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Thiel College Magazine for Alumni & Friends

The Bell

Thiel Love

Spring 2011

Commencement 2011 Mission to Mexico ...and much more

A Message from the President Dear Alumni and Friends, The good news about Thiel College is spreading, and not just to current and prospective students. Our alumni are excited about what’s happening on campus and they want to know how they can help advance the mission of the College. There are several meaningful things you can do that make a big difference in the lives of our students. Just as the summer gets into full swing, Thiel’s fiscal year draws to a close on June 30. We are moving ever closer to our $1 million goal for The Thiel Fund, a key portion of unrestricted revenue for our operating budget. The Thiel Fund is vital to providing our students with the resources and advantages they need to thrive and succeed here in college and your contribution will help us achieve our goal. Giving is easy—just visit to donate online or call Kelly Bailey, director of annual giving, at 724-589-2027. Alumni and friends of Thiel can do even more to support the College’s mission. One of the most lasting is to remember us in your estate planning. There are several ways to make a planned gift, including bequests, charitable trusts, life insurance and others. Thoughtful planned giving benefits your estate and heirs as well as Thiel College and our students. Contact Mario Marini ’91, director of special gifts & planned giving, at or 724-589-2022 to learn how to join the ever-growing Society of 1866. Thiel’s greatest strength is our students, and we continually strive to recruit a bright, ambitious, diverse student body. Spreading the word about the benefits of a Thiel education is another great way to positively impact your alma mater. Your experience at Thiel and how it benefited your life is a great recruitment tool. Display a Thiel sticker on your car, talk about Thiel to prospective students or refer a student to our Admissions Office—small steps that can make a big difference. As we prepare for our sesquicentennial in 2016, we turn our focus toward a new strategic plan and vision. A committee comprised of Thiel stakeholders and Greenville community members is currently working on this, and you can read more about the process and timeline on page 10. Our alumni will receive a survey this month asking them to share hopes and dreams for Thiel’s future as well as ways that we can better engage alumni in the life of the College. The survey will be sent electronically to those who have opted into receiving e-communications. It will also be available online at if you do not receive it via e-mail. Please participate in this survey and be as honest as possible—this will set Thiel on the path we will follow into our next 150 years. Correspondence with or membership in the Alumni Board of Directors is another great way our alumni can put their experience and expertise to work for Thiel. Check out page 28 for a description of the board and ways you can possibly participate. Thiel has made tangible progress in recent years, and together we can go even further. Thank you for all you do for our students—past, present and future. Please plan to attend one of the upcoming alumni and special events (see page 30 for a list of events); we’d love to see you there. And our campus is a great place to visit over the summer months; hope to see you here!

Troy D. VanAken, Ph.D. President


Thiel College 75 College Avenue Greenville, Pennsylvania 16125 800-248-4435 • CHAIR, BOARD OF TRUSTEES Edward A. Bartko ’72 PRESIDENT Dr. Troy D. VanAken


Spring 2011



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Campus News . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2


Thiel Love. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16

EDITORIAL ASSISTANTS Jennie A. Kather Sarah DiFrango ’11

Commencement 2011 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Sarah DiFrango ’11 Nina Gabrelcik ’11 Matt Jackson CLASS NOTES Lauren Oman PHOTOGRAPHY Joyce DeFrancesco Sarah DiFrango ’11 Jennie A. Kather

Mission to Mexico . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 Thiel’s Biggest Losers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Greening Efforts Continue . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Faculty, Staff and Student News. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12

A Year in “The Dome” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 Athletic News . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 Alumni News. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28

Dave Miller Allen Morrill Tiffany Wolfe

Trustee Spotlight: Susan Snowden . . . . . . . . . . . 32

PRINTER Knepper Press, Pittsburgh

Meet the Boards. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33

ON THE COVER: Stephen ’08 and Grace ’09 Lauver-Simmons on their wedding day at Thiel.

Class Notes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34

The Bell is published in the spring and fall by the Department of Public Relations, Thiel College,  Greenville, PA  16125. Publication inquiries should be sent to aforementioned address, in care of the Editor, or e-mail For Class Notes and address changes, please contact the Alumni Office at or fax to 724-589-2860. Thiel College is a liberal arts, sciences and professional studies college affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Marriages . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Births. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . In Memoriam. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Once in a Lifetime . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

35 35 36 38

Final Word. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40

Campus News

Mission to Mexico

A group of Thiel students take a trip south of the border and end up expanding their view of the world. Thanks to countless movies, television shows and media reports, many people think they know what Mexico and Mexicans are really like. But, as a group of Thiel College students and faculty learned, reality can be quite different. In January, Rev. Dr. Derek Nelson, associate professor of religion and campus pastor, took 11 Thiel students on a journey that would help them understand what life is really like for many people living in Mexico. The group included William Bowden ’13, an e-commerce and Web design major; Kayla Ohlin ’13, a business administration and accounting major; Rebecca House ’12, an elementary education major; Rachel Yorlets ’11, a biology major; Cheryl Marshall ’14, a youth ministry major; Joseph Hertzog ’13, a history and pre-seminary major; John Newman ’11, an international business major; Katelyn Young ’14, a biology and neuroscience major; Jamaal Dorsey ’12, a religion major; Crystal Mitchell ’13, a psychology and sociology major; and Tyler Comp ’14, a theology & youth ministry major. Many of these students were fearful and nervous about where the trip would bring them because of the things that they had seen on television and in the news. However, they put that aside and had an experience that changed them and their outlook drastically. The journey began on January 3 when the group departed from Pittsburgh and headed to San Diego, Calif. Upon their arrival, they met their guide, Gilberto Martinez, who traveled with them during the trip. Martinez is the managing director of T.W.O., Transformational World Opportunities, a group that arranges educational trips into Mexico and several other countries to help people better understand the global community. T.W.O trips are designed to allow people to learn and serve communities within other cultures. While in San Diego, the “Mexicrew,” as they dubbed themselves, stayed at Christ Lutheran Church–Pacific Beach until it was time to cross into Mexico. During their time in San Diego, the group visited Chicano Park, a historic park located in the Barrio Logan community, just south of downtown San Diego. At the park, they were immersed in paintings, photos, sculptures and other art highlighting Mexican-American culture. Seeing the park allowed them to learn a bit about the history of Hispanic culture and the kinds of things they would soon surround themselves with while in Mexico, said Kayla Ohlin. 2

The Bell • Spring 2011

The next day, many in the group were anxious to finally cross the border and dive into the real cultural experience that they had been waiting for, said Nelson. Their first stop was the city of Tijuana where they would spend three days and two nights. One of the first things they experienced touched a lot of the students and opened their eyes to the reality of many of the problems they would face in Mexico. Martinez took them to a large wall along the border that stretched for miles and was made of old garage doors and scrap metal. This wall was covered with thousands of small crosses and graffiti that represented all of the people who had been killed while attempting to cross the border into the United States. “Knowing that they were risking their life just to cross the border didn’t stop any of these people from wanting a better life for themselves and their family,” said Ohlin. During their time in Tijuana, the Mexicrew stayed at La Casa del Migrante, or House of the Migrant, a shelter that helps men who are deported from the United States and returned to Mexico as well as those who are stranded in Tijuana while attempting to cross the border to the United States. The staff helps these men get back on their feet by allowing them to stay for 12 days while looking for a job and a home. During their time at the house, the students helped by serving meals to the residents and listening to stories about their experiences. “I was really touched by one of the migrant workers that I talked to at the house. He talked to me about his family and he told me about his wife and six children. He and his wife came to America illegally over 25 years ago and all of their children were born in the United States,” said Ohlin. “Some of his children are in college just like me and one had even served in Iraq. It’s hard for me to understand how his son can put his life on the line for our country only to have his father deported. He had one positive thing to tell me and that was to keep my faith despite whatever struggles life might bring me. That was one of the most touching things I have ever been told.” Since La Casa del Migrante opened in the late 1970s, it has helped over a quarter of a million people to get back on their feet and start a new life. The group also spent their time in Tijuana working in a local dump that thousands of people call home. Schools, houses and a community center there are built mostly out of old garage doors and scrap metal.

Thiel’s Mexicrew

Families that live at the dump scavenge for different materials to build their homes or buy whatever they can afford. Each home takes about six garage doors to build and houses 10 to 15 family members. Nelson and the Thiel students helped a family by dry walling one of the rooms in their house. Many of the homes are not dry walled because it would cost several months salary just to pay for it. “As we were walking back from dry walling the home, we walked past a group of little girls as they were frantically yelling ‘Americanos! Americanos!’” while waving to us,” said Katelyn Young. “I couldn’t help but think that we weren’t even there to help them, we helped a different family. However, just our presence gave them hope. Despite all the despair that we saw in the dump, there was still hope.” After a few days in Tijuana, the team moved on to Tecate, where they stayed for four days and three nights. While in Tecate, they visited a local orphanage called Miracle Ranch, which is run by Cesar Uribe and his wife, Cheryl. Upon their arrival at the orphanage, the students expected to come across a place of sadness; however, they found a place of

joyful children who were grateful for what they had and were happy. “We went down there with the intention of bringing some joy into the lives of these poor orphans, who had nothing, but they showed us the meaning of love and happiness with their warm smiles and open hearts,” said William Bowden. “Even with very few worldly possessions they were still thankful and generous with their love of life. I only hope that I could be as happy as they were in the same situation.” The children that live at Miracle Ranch never worry about getting adopted because to them, they are all one big family, said Ohlin. Many of the children that live at the ranch were placed there through social services after being taken out of abusive homes. They don’t see the orphanage as a bad thing; they see it as another chance at a good life. During their time there, the children were happy to just play with everyone and have fun. To help out around the orphanage, Nelson and the rest of the Mexicrew spent time fixing up some of the rooms by painting, spackling and installing ceiling fans. Continued on page 5 The Bell • Spring 2011


Campus News

Childs Receives Entrepreneur of the Year Award In October 2010, Thiel College awarded the 2010 Haller Enterprise Institute Entrepreneur of the Year Award to Greenville businessman Harvey Childs, founder and chairman of the board of Bail USA, Inc. The award, now in its 16th year, is given annually to a business owner who has demonstrated entrepreneurial leadership. Childs, who has been a licensed bail agent for 45 years, entered the surety bail profession in 1956, the third generation in his family to do so. A native of Pittsburgh, he made his home in Mercer County and for nine years posted bail bonds for clients throughout the tri-county area. In 1969, Childs expanded his business to 16 additional western Pennsylvania counties, Maryland, the District of Columbia and Ohio. In 1970, he founded the Pennsylvania Association of Bail Bond Underwriters and successfully challenged Pennsylvania to recognize bail agents as “officers of the court.” During the next 10 years, he again expanded his growing network of professional bail agents into 25 additional states and was one of the founders of the Professional Bail Agents of the United States (PBUS). In 1982, Childs partnered with his assistant, Cheryl Burns, to form Bail USA, which is now the largest underwriter of surety bail in the country. In 1999, Burns assumed the presidency of Bail USA to allow Childs to spend more time traveling and visiting the company’s bail agents. Currently, Bail USA has 2,500 bail agents in 42 states.

Childs (center) accepts the Entrepreneur of the Year award from President Troy VanAken and Professor David Miller ’61.

Childs holds a bachelor’s degree from Villanova University in Havana, Cuba, and an advanced degree in Hispanic Studies from the University of Seville in Spain. He is fluent in five languages and enjoys Spanish and American history. Childs and his wife, Uta, reside in Greenville, Pa., and Ft. Lauderdale Beach, Fla., and have one grown son, Alan, a doctor of psychology in Chicago, Ill. The Haller Enterprise Institute is named for Pittsburgh residents Dr. Henry E. and Grace Mary Haller who provided a $1 million gift to develop entrepreneurial education at Thiel.

