Memorial Center.

There will be several speakers from campus leading up to the main event at 9 p.m. with a broadcast of the Virtual March on Washington for all attendees to see. In case of rain, the event will be moved to the William A. Passavant Memorial Center.

Speakers will include Tyrique Coston ’20, Chimamaka Palmer ’21, Associate Dean for Diversity and Inclusion Anthony E. Jones, Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students Mike McKinney ’02, Director of the Dietrich Honors Institute and Assistant Professor of History Sheila Nowinski, Ph.D., Pastor Brian Riddle ’07 and President Susan Traverso, Ph.D.

Student organizers Stacy Reecks ’21 and Hannah Uschock ’22 worked in conjunction with Jones to create the event for the Thiel College campus.

Reecks, of Ft. Washington, Md., is a member of the Organization of Black Collegiates and a 2017 Oxon Hill High School graduate and a neuroscience major. Uschock, of Indiana, Pa., is the vice president for the Student Government Association and a 2018 Indiana (Pa.) Area High School graduate and a history and philosophy double major.

Based in the Lutheran tradition, Thiel has a long history of tolerance and acceptance of students from all backgrounds. In 1910, the historian, civil rights activist and author W.E.B. Du Bois published a survey of American higher education institutions that included Thiel College’s response, “Should any apply for admission they would be welcome,” to the query if the institution would accept black students,

In the months leading up to the original March on Washington in 1963, Thiel College Campus Pastor Martin L. Dolbeer wrote a letter to the editor of the student newspaper.  He said, “As Christians, we still must think of African-Americans as people, a man made in God’s image, with the same rights and endowments as ourselves.”

“The demand for equality, justice, and harmony among us still matters,” Reecks said. “I want this event to help educate people who may not know about the March on Washington and what it really means.”

About 19 percent of Thiel’s student body identifies as a member of a minority or underrepresented population, which is among the leaders in the region for small liberal arts colleges.

“I have always wanted there to be an event like this on campus. I didn’t find one, so I figured it would be as good of a time as any to educate people on campus of the history and importance of civil disobedience,” Uschock said. “I am a firm believer in using education to wring out ignorance.”

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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 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.