Thiel College
MottoLux Mundi, Verbum Dei ('Light of the World, Word of God')
PresidentSusan Traverso[1]
Undergraduates731 (Fall 2017)
LocationGreenville, Pennsylvania, United States
ColorsBlue and Gold
AthleticsNCAA Division III
Presidents' Athletic Conference
MascotTommy Tomcat

Thiel College is a private liberal arts college in Greenville, Pennsylvania, United States, related to the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.[2] Thiel is one of the smallest colleges or universities in the region, with about 100 full- and part time faculty members. According to the U.S. Department of Education, the school has just less than 800 students in attendance.

History Edit

Founded in 1866 as a coeducational institution, Thiel College started as a result of a meeting between the Rev. Dr. William Passavant and A. Louis Thiel. At the Lutheran Church Pittsburgh Synod convention in Greensburg in 1869, it was decided that Thiel Hall would become a college and serve western Pennsylvania. Thiel College began its corporate existence on September 1, 1870. It was originally located in Philipsburg, now Monaca. It moved to Greenville in 1871.[3]

On August 1, 2016, Susan Traverso left her position as provost of Elizabethtown College and became the first female president of Thiel College.[4]

Today, Thiel is home to about 100 full- and part-time faculty members. According to the US Department of Education, the school has just less than 800 students in attendance. In 2016 and 2018, Forbes Magazine rated Thiel among the top ROI colleges in the U.S. In 2018, Colleges of Distinction recognized Thiel overall for the third consecutive year, and its Business and Education programs were singled out for their excellence for the second straight year.

Thiel College awarded Amelia Earhart an honorary degree in 1932. In his book “The Search for Amelia Earhart,” author Fred Goerner said, “The most satisfying recognition, however, came from her father’s alma mater, Thiel College of Greenville, Pennsylvania in the form of an honorary Doctor of Science degree.”[5]

Thiel was also the first institution to grant an honorary degree to Fred Rogers in 1969. Rogers’ address at Thiel was titled “Encouraging Creativity.” According to the Fred Rogers Archive, the presentation was so popular that to meet the requests for it, they had copies printed in advance for immediate distribution. In his address, he admonished educators and society in general for forcing conformity on children and encouraged understanding and tolerance as children endeavored to find their gifts.[6]

Campus Edit


Thiel (pronounced "teel") is situated on a wooded 200-acre campus in the small western Pennsylvania town of Greenville, which is about halfway between Cleveland and Pittsburgh.

Thiel has an enrollment of around 800 students. The student body is 54% male and 46% female. 58% percent of students are from Pennsylvania, 36% are from other states and Puerto Rico, and the remaining 6% are international students. 20% of students are minorities. The college has a student:faculty ratio of about 11:1, and 68% of classes have 20 or fewer students.[7]

Since 2009, Thiel has invested more than $30 million in new and enhanced facilities. The school recently opened the new Haer Family Science and Arts Connector and a competition-certified track and field complex in the fall of 2017.

Degrees and accreditation Edit


Thiel offers Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees in more than 60 majors, minors and areas of study. The academic calendar includes a fall and spring semester, as well as May, June, July, online and evening sessions during the summer.

Thiel is accredited by the Middle States Association Commission on Higher Education,[8] Pennsylvania Department of Education,[9] and the American Chemical Society.[10]

Athletics Edit


The Thiel Tomcats compete in NCAA Division-III athletics, in the Presidents' Athletic Conference.

Tomcats currently field teams in baseball, men's and women's basketball, cheerleading, dance, men's and women's cross country, football, men's and women's golf, men's and women's lacrosse, men's and women's soccer, softball, men's and women's tennis, men's and women's indoor track & field, men's and women's outdoor track & field, men's and women's volleyball,USA Rugby sanctioned men 's and women's clubs and wrestling.[11] In 2017, Thiel began offering Equestrian Studies as a minor.

Student life Edit

Thiel offers a variety of activities, clubs and organizations, and leadership opportunities, including 28 honorary societies and academic clubs, Greek life, leadership and service organizations, student government, a theatre troupe, multicultural and religious groups, marching and concert bands, and several choirs. The Thiel Activities Board provides a range of recreational activities.

Greek life at Thiel includes fraternities Delta Sigma Phi, Kappa Sigma, Phi Theta Phi and Sigma Phi Epsilon; and sororities Alpha Xi Delta, Chi Omega, Sigma Kappa, and Zeta Tau Alpha.

Living on campus Edit

Thiel guarantees housing for four years in residence halls, apartments, theme houses and townhouses. Nearly 88% of students live on campus. In addition to the Davis Square apartments, College Avenue Apartments and Townhouses, Thiel provides five dormitories for its students: Sawhill, Stewart, Bane, Hodge, and Florence West. Other facilities on campus include 24-hour computer lab, career development center, IT Solution Center, Learning Commons, art gallery, a fitness center, multi-sport air-supported dome, theater, cafeteria and bistro dining.

Academic expenses, scholarships and financial aid Edit

Tuition for the 2017-2018 academic year is $29,000, with room/board at $11,750. More than 99% of students received some form of financial assistance. Thiel offers many scholarships and financial opportunities, including Merit Awards of up to $10,000 and five full-tuition Presidential Scholarships. Students should apply by January 15 for consideration.[12]

Notable alumniEdit


External linksEdit

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41°24′47″N 80°22′59″W / 41.413, -80.383

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