Calling All Junior Tomcats! Looking for a fun, educational camp experience for your child this summer? At Thiel’s College for Kids camp, students can build on their imaginations, creativity and talents while experiencing life on a college campus. College for Kids is an elementary camp for students in grades four through six (June 27-July 8 with no camp on July 4) and a junior high camp for students in grades seven through nine (July 11-15). A typical day begins at 8:45 a.m. and ends at 2:35 p.m., and includes classes, lunch and fun afternoon activities like tie-dying t-shirts and playing games outside. Elementary campers can pick from a variety of courses like Spanish, Math in Disguise, The Way Things Work or Painting. This year the junior high camp will focus on careers—campers will choose two different career fields and take two classes within each of those fields. 4

The Bell • Spring 2011

For more information about costs and courses offered, visit All reservations will be taken online this year. Please contact Robyn Lohr, director of College for Kids, 724-456-4050 or

“Mission to Mexico,” continued from page 3

Sophomore Designs New Admissions T-Shirt Sophomore Audrey Rattay will see herself all over Thiel’s campus – and possibly the country – when the new Thiel College campus-visit t-shirt hits campus this summer. Rattay was the winner of a design contest sponsored by the Admissions Office during the spring semester. The contest was aimed at inspiring current students to Rattay’s design for the new create an “exclusive” Thiel Thiel admissions t-shirt. t-shirt that would be given to prospective students during the next academic year when they visit campus. The shirts will also grace the backs of admissions staff, including tour guides and peer leaders. The participation from students was more than expected, says Amy Becher, dean of enrollment. Eight students submitted nine different designs. Competing students included Rattay, Nicole Stills ’11, Jacquelyne Kinney ’12, Leah Kook ’14, Ray Tenney ’12, Anthony Corso ’13, Jessica Weaver ’14 and Dakota Tenney ’14. The competition was tough, but Rattay was chosen as the winner. She also was chosen as first runner-up with Stills as second runner-up, and both will have their designs printed on t-shirts, which will be sold in the Thiel Bookstore. They will earn a 15-percent commission on each sale. “My inspiration for the t-shirt design came from what Thiel has helped me accomplish in my two years here,” says Rattay. “Having the opportunity to be involved in extracurricular activities, clubs and sports all while maintaining academic excellence is a common goal among college students. At Thiel, students are able to reach that goal because the staff and students are committed to helping their ‘brothers and sisters’ in reaching that ultimate goal of success. Integrating all of the majors, sports and activities in a cluster with the words ‘Committed to You’ alongside key phrases like ‘change the world,’ ‘be yourself,’ ‘make friends,’ ‘volunteer’ and ‘take a stand’ truly paint a picture for what each and every student can experience while attending Thiel.”

Some new Mexican fans of Thiel College

The ranch where the orphanage is located is mostly funded by a large olive plantation worked by Uribe and his extended family. They pick and sell olives to fund their operations. The group made their way back to San Diego to enjoy one last day before returning home. Upon their return to Thiel, Nelson and the students held a chapel service to talk about their experiences. The students shared their favorite photos and moments from the trip, hoping to bring awareness to immigration and poverty issues and shed light on what those they had met in Mexico have to do to survive. Another chapel service was held later for the Board of Trustees. Trustee Dr. Carl Hoffman ’69 was so moved by the stories and experiences described by the students that he has pledged to help finance future mission/service trips for Thiel’s students. He and his wife, Theresa, are also investigating how to provide funds toward the purchase of an olive press for the Miracle Ranch—a purchase that will allow the Ranch to drastically improve the profits on its olives and therefore increase the funds available to the children there. “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in service to others,” said Nelson. “That’s the hallmark of Lutheran higher education, and it’s something we all experienced on this trip. We learned a lot about Mexico, border issues, immigration and poverty. But we learned a lot about ourselves, too.” —Sarah DiFrango ’11

The Admissions Office has plans to hold the t-shirt design contest each spring to create a new “Thiel” shirt for prospective students each year.

The Bell • Spring 2011


Campus News

Frangakis Family, Faculty, Staff Honored at Founders’ Day Convocation Thiel College held the annual Founders’ Day Convocation on Feb. 3 and honored 10 faculty and staff members and the Frangakis family for their service and dedication to the Greenville and Thiel communities. The Louis and Barbara Thiel Distinguished Service Award This prestigious award— named for Louis and Barbara Thiel whose generosity made possible the founding of Thiel in 1866— was presented to the Frangakis family, who are founders and owners of Reynolds Services, Inc., as well as several other business ventures and a charitable trust. The award is presented annually to community members who demonstrate exemplary character, continuity of leadership, and long-term service to Greenville and its environs. Founded in 1990 by F. John Frangakis, Reynolds Services Inc. is a family-owned and operated company specializing in the processing of tin mill and flat rolled steel products. RSI has experienced enormous growth and changes since its inception 20 years ago, including the addition of processing and distribution facilities in Weirton, W. Va., and Baltimore, Md. The company’s success was recognized in 2001, when its efforts in international distribution received the Pennsylvania Governor’s Export Excellence Award for Manufacturing. The Shenango Valley Chamber of Commerce recognized the company’s innovative business practices by presenting Reynolds Services, Inc. with the 2010 Phoenix Award for Innovation. RSI and the Frangakis family maintain a strong belief in continuous improvement leading to a higher 6

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The 2011 Founders’ Day honorees. Pictured are (back row from left to right) Barbara Blue, Dr. James Koshan, Lisa Walton, Kathleen Christiansen, Dr. Robert Wells, Thomas Luciani and President Troy VanAken; (second row from left to right) Dr. David Buck, Barbara Samson and Tressa Snyder; and (front row from left to right) John R. Frangakis, Teresa Frangakis, Joyce Frangakis and F. John Frangakis.

level of service and quality to its existing customers while seizing new business opportunities. Some of those business opportunities include Cross IT Services & Solutions, LLC, a cross platform information technology computer consulting firm; Vulcan Engineering LLC, an electrical engineering firm specializing in machinery drive and control integration; and Reynolds Transfer LLC, a logistics and transportation company specializing in the hauling and international distribution of products. Their business success has enabled the Frangakis family to give back to the communities that have helped them achieve so much. The Frangakis Family Charitable Trust was formed to promote and improve the communities within which the Frangakis businesses exist and operate. Benefactors of the trust’s charitable giving include the American Red Cross, the American Heart Association,

the Presbyterian Church Disaster Relief Fund, Thiel College (part of which helped fund the new Theology & Youth Ministry major and marching band at the College) and Toys for Tots. Faculty and Staff Awards Receiving Professor of the Year honors this year was Dr. David Buck, associate professor of history. Since arriving on campus in 2005, Buck has been generous with his time and efforts in support of Thiel’s mission. He is involved in a number of committees on campus including the Community Building Initiative, Curriculum Study, Imagining Thiel and many others. He regularly takes students to regional history association meetings and teaches in Thiel’s Honors Program. Buck continues to research microloans in Central America (small loans to budding entrepreneurs in the developing world) for potential application in the Global Heritage course, for

which he has served as coordinator. His interest in Central America led to his study at a Spanish language school in Nicaragua in July 2010 through a Rowley Endowment for Teaching Excellence and work on a summer study abroad pilot program for summer 2011. Buck was also recently awarded a New Directions Teaching Fellowship from The Learning Commons to assist in redesigning his firstyear seminar. Despite the many demands on his time, including serving as faculty adviser to history majors and minors and his teaching load, he remains active in his field of scholarship, presenting at conferences and publishing. A Grove City native, Buck holds a bachelor’s in American studies from the University of Dayton, a master’s in history from Slippery

Rock University and a doctorate from West Virginia University. He and his wife, Laura, have two sons and one daughter and live in Sharon, Pa. Other faculty members to earn recognition were: Lisa Walton, Esq., assistant professor of sociology and political science, of Hermitage, Pa., Distinguished Service Award. Dr. James Koshan, professor of history, of Hermitage, Pa., Distinguished Teacher Award. Dr. Robert A. Wells, professor of political science, of Pittsburgh, Distinguished Scholar Award. Kathleen Christiansen, adjunct professor of English, of Greenville, Pa., Distinguished Adjunct Award.

Five staff awards were presented during the ceremony. Receiving honors were: Suellen Beckdol, Mercer, Pa., maintenance, Distinguished Innovator Award. Thomas J. Luciani, Greenville, Pa., maintenance, Distinguished Newcomer Award. Tressa Snyder, Hadley, Pa., reference librarian, Distinguished Extra Effort Award. Barbara Blue, Greenville, Pa., director of student activities and orientation, Distinguished Outreach Award. Barbara Samson, Greenville, Pa., administrative assistant, The Learning Commons, Distinguished Service Staff Award.

Congratulations to Thiel’s “Biggest Losers” On Jan. 29, the Community Building Initiative and the Student Activities Office joined forces to launch Thiel College’s “Biggest Loser” Competition. The kick-off event featured inspirational words from Amanda Arlauskas, a contestant on season 9 of NBC’s “The Biggest Loser.” Audience members had the chance to sign up that night or in the following weeks to try to become Thiel’s “Biggest Loser.” Contestants participated in four weigh-ins, with the final weigh-in taking place on April 18. Of the original sign-ups, 54 contestants from the Thiel and Greenville communities finished the competition, all of whom received an official “Biggest Loser” t-shirt. Two winners, one each from Thiel’s campus and Greenville, earned a $500 prize for their efforts. The Thiel winner was Andrew Walizer, a counselor in Thiel’s Admissions Office. Walizer lost a total of 49 pounds. The Greenville winner was Susan Scriven, who lost a total of 25.8 pounds. The collective weight loss of all the contestants was 630 pounds! Congratulations to all those who participated.




After The Bell • Spring 2011


Campus News

Greening Efforts Continue What’s Thiel College’s favorite color after blue and gold? Green! And this year, Thiel was greener than ever before. For the third year, the College participated in Recyclemania in the “bottles and cans” category. Recyclemania is a national 10-week friendly recycling competition between colleges and universities to promote waste reduction. Led by Carol Detar Jones ’75, supplemental instruction coordinator in The Learning Commons, and student greening manager sophomore Josh Emanuelson, the competition wrapped up in early April with Thiel collecting 3,027 pounds of recyclables. The second annual Thiel College Wear it Out competition was held on March 24 in the Lutheran Heritage Room. Seven groups participated by designing an outfit made completely of recycled materials and modeled them for a panel of judges composed of Barbara Blue of Thiel’s Student Activities Office, John Rindy of The Learning Commons and Dr. Martin Bright of the Psychology Department, who reviewed the outfits in an “American Idol”-style judging. Event organizer Jacquelyne Kinney and emcee Zac Markley hosted the event and got the crowd excited while the models prepared to walk the runway in their newly designed “trashion” outfits. The models for the evening included Jessica Smith (modeling for Alpha Xi Delta’s “The Spicy Seven”), Carly Florida, Christine Moreau (modeling for Track and Field & the Safe Zone Alliance), Ashley Tigner (modeling for Zeta Tau Alpha), Joe Janicki (modeling for Phi Theta Phi), Clare Rech (modeling for Circle K) and Jordan Smith 8

The Bell • Spring 2011

(also modeling for a group from Alpha Xi Delta). Modeling outfits from last year were Kaitlyn Bonzo and Ryan Carson. Freshman Ashley Tigner won first place and a $100 cash prize, sophomore Jordan Smith took second place and received a $50 Wal-Mart gift card and junior Joseph Janicki took third place and won a $25 Sheetz gift card. Also, paper recycling was successful at Thiel with nearly 11,500 pounds of paper recycled during 2010. Jones and Emanuelson presented recycling information to the incoming class during new student orientation in August and plan to continue to do so next year. Thiel’s greening initiative formed a connection with St. Paul’s, a continuing care community in Greenville, which has Thiel students clean started sustainability and the campus recycling recycling initiatives. bins during Spring “It’s been a good into Action Day on connection,” says Jones. April 16; freshman Ashley Tigner models Other initiatives in the the winning outfit early planning stages for for Wear It Out; Thiel’s greening efforts junior Joe Janicki shows off a Phi Theta include working with AVI Foodsystems Inc., Thiel’s Phi-designed recycled outfit. food service provider, to begin recycling the institutional-size aluminum cans that are used in preparing meals at Thiel; getting cardboard recycling started; securing a vendor for battery recycling and arranging for a “Dump’n Run,” where students moving out for the year can easily donate unwanted goods to the Good Shepherd Center in Greenville.

Employees Honored for Years of Service

Thiel held the annual Employee Recognition Dinner on April 19 in the Lutheran Heritage Room of the Howard Miller Student Center. This event honors those employees, faculty and staff, who reached milestone years of service. This year’s honorees collectively have given more than 430 years of service to Thiel College. Pictured (in no particular order) are David Miller ’61 (45 years); Dr. Mervin Newton (40 years); Dr. Nicholas Despo and Dr. Arthur White (35 years); Guru Khalsa (30 years); Cinthia McClelland, Dr. Christopher Moinet

and Peggy Hause (25 years); Vicki Poe, Deborah Smith, Dr. Cynthia Sutton, Michael Edney and Rose Rager (15 years); Jesse Amar, Dr. Michael Balas, Betty LeBarron and Anita Lillie (10 years); and Maryann Cardillo, Deborah Marosy, Mary Reames, Phyllis Russell and Amy Schafer (5 years). Not pictured are Dr. Beth Parkinson and Elizabeth Young (25 years); Dr. Nancy Antonino and Max Shellenbarger (20 years); and Dr. David Buck, James Flowers, Ludmilla Miller, Lisa Walton and Donna Yake (5 years).

The Bell • Spring 2011


Campus News

Planning for the Next 150 Years In 2016, Thiel will reach its sesquicentennial, and what milestone could be better to celebrate the College’s achievements and plan for future successes! The first step in that process is to develop a new strategic plan that will help Thiel focus its efforts, hone its vision and answer three questions: who are we; what do we aspire to become; and how do we get there? During the strategic planning process, which will culminate with a draft plan presented to the Board of Trustees in February 2012, it is imperative that input is received from all parts of the Thiel community—students, staff and faculty, administrators, parents, alumni and Greenville community members. Below is a brief timeline of the planning process: March 23: First Strategic Planning Committee (SPC) Meeting Early April: Second SPC Meeting; SWOD (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Dreams) analysis Late April: Third SPC Meeting June: Fourth SPC Meeting; electronic survey sent to alumni Mid-August: Fifth SPC Meeting; first draft of strategic vision developed Aug. 23: Fall Campus Employee Retreat October: Sixth SPC meeting; final draft of strategic vision produced Nov. 1-2: Draft of strategic vision and preliminary ideas about strategic plan presented to Trustees

Dr. Peter Mitchell of Proactive Transition Management met with President Troy VanAken and members of the Board of Associates in April to discuss the strategic planning process.

Jan. 2012:

Seventh SPC Meeting to finalize the strategic vision and strategic plan to present to Trustees Feb. 2012: Final strategic vision and strategic plan presented to Trustees March 2012: Begin implementation of the approved vision and plan Helping the College with this very important process is Dr. Peter Mitchell, retired president of Albion College and founder of Proactive Transition Management (PTM), which provides specialized consulting for independent colleges and universities and privately-owned companies. A strategic plan and vision for the College’s future will provide a roadmap to the ultimate goal of being a premiere, nationally-known institution of higher education that truly transforms students and prepares graduates for lives of meaning, purpose and significance.

Vira Heinz Scholarships Awarded Three Thiel women are studying abroad this summer thanks to the Vira I. Heinz Scholarships for Women in Global Leadership, which were awarded in December 2010. The three scholarship winners— sophomores Kayla Ohlin of New Middletown, Ohio, Audrey Lynn Rattay of Apollo, Pa., and Emily Whipple of Rochester, Pa.—each received $5,000 to fund their study abroad experiences. Ohlin, an accounting and business administration major with a minor in English, is participating in International Studies Abroad’s program at the University of Deusto in San Sebastian, Spain. This program allows Ohlin to study the language and culture of Spain as well as participate in international business courses.


The Bell • Spring 2011

Rattay, a business administration major, is attending International Studies Abroad’s program at Moulay Ismail University in Meknes, Morocco. While in Morocco, Rattay is studying Arabic and gender issues in Moroccan culture. Whipple, an English major with secondary education certification, is using her scholarship to study at Menendez Pelayo International University in Barcelona, Spain, through International Studies Abroad. She is studying Spanish culture and language. Funded by the Heinz Endowments, the Vira I. Heinz Program for Women in Global Leadership prepares women for tomorrow’s global challenges by offering a unique opportunity for international experiences, leadership development and community service.



HOMECOMING WEEKEND: SEPT. 23-25 Homecoming at Thiel College on Sept. 23-25, 2011, promises to be another great weekend! We’ve got a full slate of events planned so look for a schedule in your mailbox this summer or visit for updates as they become available. You won’t want to miss the fireworks and Alumni Awards Ceremony, Homecoming parade and game, Homecoming motorcycle ride and the new Tomcat Prowl—or any of the many other Homecoming events! For more information or reservations for Homecoming Weekend 2011, contact the Alumni Services Office at or 724-589-2042.

The Bell • Spring 2011


Campus News

Faculty & Staff News uCongratulations to the Thiel College faculty, who were invited to participate in the prestigious Association of American Colleges & Universities’ 2011 Institute on General Education and Assessment (IGEA). The IGEA provides campus teams with opportunities to refine and advance general education programs. During the Institute, teams explore general education models, processes of redesign and implementation, and strategies for assessment. Admission to the Institute is competitive and limited. The team of faculty from Thiel will attend as a part of the yearlong core review and revision process in which all faculty members have been engaged.

Thiel Acccounting Students Invade YSU In December 2010, 20 Thiel accounting majors, accompanied by Professor Gary Witosky, traveled to Youngstown State University to attend the 14th Annual Accounting Student Practitioner Day. The day was filled with informative lectures and a chance to network with accounting firms of all sizes. Session topics included “Opportunities in Regional and National Public Accounting,” “Looking the Part,” “Communication Skills” and “Professional Exams.” Forensic Accounting, a hot new field that is a major at Thiel, also was discussed.

uThe top finishers in the annual Thiel College Chili Cook-off held in November 2010 were Dr. David Buck’s “Blazin’ Chicken” chili (first place), Director of Athletics Jack Leipheimer’s “4M-2B-GPO” chili (second place) and Admissions Counselor Lauren Byers’ “Pineapple Vegetarian” chili (third place). The event raised $233, which was donated to Compas de Nicaragua–Women in Action, a charity chosen by Buck that aims to improve the lives of women and children in Nicaragua through education, health and income generating programs. Pictured is last year’s winner, Registrar Denise Urey, passing the “Golden Ladle” to Buck.

Exemplary Library Research Awards Presented on Founders’ Day

uHeather Balas, director of career services, presented

at the PennACE (the Pennsylvania Association of Colleges and Employers) Conference in May about her senior-year career course. Balas has also been elected to serve on the executive board of WestPacs as treasurer. WestPacs is an independent, nonprofit consortium of college and university career services professionals.

uAmy Becher, dean of enrollment, was named to the prestigious Thrivent Fellows Program, a rigorous 12-month leadership fellowship for the purpose of growing the leadership capacity of the agencies and institutions of the Lutheran Church. Through intensive retreats and seminars, Fellows gain increased knowledge and understanding of Lutheran traditions and values, thorough knowledge of key management issues, discernment of personal and professional goals, a plan for professional growth and a network of relationships with other Lutheran higher education leaders. 12

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The second annual Exemplary Library Research Awards were presented on Founders’ Day, Feb. 3. This award recognizes exemplary research in completing a classroom assignment. Any professor who brought students to the library during the fall 2010 semester for an instructional session were eligible to nominate one student per class for the award. The five winning students presented their research at the ceremony in the Langenheim Memorial Library and received a Barnes & Noble gift card from the Library. Winning students were Danielle Dwyer and Richard Peterson. Honorable mentions were earned by Jacqueline Hietsch, Casey Arblaster, Stephanie Duke, Valerie Willard and John Amorose. Pictured from left to right are the students who were nominated for the award, (back row) Jacqueline Hietsch, Richard Peterson, Danielle Dwyer and Stephanie Duke and (front row) Alex Bent, Samantha Hoffman, Alyssa Bartlett, John Amorose, Laura Davin, Melissa Rankin, Stephanie Hudson, Julie Novotny and Rebecca Smith.

Cracking the Case In December 2010, education students presented their annual mock trial at Jamestown Elementary School to present the U.S. judicial system and how it works to social studies classes in an interactive way. This year, the students presented the slip and fall case of Humpty Dumpty. Sixth graders from Jamestown Elementary served as the jury.

Management Class Presents Strategic Marketing Plan

Student Research Published

In December 2010, students in Professor Angelo Giannini’s Strategic Management course presented a strategic marketing plan to Doug Anderson and Sue Nicklin, president and vice president, respectively, of Anderson Coach and Travel. The plan, which is aimed at commemorating the company’s upcoming 75th anniversary, was developed with Danielle Powell, director of Transportation at Anderson Coach and Travel, and covers the school bus group, motor coach group and tours. The overall student project manager was Thomas Besser. Student project manager of the school bus group was Jacqlyn Belsito with Andrew Bolton, Stephanie Dolinar, Sarah Hicks, Caitlyn Scarton, Jonathan Vinski and Hyejin Cheon. Danielle Macklin was the student manager of the motor coach group, which included Matthew Christian, William Haase, Mihee Kim, Robert Shew and Emily Batiz. The student project manager of the tour group was Theresa Phillips with Michael Deems, Jill Harry, Jae Hong Kwon, Nicholas Travaglianti and Somin Oh. The students worked extensively with Powell throughout the fall semester gathering data and developing Web sites and brochures and other promotional material to be included in the overall marketing plan.

Dr. Michael E. Bacon, physics, and Steven Torok ’09 were published in the March issue of “The Physics Teacher,” a physics journal. The paper, “An Experimental Investigation of the End Effects for Blue Man Group Pipes,” is based on Torok’s seminar and senior thesis, which was completed in 2009. Torok and Bacon noticed that the resonant frequency of pipes deviated significantly from the expected frequencies as predicted by well established theory for pipes open at both ends. They suggested that the discrepancy was due to the fact that only one end was truly open and the other end was affected by the motion of the paddle used to excite the resonant frequency.

Chi Eta Sigma Induction

Alpha Chi Inductions Fourteen students were inducted into the Pennsylvania theta chapter of Alpha Chi honorary society in April. Alpha Chi is a national honorary that recognizes juniors and seniors who have achieved high academic standing. The inducted students were Yashuhiro Akiyama, Sarah Conte, Laura Davin, Kristin Fedorczyk, Duranna Fretts, Scott Hunkus, Jacquelyne Kinney, Kasey Landis, Shawna McIntyre, Kristen Moreland, Kaitlyn O’Connell, David Owens, Robert Shew and Kayla Turek.

Thiel inducted 26 students into Chi Eta Sigma, the college’s commerce honorary society, in late March. The group includes Jebediah Aley, Brittany Bates, Eleanor Belleau, Jacqlyn Belsito, Mike Deems, Brendan Dulaney, Danielle Dwyer, Rosanna Egelsky, So Young Jung, Jacquelyne Kinney, Amy Kramer, Dan Dan Li, Yuening Liu, Xiaozu Liu, Elizabeth Martin, Kristen Moreland, John Newman, Kaitlyn O’Connell, Andrew Peretic, Mathew Saur, Robert Shew, Stephanie Shipley, Angi Sun, Nick Travaglianti, Marica Turan and Victoria Woodward. (Pictured are all new and former members of the organization.) Chi Eta Sigma recognizes scholastic excellence among majors in accounting, business administration or economics at Thiel.

Kappa Delta Pi Conference In February, Kappa Delta Pi, the education honorary society, hosted an educational leadership conference in the Glen Johnson Community Center. Education majors from Grove City College joined Thiel students at the event, which featured Kimberly Zippie, regional site coordinator for the Pennsylvania Inspired Leadership Program, as the speaker. Topics included leadership and success in the classroom and the skills that employers are looking for in future employees.

“While we were discussing different topics during the workshop, I saw that the Thiel students were confident and went beyond the ‘typical’ answers,” said senior Madison Chylik. “We can apply what we have learned in the classroom to real-world situations. Our professors have really prepared us to be leaders within our classrooms and school districts.” The event was organized by Katie Rufener, KDP president, and faculty members Mary Reames and David Shaffer. The Bell • Spring 2011


Campus News

Education Students Enjoy Professional Development Opportunities

International Cooking Expo

This semester, students in Dr. Doug Hazlett’s Integrated Instructional Systems course experienced two special seminars. The first featured Marilyn Goodrich, consultant from Midwestern Intermediate Unit IV in Grove City, Pa., presenting “OMG! Did U C the Nu Movie? Using Pop Culture to Motivate Students.” This workshop provided the students with resources for many fun and exciting ways to use pop culture in various academic content areas. The second featured a professional staff development presentation by Dodie Smith from Study Island, which is a Web-based instructional tool used by most of the school districts in Pennsylvania. Testimonials about Study Island can be found on its Web site, (scroll down and click on Thiel College).

This semester two International Cooking Expos were held that offered Thiel’s international student a chance to showcase the cooking and tastes of their native countries. On March 28, Lynne (Yuening) Liu cooked sweet & sour pork with pineapple (pictured) and on Feb. 28, Sarah (Rui) Wang and Can Cui made beef and potato stir-fry.

Pictured from left to right are Marilyn Goodrich (MIU4 Consultant), Heidi Smith, Erica Riola, Hannah Kichman, Nicole Guthrie, EJ Kruse, Deryk Herold, Jack Chaney and Dr. Doug Hazlett.

The Gamma Sigma chapter of Chi Alpha Epsilon National Honor Society inducted new members in March. Chi Alpha Epsilon recognizes the high academic achievements of students who participate in academic success programs. The new members include Jebediah Aley, Jenna Fustos, John Madeline and Julie Mitchell. Donna Barton, honorary member and adjunct professor in the Sociology Department, provided the opening remarks. Diane Donnelly, honorary member and academic adviser in The Learning Commons, serves as the chapter adviser.

FYS Students Volunteer in the Great Outdoors Members of the “Family, Fishing and Friendship” First-Year Seminar course volunteered for a service project with the Shenango Conservancy last fall. The Conservancy maintains the Shenango Trail, and 11 members of the course with five members of the Conservancy spent a Sunday afternoon putting in a new culvert to control drainage on a section of the trail.


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Chi Alpha Epsilon Induction

Student Teachers Take to the Classroom In early January, nine Thiel College senior education majors took to the field to begin their student teaching experience. Spring 2011 student teachers are front row (left to right): Sarah Dolcini (Lakeview Middle School/Cortland, Ohio), Katie Sourbeer (Hempfield Elementary/Greenville), Casey Arblaster (Artman Elementary/ Hermitage), Allison Hall (Commodore Perry Elementary/Hadley), and Madison Chylik (Artman Elementary/Hermitage), and back row (left to right): Derek Workman (Artman/Hermitage), Mike Johnson (Commodore Perry Elementary/Hadley), Bryan Montozzi (Commodore Perry Elementary/ Hadley) and Nick Bender (Greenville High School/ Greenville). Not pictured: Samantha Peigowski (Hempfield Elementary/Greenville).

Good Job Phis!

Sigma Tau Delta Induction In March, Sigma Tau Delta, Thiel College’s English honorary society, welcomed seven new members—Alison Lange, Zachary Markley, Erica Riola, Keisha Shaw, Diana Slomainy, Timothy Taylor and Emily Whipple. New officers for 20112012 also were elected and include President Amy Jane Matchett, Vice President Abigail Charsar, Secretary Emily Whipple, Treasurer Diana Slomainy and Representative to Student Government Alison Lange. Lisa Walton, Esq., assistant professor of sociology and political science at Thiel, served as the event’s keynote speaker. Dr. Mary Theresa Hall is the adviser to the group.

Phi Theta Phi fraternity and the annual Walk-a-thon, for Children’s Hospital, now in its 41st year, were featured in the spring 2011 issue of Promises magazine, a publication for friends of Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. The brothers raised $30,000 this year for the Free Care Fund during and after the walk-a-thon.

The Black & White Affair On Feb. 12, Thiel College held its first formal dance for students, staff and faculty, and alumni. The theme was “The Black & White Affair” and all guests were asked to wear black and white clothing. Under the twinkling lights in the Lutheran Heritage Room, the Thiel community got its groove on until the wee hours of the morning. The event was a big hit and another Winter Ball is planned for the spring 2012 semester (save the date for Feb. 11, 2012). Watch for details and we hope to see you here!

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Thiel Love

Each love story is unique. But the love stories that follow all share one important aspect. Without Thiel College, these couples may have never met. For many of our alumni, 1,796 (that we know of!) in fact, Thiel gave them more than a degree; it introduced them to the loves of their lives. This spring, Thiel asked for stories of alumni love matches. From chance meetings at Homcoming to encounters in the classroom to (of course) Brother Martin’s Walk, these stories touched our hearts. Thiel College is proud that such strong and lasting relationships started right here on campus. Read on for some of their memories, and go to to share yours. The Play was the Thing My wife and I were cast as lovers in the play “Yes My Love” directed by Spencer Goodreds, and by the time the play was put on it was not acting—it was the real thing. We were married in 1953, and spent the next 20 years in the Air Force, living for three of those in Japan. After the Air Force, I taught school for 20 years. Our time spent in the Air Force gave us the urge to see more of the world, and we have! We have been to 76 countries and all seven continents, including ocean cruises and land tours. We have five children and have been in love all these 57 years. —Dorothy “Dot” (Hitson) ’53 and Edward Kroen ’52

Goin’ to the Chapel We met in chapel and got to know each other through the Lutheran Student Movement (LSM) during fall 2005. Chats at the Bistro extended into hours-long conversation and Thiel’s campus became an exciting place as we found excuses to spend time together. After two weeks of getting to know each other, we decided to start dating. Nine wonderful months later, we became engaged and continued to date until Grace graduated. We were married at the Evangelical Church of the Holy Trinity in Greenville, Pa. Currently, we live in Fairfield, Pa., and still find ourselves deeply in love and often remember the delightful times we spent at Thiel College. —Stephen ’08 and Grace Lauver-Simmons ’09 (also pictured on opposite page and on the cover) 16

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Beginnings and Endings In 1958, during my first year as a transfer, my roommate, Jim Dingfelder ’61, introduced me to Ann Myford ’62. She was the roommate of Jim’s girlfriend, Karen Benson ’62. I guess I was smitten. Ann quickly became my first “real” girlfriend. I think Ann would have preferred my writing about things like our first meeting in the cafeteria where she worked or our “borrowing” trays together from the cafeteria to use as sleds. She’d want me to remind the women of Sawhill that she cut their hair for cigarettes—and mine because, well, I guess because she liked me. On date nights, I’m sure she wasn’t the only one to find her way into and out of the tightly locked Sawhill dorm via a certain window. The connecting happened quickly, but the marrying took a while. We were married five years later by Professor Rev. Theodore Scheifele (despite his telling Ann that I wouldn’t amount to much—smart man) while my roommate Jim sang beautifully for us. Honing the marriage to perfection took still longer. We were married 46 years until cancer took Ann away, holding my hand, on Jan. 29, 2009. Ann never made it back to the campus (she thought), but if you go Riverside Park, to the west of campus, you might sense her presence at a favorite spot along the river bank where I’ve placed a bit of her ashes. In a way, I guess that means our 50-year love story began and ended at Thiel. —Dr. Richard “Dick” Dickinson ’61

Unexpected Surprise Bill and I met the first week of our freshman year in September 1970. Neither of us wanted to get serious with anyone in college and yet we knew immediately that our lives would be spent together. We have been married for 38 years and together for 40. Thank you, Thiel! It’s been great. —Diane (Carlson) ’74 and William Dickhoff ’74

“As a clock or a bell has not power to hear its own sound, and does not derive benefit from its stroke, so the preacher who lacks love cannot himself understand anything he says.” -Martin Luther

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A Chance Meeting One day during my freshman year, some of my friends and I were in the bookstore and came across some really funny retro stuff. One was a “I met my mate at Thiel” button. We laughed, but I made it my mission to buy one of those pins some day! I dated several guys while at Thiel, but nothing ever worked out. Before Christmas break of my junior year, I decided that I really didn’t want a boyfriend and that I’d rather focus on other things. Well... fate had different plans. In late January, the Sig Eps had an alumni board meeting and some of the alumni decided to stay the night. My friends, Sara (Evans) Cope ’98 and Michael Robbins ’96, were friends with one of the alumni and decided that I needed to meet him. Thinking he had a girlfriend, I blew them off. Later that night, we were all hanging out in the house and Rusted Root came on. We were all dancing and singing when Sara thought it would be funny to tie this particular alum and I together with my flannel shirt. It turns out that that alum, Matt Hughes ’92, did not have a girlfriend—and we made an instant connection. We were engaged a year later and have been married for 12 years with three wonderful future Tomcats, Amelia, Declan and Finnian. I never did get that button, though. —Angela (Lago) ’97 and Matt Hughes ’92

“Quality Students” I met my wife, Barbara (Kelch) Toy, in 1957 while standing in line waiting to buy textbooks. Barb was a freshman and I was a junior, returning to school after three years of service in the army. We married after she graduated in 1961. We have two sons, a daughter and six grandchildren. We celebrated our 50th anniversary on Feb. 18, 2011, at a party at the Asbury Woods Nature Center in Erie, Pa., where we both volunteer. I have to say, you get great “quality” students at Thiel, especially the girls. —Barbara (Kelch) ’61 and Leonard Toy ’59 18

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Spark to a Flame During sophomore year, I switched my major to elementary education. In my first education class, I got stuck at a table with all boys. It was there I met Jon Howson. We were both in other serious relationships at the time, so we became friends. He swears to this day that he told his freshman roommate that I was the girl he was going to marry. He was always very quiet and I was always very talkative. Throughout college, we would see each other on campus and have conversations in the Bistro or walking to class, but never got the chance to get to know each other well. It was not until our senior year, the day of graduation practice, that I realized there was a spark between us. We both had recently become single. We ended up sitting next to each other at practice and being silly and laughing the entire time. Since that day, we have been inseparable. He coached football at Thiel after graduation and I went to every game. I eventually was offered a teaching position in South Carolina and Jon came with me. In December 2008, we completed one important task before we left Thiel’s campus—we walked Brother Martin’s Walk. That summer we got engaged! We have been married since July 10, 2010. We hold a special place in our hearts for Thiel College and still love to come back to see the wonderful people who shaped our lives. We love you Thiel! Go Tomcats! —Amy (Holzshu) ’06 and Jonathan Howson ’06

Just Friends Cindy and I met in Intro to Philosophy in fall 1976. I needed someone to take notes and she was a brighteyed freshman who came to class and studied. We started out as just friends. Our first date was to a wrestling match in Ohio. We had to sit behind Coach Mel Berry on the bus. We dated steadily through spring 1977. In April that year, I was offered a job as a claims adjuster with Liberty Mutual Insurance. I knew Cindy was special by April. She was the first person to accept my behavior quirks and devotion to Thiel athletics. She was also the first girlfriend that my family totally accepted. I proposed to her at the Duquesne Incline Overlook on May 18, just three

days before graduation. We were married on March 18, 1978 in Meadville, Pa. We celebrated our 33rd anniversary this year. One of the fondest memories we have of Thiel is walking the entire length of Brother Martin’s Walk. We would walk it many times, going to Roth House where I lived.  —Cindy (Runyan) ’80 and David Palesky ’77

Detour to Love Driving across Route 80 one fall afternoon in 2000, I made a last minute detour to visit Dr. Bill Robinson, little knowing that diversion would change my life. That Homecoming Weekend, I met Lisa Kane. We developed an instant rapport with one another and at Homecoming the following year, I proposed to Lisa at the end of Brother Martin’s Walk. We later returned to Thiel for our wedding ceremony and reception, where Dr. Robinson served as a groomsman. He also is godfather to our eldest son, William, who was baptized at the David A. Johnson Memorial Chapel. (William has two brothers, Rocco and Michael.) Thiel continues to hold a special place in our hearts. —Lisa (Kane) ’01 and Michael Capozzoli ’94

Class Act I met my husband at Thiel in 2004. Jerome and I had a physical fitness class together with Coach Mark Vennis. My husband and I often joked that if someone would have said that I would be dating the guy I used to chase and tease in gym class…I would’ve laughed right in their face. Most of the time in class we were both being silly and pretending to be hardcore workout fanatics. Most people would say that Jerome and I were inseparable on campus. We got married on April 22, 2006. We actually had our wedding on a weekend and returned to Thiel that next Monday to finish up our finals. We welcomed a beautiful daughter on July 4, 2006. Jerome graduated in December 2007 and we welcomed a baby boy in November 2008. I graduated from Thiel in December 2009. After I graduated, we decided we were ready for a change of scenery. I’m originally from Philadelphia and he is from Cleveland so we moved to Georgia in September 2010. We’ve just celebrated our six-year anniversary and in April we celebrated five years of marriage.

Just Being Fraternal During the late ’40s and the ’50s, the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity was notorious for their unique parties, the themes of which were selected so their guests, Thiel coeds for the most part, were obligated to wear rather revealing attire. Of the several Chi parties each year, none was more eagerly anticipated by the brothers than Sadie Hawkins Day, with co-eds dressed as “Daisy Mae” and “Wolf Gal.” When I was a senior, my date for the party was to have been my “back home” girlfriend. Late the evening before the party, she called to say she had to substitute the next day for a sick co-worker. Now dateless, I volunteered to tend the “refreshment” bar. One of the guests the next evening was Sandra, a popular sophomore. Her being at the party was somewhat of a dual surprise because she was considered to be the “steady” of a Delta Sig and her escort to our party was brother Henry, a rather shy chap who rarely attended Chi parties. During the “talent show” put on for entertainment, Sandra, sat alone on a piano bench at the back of the room, presumably saving a space for Henry. The refreshment bar was closed, so being a good host, I sat down next to her to help preserve Henry’s seat. The show ended about an hour later, the dancing began and still no Henry. (The next day we learned that he was in the hospital with appendicitis.) I did the fraternal thing and asked Sandra to dance. Another hour passed and still no Henry, so I suggested taking her back to the dormitory in the car I had just inherited. The fraternity house was diagonally across the campus from the girl’s dormitory, which any Thiel grad knows is about a 10-minute walk. By car, the journey that night took an hour. After graduation, I joined the Army and spent about 18 months in Korea and soon after being discharged Sandra and I got married, a union that lasted 50 years. —John Donaldson ’51 Interested in getting married at Thiel? Wedding ceremonies can be held at the David Johnson Memorial Chapel, which features a flexible interior that can accommodate up to 240 guests. The Lutheran Heritage Room or the Sawhill-Georgian Room can be reserved for receptions. In the Lutheran Heritage Room, about 200 people can be seated comfortably with tables, a dance floor and a buffet line. For smaller weddings, the Sawhill-Georgian Room can accommodate about 80 to 90 guests with tables and a buffet line. Thiel can offer wedding dates from May through August as well as breaks during the academic year when classes are not in session. For more information about weddings at Thiel, please contact Sherrie Greenlee-Ogello at 724-589-2240 or

—Dana ’09 and Jerome Young ’07 The Bell • Spring 2011


Congratulations, Class of 2011 On Sunday, May 8, nearly 200 men and women became Thiel College alumni and prepared to start the next phase of their lives. The 137th Commencement ceremony was as sunny and hopeful as the weather outside. U.S. Representative Mike Kelly (PA-3) delivered the commencement address, encouraging the graduates to participate fully in their post-college lives. “You are the leaders of tomorrow,” he said. “You must be engaged. You must be fully committed.” Kelly is the owner of Kelly Chevrolet-Cadillac Inc. in Butler, Pa. and currently serves on the Oversight and Government Reform Committee and the Education and Workforce Committee. Howard J. Weyers ’56 received an honorary Doctorate of Business. Weyers is a longtime educator and coach and a successful entrepreneur in the insurance and healthcare industry. He and his wife, Kay ’59, are dedicated Thiel alumni who spearheaded several fundraising campaigns, including those for Alumni Stadium, the Rissell-Schreyer Dome and the HMSC renovations, as well as serving on the Board of Trustees. Four students with 4.0 grade point averages— Madison Chylik of Cleveland, Ohio, Katelyn Exler of Glenshaw, Pa., Bethany Prentice of New Wilmington, Pa., and Mark Wyant of Transfer, Pa.—earned valedictorian honors and one student—Jacqlyn Belsito of Bedford, Ohio—was named salutatorian with a 3.97 grade point average. Victoria Boyer of Coplay, Pa., and Zachary Woody of New Palestine, Ind., delivered greetings from the Class of 2011 and Woody presented the class gift, an alumni brick walkway and a tree for Brother Martin’s Walk. A reception in the Howard Miller Student Center was held following the ceremony for graduates and their families. Please join the entire Thiel community in welcoming these young men and women into the ranks of Thiel’s alumni!


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For more photos and video from Commencement, visit commencement The Bell • Spring 2011


THIEL LEGACIES Thiel “runs in the family” for these members of the Class of 2011...each year, Thiel College takes photos of graduates and the members of their family who are also Thiel alumni. Pictured below are members Stephen Milich with his mother, Leigh Ann ’80, and father, Ray ’80.

of the Class of 2011 (and 2010) with their “legacy” family members.

Rebecca Stump ’10 with her sister, Laura, who will be attending Thiel in the fall. Ashley Heben with her mother, Carol ’75, and her brother, Kyle ’09.

Katie Sourbeer and her mother, Kathy (Garofolo) ’74. Ben Barch with his sister, Sarah ’09.

Elizabeth Martin with her grandmother, Betty DePalma ’49, and her aunt, Judy DePalma Beery ’89 22

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Lindsey Love and her mother, Grayce (Kelly) ’78.

A Year in “The Dome" The Rissell-Schreyer Dome, an air-supported structure that covers the multi-use athletic field at Alumni Stadium during winter months, was installed on Nov. 15, 2010, celebrated at a grand opening on Dec. 3, 2010, and ended its first year of service on April 30, 2011. In 167 days, “The Dome” made a big impact on campus and in the community, providing space for varsity sports games and practices, intramural events, community exercise space and events by outside groups. Here’s a year in the life of “The Dome” by the numbers: • 78 Tomcat baseball/softball • 16 spring football practices practices • 8 birthday parties • 48 days of open driving range • 7 men’s lacrosse games • 42 intramural games • 4 baseball camps • 40 youth soccer events • 600 community-use hours • 23 youth baseball/softball • 400 community visitors events each week

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Athletic News

Brown Makes History Corey Brown made Thiel wrestling history this season by becoming the program’s first three-time All-American. His eighth-place finish at the national tournament makes him a perfect three-for-three on Division III wrestling’s biggest stage, giving him the rare opportunity to shoot for a fourth award next season. Some of Thiel’s best wrestlers weren’t able to accomplish this feat. The list includes high school state champions, wrestlers who earned All-American status early on in their career but weren’t able to do it consistently, and others with talent that couldn’t put it all together when the pressure was on. It takes more than skill to succeed at the national tournament. Gifted talent combined with extra workouts and going the extra mile in and out of the practice room certainly helps, but even that doesn’t guarantee a spot on the podium. “It seems like you work so hard all year and it comes down to two days. You have to be ready for that weekend,” Brown said. His weekend in LaCrosse, Wis., started off well. Wrestling as the sixth seed in the 133-pound bracket, Brown opened the tournament with a 4-2 win over Cornell College’s Tigue Snider. His hopes of becoming Thiel wrestling’s first national champion ended in the next round when he was pinned—something that has happened very few times in his career with the Tomcats—by thirdseeded Seth Ecker of Ithaca College. The loss in the quarterfinals put Brown into the consolation bracket and to the most pressurepacked round of the tournament, with the exception of the championship finals. The second round of the wrestlebacks is a must-win as it’s the difference between All-American status or being an also-ran. It’s a round he had yet to lose in and still hasn’t after holding on to beat Matt Holmes of Loras College 5-3. He would lose both of his next two matches to finish eighth, hardly a poor performance considering the competition. Most wrestlers would be ecstatic to finish off a season as the eighth best in Division III. But for someone like Brown, who had already accomplished so much in a short period of time, the result was short of his ultimate goal. “Being an All-American again eases the disappointment,” Brown said. “I think being a three-time All-American is something I’ll be happy about 10 to 15 years down the road, but right now I’m still a little upset with my performance.” 24

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He says he is trying not to let that disappointment take anything away from what he considers his best season yet. He posted a record of 26-5, won his first Midwest Regional title and was ranked as high as second in the nation. If anything, not meeting his goal will probably just drive him to push himself to the limit this offseason in preparation for his senior year, the same way it did after last year’s eighthplace showing and the way it did after a sixth-place finish as a freshman made him realize a national title was a possibility. Brown has few weaknesses on the mat. He is rarely outmatched on his feet and is usually able to escape from the bottom with ease. Physically, he has all the tools to beat anyone put in front of him at the Division III level. “We’ve talked about being more confident, having a little more swagger. Wrestling is a sport where you have to be mentally prepared for every match,“ Brown said. “I think if I would have wrestled to my top potential I could have placed in the top four.” As it turns out, he ran into the eventual national champion in that second match. Ecker went on to beat fourth-seeded Mike McInally of Rochester Institute of Technology in the finals, which just goes to show seeds can be deceiving in the postseason. If all goes well, it will be Brown making the run toward a national title next season. —Matt Jackson

A Season for the Record Books

It didn’t have the picture-perfect ending they hoped for once the postseason started, but the 2010-2011 Thiel’s men’s basketball season was still one to remember. The team finished 20-7 to set a program record for wins in a season, racking up statistics and accolades along the way. In his fifth season at Thiel, head coach Tim Loomis led the Tomcats to a 12-1 mark at home. They finished a perfect 10-0 at Beeghly Gymnasium during the regular season and didn’t lose at home until the Presidents’ Athletic Conference (PAC) championship game. The Tomcats won the conference regular season title and were ranked as high as fifth in the Great Lakes Region. For his efforts Loomis was tabbed by his fellow PAC peers as the Coach of the Year. Sophomore Blair Rozenblad was selected as the PAC Player of the Year and was named first team all-region by the National Association of Basketball Coaches. Joining him on the PAC first team was senior point guard Devon Adams. Rozenblad led the conference in rebounding, pulling down 9.6 per game as a guard. He also finished third in the PAC in scoring (15.4) and fifth in steals (1.85). Adams finished first in the conference in assists per game (5.85), eighth in free throw percentage (.727) and ninth in steals (1.56). He also became the College’s eighth 1,000-point scorer on Feb. 16 with a 10 point, 12 rebound effort in an 86-85 win over Thomas More. Adams is the first Thiel player to reach 1,000 points since Joe Herrmann ’08, who scored 1,520 points between 2004 and 2008. The Tomcats had winning streaks of eight and six games during the season. They had great success against Division III opponents as three of their losses came to Division II foes, giving them a 20-4 mark against teams in Division III. The Tomcats finished as the conference’s top rebounding team and were second in scoring defense.

All of the above is exactly why the top-seeded Tomcats had to be the heavy favorite heading into the conference tournament, shooting for the team’s first ever automatic bid to the NCAA Championships. After beating Waynesburg by double-digits in the quarterfinals and doing the same to Thomas More in the semifinals, Thiel was right where everyone expected it to be, playing for the conference title. But, poor free throw shooting by the Tomcats and some clutch shots down the stretch by Bethany College gave the Bison the win and the automatic bid. The news got even worse for the Tomcats just days later when they found out they didn’t receive an at-large bid to the national tournament, putting an abrupt end to a great season. An early loss to Allegheny in the season may have cost Thiel an at-large bid, but the case still could have been made for the Tomcats to make the tournament. In addition to almost half of their losses coming to Division II opponents, they dominated conference play all season and had a big road win over La Roche, which ended up as a conference champion and a No. 1 ranking in its region. The Tomcats will return all but one player from one of the most exciting teams to watch in the region. The crowd was always treated with a show, ranging from dunks by Aundra Jones, Rozenblad always finding his way to the hoop or Adams’ threading the needle with passes inside. Only one starter, senior Lance Randall, will be lost. He was one of the most consistent players on the team, averaging 9.8 points and 4.3 rebounds. Randall started 26 of 27 games this season. Look for the Tomcats to pick up right where they left off last year, hopefully with a happier ending. —Matt Jackson

The Bell • Spring 2011


Athletic News

A Tomcat Looks Back During this school year, I had to make one of the hardest decisions of my life. The opportunity to graduate early came knocking on my door. With overloading my credits every semester and taking summer courses last year, I put myself an entire semester ahead. After talking with faculty and administrators, I decided to intern in Washington, D.C. for fall 2011 and then head out to the real world instead of returning to Thiel for spring semester. This decision could change my life forever. Receiving a job offer after D.C. is highly possible, but I wasn’t sure if it was worth risking everything for my senior year. When pondering this decision it wasn’t the major events I was going to miss—Homecoming, basketball season, Greek week, concerts, the Black & White Affair and the Fairwell Festival; it was the little things. It brings tears to my eyes knowing that I may never be walking up the Academic Center stairs or through the HMSC again. It’s heartbreaking to think about the life that I’m leaving behind. It’s the comfort of having my best friend live across the hall and a teammate right next to me. It’s the miracle of being friends with people you never would have expected. It’s a senior basketball season that will never happen and a family who will never come to Saturday games. Tears fill my eyes when I think of all I’m giving up. Many have questioned my decision. Why leave a place you love so much? Thiel doesn’t last forever; for anyone. Some may be running from the future, taking minimum credits so they can be here forever. Others may just be here for the ride, staying here for four years and doing what they should. I want to give myself the opportunity to succeed in a struggling economy. It’s not about the money, cars, 26

The Bell • Spring 2011

houses or being a city girl. What I have at Thiel will never go away. I may not be on campus, but I have learned who my friends are and who I am during this three-year journey. The journey has not been easy by any means, but it has been well worth it. My last weeks were filled with an array of different emotions. I sometimes find myself wondering where I’ll be in 10 years, what city I’ll be living in and what friends are still going to be around. I even find myself wondering if I’ll ever miss the 10-minute hike up Brother Martin’s Walk in five-degree weather with boots Top: Gabrelcik on the court in her final that aren’t waterproof. season. Right: Gabrelcik as a first-year student-athlete. Sadly, I will miss the time spent in the locker life. The blood, sweat and tears room, the two-hour practices that over the past three years are what so often went to three and the I will remember most about my long bus rides. In my years as a intercollegiate athletic career. student-athlete at Thiel College, I’ll never have my name in the I’ve learned a lesson that will stick record book, or be inducted into with me forever—there is always a the Hall of Fame; in fact, I’ve only bigger picture. started one game out of 56, but I Intercollegiate athletic careers learned that’s not everything. The never go according to plan and are lessons and memories that have nothing like those in high school. helped me grow as person will I may not have been the leading finally be put to the test. One thing rebounder or scorer and I never I know for sure—Thiel College has broke 1,000 points, but I learned taught me what I need to succeed that it’s okay. My team needed and I will carry that with me me in other areas than statistics. everywhere I go. To be named captain of the Thiel —Nina Gabrelcik ’11 women’s basketball team was one of the greatest accomplishments I’ve ever experienced. To be able Editor’s Note: Gabrelcik wrote an to lead my team on and off the article, “Thoughts from a First-Year court, silently and vocally, by Athlete,” in the fall 2008 issue of The showing rationality and patience Bell about her first year at Thiel. was something I dreamed of She graduated in May 2011 with a doing. What I have learned over degree in media communications/ time by being a student-athlete communication studies. will be seen in every facet of my

Tomcat Post-Season Round Up This year, Thiel had numerous quality post-season performances by both teams and individuals: MEN’S GOLF Matt Fiore (Irwin, Pa./Penn-Trafford) finished in a four-way tie for fourth at the Presidents’ Athletic Conference Men’s Golf Championships, earning the Tomcats’ first all-conference honor since Lucas Munson ’06 made the first team in 2006. Fiore entered the second day in second place after carding an opening-round 74. His second round score of 79 gave him a two-day total of 153, good enough for first team all-PAC honors. Thomas More’s Brandon Dulle won conference MVP honors with a 148, topping second-place Tyler Fewell of Grove City by one stroke. Waynesburg’s Colin Wilson was third with a 152 while Thomas More’s Jake Bowman, Saint Vincent’s Steve Fiori and Washington & Jefferson’s Colin Izzo tied with Fiore in fourth. As a team Thiel continued its solid play from round one, tallying a second-round total of 317 to go along with a 312 in the first round. Combining that with the team’s fall scores, the Tomcats finished sixth in the event at 1,299. The final standings don’t quite indicate how well the Tomcats played in the spring portion of the event. Their scores on the final 36 holes were third best overall and a 41-stroke improvement over their performance in the fall. Matt Christian (Glenshaw, Pa./Shaler Area) finished just outside of the top 10, taking 11th with a 158. Finishing in the top 20 for the Tomcats in the 41-golfer field were Bryan Smith (Franklin, Pa./Franklin) (15th), Matt Graham (Clymer, N.Y./ Sherman Central) (18th) and Mike Deems (New Brighton, Pa./New Brighton) (20th). TRACK & FIELD Bobby Hritz (Parma Heights, Ohio/North Royalton) captured the individual title in the men’s high jump, highlighting the efforts of the Thiel College track and field squad at the 2011 Presidents’ Athletic Conference Track & Field Championship at Bethany College’s Bison Stadium. The Thiel men finished seventh with 36 points while the women placed sixth with three. The Tomcats finished with four all-PAC performers (finished in top three). Hritz’s winning jump of 6-2 was two inches better than second-place finishers Ken Barrows of Bethany and Shane Peterson of Westminster. He also added to a terrific day by finishing third in the 110-meter high hurdles (16.61).

Ethan Rowe (Fairmont City, Pa./Redbank Valley) notched a second-place finish in the 400-meter dash with a time of 50.27. Richard Peterson (Meadville, Pa./Meadville) also claimed a second-place finish, finishing with a time of 15:15.69 in the 5,000-meter run. MEN’S VOLLEYBALL The Thiel College men’s volleyball finished second in the MidwestIII Championships held at Beeghly Gymnasium. Fourth-ranked Carthage defeated the Tomcats by scores of 25-19, 25-20, and 25-21 respectively. Offensively, the Tomcats were led by sophomore Dante McCoy (Reading, Pa., Holy Name) who registered 12 kills on the day. Freshman Corey Hamilton (Meadville, Pa., Maplewood) also played well as he added 29 assists for Thiel. Defensively, the Tomcats (10-20) were led by Jacob Schultz (Cochranton, Pa., Cochranton) who registered 15 digs for the game. In only their first season, the Tomcats advanced to the finals with a big upset over Milwaukee School of Engineering in the semifinals. MSOE was the returning conference champion. MEN’S TENNIS Brad Schell (Linesville, Pa./Conneaut) went 1-2 at sixth singles at the Presidents’ Athletic Conference Men’s Tennis Championships, becoming the team’s first placewinner after the College resinstated the program this season. Schell, the fourth seed, advanced to the semifinals with a 7-5, 6-1 win over fifth-seeded Brian Felker of Washington & Jefferson. He was defeated 6-1, 6-4 by Grove City’s top-seeded Stephen Harrison, dropping him into the consolation final match, where he took on second-seeded Brad Thomas of Westminster. Schell played well in his final match of the tournament, but fell in a nail biter, losing to Thomas in three sets, 6-1, 4-6, 7-5, and placing fourth in the competition.

The Bell • Spring 2011


Alumni News

Alumni Share Professional Experience with Business Students Each spring, Thiel hosts the Senior Business Honors Seminar series, providing an opportunity for some of the College’s top business students to meet and interact with alumni and friends of the College who have enjoyed distinguished careers in the corporate and foundation worlds. The 2011 business seminar presenters included: • George “Chip” Dufala ’92, executive vice president, services, Erie Insurance Group (pictured with Thiel business students) • Stefen Boehringer ’09, financial associate, Thrivent Financial for Lutherans • Ron Owen ’71, senior relationship executive, First American • John Thigpen ’86, general manager, ILSCO Extrusions, Inc. • Sandra Parker ’81, retired vice president, PNC Bank • Gary Witosky ’79, professor, Thiel College • Joe Roosa ’80, president, Roosa Corporation • Rich Parker ’82, professional sales representative, Lunesta • John Logan ’65, fiscal administrator, Mercer County • Ken Eves ’71, senior vice president, MorganStanley SmithBarney • Joe Scarpitti ’80, senior vice president, American Funds • Michael Gillis ’82, managing partner, Davenport, Marvin, Joyce & Co. LLP To read student quotes about their evenings with the Honors Business Seminar speakers, visit the Thiel Web site at If you are interested in possibly participating in the Senior Business Seminar, or are interested in other opportunities to present to current students, please contact Mario Marini ’91, director of special gifts & planned giving, at 724-589-2022 or 28

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What is the Alumni Board of Directors? A group of alumni dedicated to Thiel and advancing its mission, the Alumni Board is comprised of 21 directors, who serve up to two consecutive threeyear terms. The current roster represents graduating classes from the 1950s to 2007 as well as diverse geographic areas, interests and career disciplines (see page 33 for roster). A few of the board’s projects and current priorities are: Development Committee: Exploring special event fundraising and doing President’s Challenge outreach (it’s a close competition!); Communications Committee: Focusing on the Class Agent program and discussing how to enhance and change it to better reach alumni; Nominations & Awards Committee: Has chosen the alumni award winners for 2011 (see page 31) and is now welcoming nominations for the 2012 alumni awards. Enrollment Committee: Assisting with New Student Registration Days as well as making calls and outreach to new students in home geographic regions to welcome them to the Thiel family; Career Services Committee: Partnering with current Career Services events such as the WestPACS job fair and exploring other avenues to train current students and provide networking opportunities for both students and alumni. The Alumni Board meets four times annually on campus. See page 30 for 2011-2012 meeting dates. Additionally, board members are at the Alumni Tent for every home football game, Homecoming and at all regional alumni events. Why should you get involved? Thiel is a remarkable place, and it will continue to grow and thrive through the support and involvement of alumni. We share input with campus administrators, partner with campus offices and engage in dialogue to realize meaningful ways for our fellow alumni to stay connected to Thiel. How can you help? We will be sending a survey via e-mail to all Thiel alumni in June. Please respond and share with us your thoughts, feedback and suggestions on how we can better reach and engage our alumni. We want to know what you think! For more information about the Alumni Board, or to express your interest in getting involved, contact Lauren Oman, director of alumni services, at

Spring 2011 Alumni Events



3 Alumni and friends gathered together during a Thiel tour of the western states in January. Many thanks to our generous alumni hosts: (1) Tom ’59 and Lynn ’63 West (Orange County, Calif.), (2) Ken ’57 and Joyce Bash (Scottsdale, Ariz.), (3) Connie Hutzell ’59 (Dallas), and (4) Dr. Charles Inacker ’58 (Palm Springs, Calif.). 5. Also part of the western tour was a stop in Houston, Texas. Thanks to those who attended! 6: Thiel alumni gathered at South Hills Country Club in Pittsburgh for an alumni event hosted by John ’74 and Deborah ’76 Wotus. 7: On Feb. 5, Thiel celebrated Alumni Basketball Day. The festivities included an alumni game, a luncheon event and, following the Tomcat vs. Waynesburg games, a post-game party for alums.

5 1




8: Alumni returned to campus for February’s Black & White Affair, Thiel’s winter ball. Here, Dr. Shawn Brooks ’82 enjoys some memories with Dr. Bill Robinson. 9: Alumni and friends in the Chicago area shared an evening together hosted by Dr. Fred ’76 and Barbara Luchette in Burr Ridge, Ill.


9 The Bell • Spring 2011


Alumni News

Philadelphia Alumni Event May 24, 6-8 p.m. International Institute for Culture Ivy Hall, Philadelphia, Pa. Hosts: John ’66 & Martha ’67 Haas

Washington, D.C. Alumni Event May 25, 6-8 p.m. Congressional Country Club, Bethesda, Md. Hosts: Edward ’72 & Ann Bartko

Chautauqua Institution Alumni Event & Symphony Orchestra July 23 4-6 p.m.: Reception for Thiel alumni and friends 6:15 p.m.: Pre-concert talk featuring Jim Cunningham ’77 of WQED Pittsburgh 8:15 p.m.: Chautauqua Institution Symphony Orchestra

Homecoming 2011 Sept. 23-25

Pittsburgh Golf Outing & Alumni Event Oct. 29 12:15 p.m.: Tee time (optional) 4-6 p.m.: Alumni reception Treesdale Country Club, Gibsonia, Pa.

Upcoming Alumni Events

Thiel Network Nights November: Dates TBA Pittsburgh, Erie & Cleveland Join fellow alumni in your city for an evening of networking and socializing. Stay tuned for details!

Alumni Board Meeting Dates 2011-2012 Sept. 23, 2011 Nov. 12, 2011 Feb. 11, 2012 April 21, 2012

Winter Ball 2012 Feb. 11, 2012 Save the date for the winter’s most exciting evening at Thiel—the second annual Winter Ball!

Contact Director of Alumni Services Lauren Oman at or 724-589-2042 with questions or to RSVP for alumni events. Visit for more information about events as they are released or for any updates to this schedule.

Honor Roll of Generosity Our alumni, friends and supporters received the annual Honor Roll of Generosity for 2009-2010 in December 2010 along with the 2011 Thiel Calendar. We anticipate next year’s Honor Roll publication will be online only, saving the College printing costs and allowing the College Advancement Office to make instant updates as necessary. The Honor Roll of Generosity currently can be found online as a PDF file at (click on the “Updated Honor Roll of Generosity” link on the left of the page). Many thanks to all those who support the efforts of Thiel and the needs of our students!


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Alumni to Receive Awards During Homecoming 2011 Thiel’s Alumni Board chooses a group of Thiel alumni to honor at Homecoming each year who have brought pride to themselves, their families and their alma mater. This distinguished group of alumni has truly made a mark in their professional lives, dedicated themselves to service to the world and demonstrated their love of Thiel College. Please join us on Sept. 23-25, 2011, during Homecoming Weekend to celebrate their achievements and more. Distinguished Alumni Distinguished Alumni honorees are nominated for outstanding contributions to their professions. Congratulations to this year’s winners!

Career Services is here for you Thiel’s Office of Career Services provides a variety of free resources to alumni, and we encourage you to take advantage of the following services: Graduate school preparation Online career seminars One-on-one career counseling

Mark Funkhouser ’71, former mayor of Kansas City, Mo.

Barbara (Lopez) Kunz ’79, president of the health & life sciences global business at Battelle Memorial Institute

Service to Thiel Service to Thiel winners are nominated for their loyalty, service and devotion to Thiel. Thank you for all you do for Thiel.

Resume and cover letter preparation Practice interviews Job postings Career fairs For more information, contact Heather Balas, director of career services, at 724-589-2014 or to take advantage of these services.

Lucy ’72 and Dr. James Shaffer, retired nurse and Thiel professor of psychology respectively

Knute Hamre ’58, retired account manager, Travelers Insurance

Young Alumni Young alumni awardees are nominated for their potential for future accomplishments in their professions and service to the College. Brett Stedman ’04, attorney with Ekker, Kuster, McConnell & Epstein, LLP

Career Services is always looking for alumni who can provide career & internship opportunities for our students. Contact Heather Balas for more information.

The Bell • Spring 2011


S P rofile


D istinction :

Susan Snowden

You were nominated to the Board of trustees by the wv/wmd synod. why is service on the board important to you as a lutheran? Thiel has a rich heritage of faith-based education, which originated at its inception. When Rev. Dr. William Passavant and Louis Thiel met in 1866 at the Lutheran Church Pittsburgh Synod convention in Greensburg, Pa., an affiliation began between the church and the College. This tradition continues today and Lutheran Synods have representatives to the Board, which allows trustees such as me to donate their time, talent and treasure to furthering the mission of the College. Although I may not be an alum, I am a Lutheran that believes in educating students in their career and personal lives. What is your career or life philosophy? I believe that if you work hard and always try to do the right thing you can achieve any goal. Your business philosophy should mirror that of your personal life. Integrity and ethics are important factors in life and, above all, I try to see all sides to an issue and be fair. I always try to lead by example and will not ask someone to perform a task that I would not, or could not, do myself. I have always involved my family in my business life so that they had a clear understanding of what I do and who I am. A demanding career does not mean that you do not have time for your family, friends or community.

you are very active in community, board and volunteer activities, why do you feel that service is important in your life? God has blessed me with unique abilities and has allowed me to be a success in the legal profession. Because of that, I give back in my professional and personal life. The Bible says, “For everyone to whom much is given, of him shall much be required” (Luke 12:48). I live my life by that verse. No matter what your station in life, you always have something that you can give—even if it is just a kind word or gesture. Our treasures are not our own, they belong to God and he allows us to steward those gifts for the greater good. My family believes this and we have taught our children to donate their time and talent to others as well. what do you feel is the value of a liberal arts education like that which thiel provides? A liberal arts education creates a well-rounded individual. I know many lawyers who are musicians, artists, writers and true craftsmen. Most of them are a product of a liberal arts education. Your career knowledge is tantamount to your professional success. Your education in many paths of knowledge is fundamental to your evolution into a well-rounded person. I believe that knowledge is power, and you should never stop learning. The art class you dread as a freshman may very well inspire you later in life to visit museums when traveling on business in another city. I graduated from a liberal arts school and believe it has made me a multi-dimensional person who can try a case during the week and cook a gourmet meal or scrapbook a photo display of a vacation, and always on Sunday provide music for our worship service. what is your favorite aspect of being part of the Thiel college community? I have met many quality individuals at Thiel, and count many as friends. Each year brings new opportunities to meet new people, contribute to new goals and further Thiel’s commitment to educate tomorrow’s leaders. why would you recommend that a prospective student take a look at thiel college? Thiel College is the perfect-size college for a student who wants to grow academically and personally. Faculty and staff at Thiel provide the perfect environment to experience new things. Whether it is going to your first professional sporting event in Pittsburgh, or a museum, or the Nation’s Capitol…Thiel offers you the opportunity to grow. I believe in Thiel and that is borne out by the fact that my son is a current student at Thiel. Susan Snowden is a shareholder and attorney at Martin & Seibert, L.C., and practices in the area of insurance law with an emphasis on class action defense of employment and insurance-related claims. She also serves as a fiduciary commissioner for Berkeley County, W.Va. Snowden earned her law degree from Ohio Northern University and her bachelor’s degree from Shepherd College. She and her husband, Bradley, live in Inwood, W.Va. Their son, John, is a member of the Thiel Class of 2013. 32

The Bell • Spring 2011

Meet the Boards

Officers for the Board of Trustees are, from left, Edward A. Bartko ’72, Chair; Mark A. Benninghoff ’82, Vice Chair; David R. Andrews ’63, Treasurer; Susan R. Snowden, Esq., Secretary

Board of Trustees Officers: Edward A. Bartko ’72, Chair Mark A. Benninghoff ’82, Vice Chair David R. Andrews ’63, Treasurer Susan R. Snowden, Secretary Dr. Troy D. VanAken, Ex-Officio Dr. Frank Baker* Dr. Robert O. Blomquist H’99* Dr. Robert D. Burns ’74 Lewis (Lou) P. Carbone ’71 Dr. Jonathan P. Caulkins Jason Chappell ’96 Connie L. Danko ’69 Ronald Doerr George “Chip” Dufala ’92 Rev. Brian Evans ’03 Dr. Alan F. Fager ’69 John R. Frangakis Joseph A. George Rev. Dr. David P. Gleason Fred Haer ’65 Dr. Carl A. Hoffman Jr. ’69, H’10 John Hudson Rick Huether ’74 Dr. Charles Inacker ’58* Dr. Glen R. Johnson H’88* Rev. Kurt F. Kusserow ’85 Dr. James McHugh ’62, H’02* Steven D. Mechling Catherine V. Mott Barbara Nakles* Ronald W. Owen ’71 Donald R. Owrey ’89 Dr. James Pedas ’50, H’89* William E. Phillips ’54 Joseph D. Scarpitti ’80 Dr. M. Roy Strausbaugh Dr. Sarah Taylor-Rogers ’69 John L. Vitale ’47, H’90* Miles Wallace Dr. Howard J. Weyers ’56, H’11* Rod Wilt ’86

Elaine M. Woloshyn ’74 John E. Zawacki ’71 *Emeriti

Board of Associates Glen Augustine John M. Barr ’70 James D. Bittel Jr. ’60 Dale W. Deist Robert C. Denove ’75 William G. Hansmann ’50 Troy J. Harper ’91 Thomas W. Hodge ’50 Jean (Bartholomew) Hodge ’50 David L. Hofius ’64 Dr. Cara Hoehn Lapic ’92 Dr. William Lenz ’75 Cris Loutzenhiser Sue A. Nicklin Lee Ann Nucerino ’87 William V. Parker ’75 Leo M. Phillips ’84 Glenn C. Riley Paul H. Saternow ’71 Joseph D. Simko Dr. Peter C. Sotus John E. Thigpen ’86 Jeffrey A. Wallace The Hon. Roy W. Wilt ’59, H’85 Elaine M. Woloshyn ’74

Chuck Goodrick ’74 Amy Hackman ’98 Melanie (Cragg) Horvath ’06 Rae (Weiss) Johnson ’59 Joseph T. Nairn ’79 Pam Achenbach Novak ’03 Dr. Kylee Quarterson ’98 Dawn Salter ’95 Dr. Christopher Shinkman ’62 Ronald Shoemaker ’63 Richard Simpkins ’68 Paul Stibich ’05 John A. Wotus ’74

Thiel Family Council Gwen Martino, Chair Joseph & Norma Bailey Gil & Marge Dolinar The Rev. Ralph & Brigid Edwards Ted Fiore Kathy Henry Dale & Leisel Lengyel Eric & Carla Magnone Sharon Schneider John & Kathy ’74 Sourbeer John & Jane Tell Jeanne Travaglianti Ron & Jennifer Woody

Alumni Board Officers: Raymond Hanlon ’74, President James McRoberts ’58, Vice President David Hollenbaugh Jr. ’66, Past President Mary (Davis) Baden ’83 Dr. Shawn Brooks ’82 Gil Dolinar ’07 Audra (Schell) Ganiear ’93 Al Gesler III ’90

The Bell • Spring 2011


Class Notes 1950s WILLIAM S. LEFES ’51 is active with the Rotary Club in Cary, N.C., and was asked to be on Rotary’s Humanitarian Grants Cadre as a technical adviser. He also restores antique tractors.

NANCY J. HOLCOMB ’74 accepted a position as special assistant to the president of Thiel College. She relocated to the Greenville area after 22 years at Gannon University in Erie, Pa., and is delighted to be back on campus.

DEBORAH A. WEIBLE ’84 is celebrating the 20th anniversary of her company, GeoEnvironmental Drilling Company, Inc., which formed in 1991. The company provides environmental and geotechnical drilling services in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia. She lives in Pittsburgh.

1960s REBECCA SUZAN SUKLE ’65 published her second historical novel about the early years of organized labor in western Pennsylvania, “Blood on the Constitution,” which is available from Amazon.

1970s PATRICIA A. KELLEY ’70 retired in May 2010 after 17 years working in the federal government (U.S. Air Force and U.S. Army civilian in Ohio and Virginia) and 19 years with the MITRE Corporation in McLean, Va. She and her husband, David Daniel, also moved from Falls Church, Va., to Strasburg, Va. REVEREND CARL E. KRAMER ’70 is now the president of the Wahoo Area Kiwanis Club in Wahoo, Neb. Kramer is the pastor of Bethlehem Lutheran Church.


pCAROL PARKER ’75 and a group of alumni from the 1970s gathered in Philadelphia in March to celebrate the birthday of Mike “Mudd” Sauter ’73. Pictured clockwise from left are: Ellen ’75 & Sid Kohr ’75; Deb ’75 (Reeher) & Ken Zgraggen; John “Greek” ’74 & Sue Dertouzos; Carol Parker ’75; Mike Sauter ’73; George “Pie” Schuler ’75; Kevin O’Brien ’75; Bill “Bunky” Parker ’75; Barbie Swab ’76; Amy ’75 & Tim “Zeff” Zeffiro ’77; and Kim O’Brien.

SUSAN L. (ROKICKI) ZAJACS ’88 was promoted to chief operating officer of Benefit Coordinators Corporation in June 2010 where she has been employed since 1997. She lives in Cranberry Township, Pa., with her husband and son.


MICHAEL ZAWOYSKY ’79 was named chief executive of Shoe Sensation Inc., a regional chain of family shoe stores.

JENNIFER L. GRUMBLING ’97 is now living in Palm Harbor, Fla., with her family. If anyone would like information on her new e-mail and home address, please contact the Alumni Services Office.



BRET L. MARVIN ’81 is the manager of the Cattaraugus County One Stop Career Center and a 2009 graduate of “Leadership Cattaraugus,” a developmental resource for agencies and organizations to access emerging leaders. He was named to the Olean Community Schools Advisory Board in Olean, N.Y. He lives in Allegany, N.Y., with his wife and two sons.

CLYDE MORGAN ’00 is head track & field coach at Wabash College and earned the 2011 North Coast Athletic Conference Men’s Indoor Track & Field Coach of the Year award. Wabash and Morgan claimed their first conference title at the 2011 indoor championship.

qDENISE MUHA ’81 and other Alpha pROBERT D. CRUTCHFIELD ’71 had the opportunity to meet President Obama at the University of Washington campus in October 2010. His daughter is deputy assistant to President Obama and director of scheduling and advance. TERRY B. DUVALL ’72 and his wife, Anita, are completing a two-year contract with the Singapore International School in Binh Duong, north of Ho Chi Minh City. Duvall writes, “It has been a fabulous way to end a career of teaching around the world. We have been in Zambia, China, the Bahamas and now Vietnam. We are both thinking that it is time to hang up the textbooks.”


The Bell • Spring 2011

Gamma Delta alumnae met in October 2010 to reminisce about their college days. Pictured from the top left: TERRI BOWSER ’81, KAREN FISK RENNER ’81, LISA WALKER ’82, BARBARA WILSON

pHEATHER M. (ACHENBACH) BALAS ’01 celebrated 60 years of Chi Omega at Thiel with current members and alumnae on Dec. 4, 2010. A presentation started the activities, followed by the sisters and alumnae singing “Shades” together, a song that chapter members traditionally sing to say goodbye to one another. Other alumnae in attendance were Maggie Babinka ’08 (not pictured), Ashley Nanz ’08, Shelby Spence ’06, Abby Steidl ’10, Jen Caldararo ’10, Amber

Class Notes Trimbur ’09, Amberlee Mullet ’10, Haley Pickard ’10, Sara Wise Steffens ’04 and Ellen Greis ’09. TREVOR OKONAK ’04 and seven Swissvale, Pa., police officers were honored by a proclamation by the Allegheny County chief executive and vice president of Allegheny County Council for their efforts in apprehending a homicide suspect and cracking down on narcotics in the county. RACHEL KICK ’06 accepted a position as a project coordinator for 84 Lumber Co. ANGELA P. BOWE ’08 of Erie, Pa., received her physical therapy assistant license in December 2010 and took a position at HealthSouth Rehab Hospital in April. She also has been installed as vice president of T.O.P.S. (Taking Off Pounds Sensibly), an organization focused on losing weight through portion control, healthy eating and positive encouragement.

AMY HOLZSHU ’06 to JONATHAN HOWSON ’06 on July 10, 2010. Amy is a fifth grade teacher at Townville Elementary School and Jonathan is assistant manager at Southern Finance. The couple currently resides in South Carolina.

Marriages LORA THUNELL ’75 to Peter Lekos, D.M.D., in April 2010 in Coconut Creek, Fla., at Butterfly World. The couple resides in Belleville, N.J. Lora was 2009-2010 president of New Jersey College Health and Environmental Safety Society. She has been a professor of biology and chemistry at County College of Morris, is a certified pharmacy technician, is on the County Medical Reserve Corp. and is certified in OSHA and hazardous waste operations.

STEPHANIE M. (HILLS) WILSON ’04 to Joseph L. Wilson IV on June 5, 2010 at St. Michael’s Catholic Church in Greenville, Pa. The reception was held in the Lutheran Heritage Room at Thiel. Since September 2009, Wilson has been an admissions counselor at the College. The couple resides in Greenville.

STEPHANI DAY ’05 to STEPHEN HULEC ’02 on Oct. 16, 2010 in Cleveland, Ohio. Stephani monitors clinical trials and Steve is a sales manager for Sherwin Williams. The couple resides in Lakewood, Ohio.

Births To WILLIAM G. MUNSTER ’95 and his wife, Robin: a son, Aiden Garret, on Jan. 31. He joins siblings Andrew, Alec, Aaron and Abby. Munster is controller at Avid Solutions Inc., in Winston-Salem, N.C. The family resides in Clemmons, N.C. To DAMEN TAYLOR ’95 and his wife, Sara: a daughter, Violet Lynn, on Jan. 20. She joins siblings Lillianne, James and Gabrielle. To KERRY DREIBELBIS ’97 and his wife, Sarah: a daughter, Emma Elizabeth, on Nov. 20, 2010. Dreibelbis works in Penn State Harrisburg’s Food and Housing Department. The family lives in Elizabethtown, Pa.

MELISSA G. (LEWIS) KEEBLER ’00 to Joshua Keebler on Nov. 13, 2010. They reside in Harrisburg, Pa. To DAVID SCARLETTO ’99 and his wife, Nikea: a daughter, Miabella Anne-Marie, on Nov. 24, 2010. Scarletto currently works as a teacher for the New Hanover County School District in Wilmington, N.C.

To KATHERINE “KATY” (MUNSTER) TILMANS ’99 and her husband, Eric: a daughter, Paige Louise, on Sept. 3, 2010.

The Bell • Spring 2011


Class Notes GRACE B. McMILLEN-ROSENBERGER ’38 of Rural Valley, Pa., on July 12, 2010, at age 95. PHILIP HINTZ ’39 on June 6, 2010, at age 93. FLOYD M. DEAN ’40 of Wesley Chapel, Fla., on Oct. 21, 2010. PAUL M. SHERWOOD ’40 of Lancaster, Pa., on Jan. 10, at age 92. CARL JEFFREY GOLDEN ’40 of Cambridge Springs, Pa., on Dec. 22, 2010, at age 93. LENNE A. LOGAN ’41 formerly of Greenville, Pa., on Oct. 1, 2010, at age 91. LILLIAN BLOOMBERG ’44 of Hermitage, Pa., on Feb. 4, at age 87. LORRAINE HALL ’48 of Meadville, Pa., on March 14, at age 82. SARA B. FACKLER STOLLFUS ’48 of Arlington Heights, Ill., on Jan. 19. She is survived by her niece, ELAINE (FACKLER) ROLLER ’63, among others. CECIL H. CLINTON ’50 of Humble, Texas, on Nov. 13, 2010, at age 85. Pictured clockwise from lower left: Karalyn Rose, daugther of CHERYL FISCHER ’02; DAMEN TAYLOR ’95 with his children Lillianne, James, Gabrielle and newborn Violet Lynn; Lylliana, daughter of LYNDSEY (HATHAWAY) ’03 and WARREN LOVE ’01; Colton Joseph, son of Antonio Quarterman ’08. To ANN A. (MEHLER) DUNLAVEY ’00 and her husband, Kevin: a daughter, Hanna Adelle, on Jan. 6. To MELISSA D. KERNEY ’00 and her husband, Scott: a daughter, Hope, on April 26, 2010. She joins siblings Ezra and Silas. Kerney is a project manager for the Timken Company. The family resides in Uniontown, Ohio. To CHERYL FISCHER ’02 and her husband, Jason: a daughter, Karalyn Rose, on Oct. 7, 2010. The family resides in Wexford, Pa. To LYNDSEY (HATHAWAY) LOVE ’03 and her husband, WARREN LOVE ’01: a daughter, Lylliana, on April 14, 2010. Lyndsey is the assistant principal of Dickson Elementary School in Swissvale, Pa. Warren is a field manager with ADS Environmental Services. To KATIE M. (SLATCOFF) MATKO ’03: a daughter, Julia Marie, on Feb. 26. She joins a brother, Ryan Jeffrey. To CARI (BROWN) HARMON ’04: a daughter, Allana Marie, on Jan. 19. She joins brothers, Brennan Michael and Daniel James. 36

The Bell • Spring 2011

To LESA (COOPER) SHANNON ’05 and her husband, NICHOLAS SHANNON ’04: a daughter, Sylvia Quinn, on July 6, 2010. Nicholas is a fourth grade teacher in Hampton City Schools and Lesa is a stayat-home mom. They live in Hampton, Va.

In Memoriam LOIS E. (ZELLEFROW) REED ’27 on April 25, 2010, at age 104. DOROTHY KLAIBER ’33 of Camp Hill, Pa., on Oct. 26, 2010. ADELE D. (DICKE) LIBURDI ’53 of South Pymatuning Township, Pa., on March 21, at age 80. EDGAR J. SNYDER ’35 of West Salem, Pa., on Nov. 25, 2010, at age 97. HILDA C. (SCHENKER) ANDERSON ’36 of Carpinteria, Calif., on Oct. 21, 2010, at age 95. ROBERT “FRANK” W. OBENAUF ’37 on Nov. 27, 2010.

JAMES E. McDANIEL ’50 of Franklin, Pa., on Aug. 7, 2010, at age 85. MARY A. REGNER ’50 of Palm Coast, Fla., on July 15, 2010, at age 82. JOSEPH TEARE ’50 of Conneaut Lake, Pa., on June 28, 2009, at age 82. REV. RUSSELL H. CHAMPLIN ’51 of Rochester, N.Y., on May 12, 2010. DAVID A. DAHLSTRAND ’52 of Erie, Pa., on Jan. 5, at age 81. DONALD W. MUEHLNICKEL ’52 of Brandon, Fla., on Feb. 7, 2010, at age 79. PETER BISTRANSIN ’52 of Greenville, Pa., on Jan. 17, at age 82. He was a member of the undefeated 1950 football team and was inducted into the Thiel College Athletic Hall of Fame. EDWIN M. BECKER ’53 of Aliquippa, Pa., on Nov. 25, 2010, at age 81. JOAN B. HORSCH ’53 of Abingdon, Va., on Feb. 22, 2010, at age 78. PAUL M. DELAURENTIS ’53 of Greenville, Pa., on Sept. 30, 2010, at age 85. DAVID E. CORNELL ’54 of Sharpsville, Pa., on Nov. 10, 2010, at age 77. He is survived by his wife, DOROTHY CORNELL ’54, among others.

Class Notes MARGARET TAYLOR LEMMON ’54 of Bethlehem, Pa., on Jan. 27, 2011, at age 79. Among others, she is survived by her niece, CELIA PHILLIPS GARLAND ’77, and her great niece, TRACY PHILLIPS ’13. DORTHEA (HUSBAND) MATTHES ’54 of Tampa, Fla., on March 23, at age 78. JAMES WENGER ’55 of Crystal River, Fla., on Oct. 21, 2010, at age 77. JOHN FORBES ’56 of Townson, Md., on Oct. 6, 2010, at age 81. He is survived by his wife, MARGARET McGINNIS FORBES ’56 and sister-in-law, CAROL FORBES ’55. MARJORIE L. RHINEHARDT ’57 of Delray Beach, Fla., on July 12, 2009, at age 73. DONALD B. SNYDER ’60 of Oil City, Pa., on Feb. 18. He is survived by his wife, JUDITH SNYDER ’61.

Dr. William Schreyer WILLIAM SCHREYER H’90, a dedicated friend of Thiel College, passed away on Jan. 22 at the age of 83 after battling a long illness. He is remembered as a compassionate and influential leader with a lifetime commitment to education. Not only did he support Thiel, serving as the lead donor for the Rissell-Schreyer Dome, he also is recognized for donating generously to his alma mater, Penn State University. As the former Merrill Lynch chairman and CEO, he led its transition from a stock brokerage to a diversified global investment bank. The Rissell-Schreyer Dome is named in honor of Schreyer and his great-uncle, Charles D. Rissell 1900, “The Father of Thiel Athletics,” who was an avid supporter of Thiel’s athletic programs. MARGARET SIMMONS ’73 of Cohutta, Ga., on Oct. 13, 2010, at age 59.

CRYSTAL (COCHRAN) PUHALSKY ’94 of Painesville, Ohio, on Jan. 13, at age 38.

PAUL E. SMALIGO ’73 of Irwin, Pa., on March 12, 2010, at age 58.

CHRISTINE J. STALLARD-KLINK ’98 of Bedford, Va., on Oct. 26, 2010 at age 33.

DR. PHILIP C. THOMAS JR. ’66 of Stoneboro, Pa., on Nov. 1, 2010, at age 67.

DAVID C. FIELD ’74 of Mocksville, N.C., on Aug. 25, 2009, at age 57. Among others, he is survived by a brother, JOSEPH FIELD ’74.


EDWIN W. RICHARDSON ’67 of Tionesta, Pa., on March 31, at age 65. He is survived by his wife, KATHLEEN S. “KATIE” MULLIGAN ’74.

RALPH J. VORACEK ’80 of Willoughby Hills, Ohio, on Jan. 19, at age 52.

JACQUELINE (WEISBAKER) CLARK ’63 of New Castle, Pa., on Jan. 7, at age 70. JUDY L. (HARTLEY) GUEDICHE ’65 of Everett, Pa., on Nov. 16, 2010, at age 67.

RANDY RUDISILL ’67 of Ann Arbor, Mich., on Oct. 21, 2010. Among others, he is survived by his father, FRED RUDISILL ’39. SUZANNE M. LYNN ’73 of Pierpont, Ohio, on Aug. 11, 2008, at age 57.

FRANCES S. (RIMOLT) HUEY ’85 of Pittsburgh, on Dec. 8, 2010, at age 48. She is survived by her husband, NEIL S. HUEY ’81. DONALD L. HUMMEL JR. ’90 of Crown Point, Ind., on Jan. 8, at age 43. He is survived by his wife, MELISSA HUMMEL ’91, among others.

ANNE H. THOMAS (“Mrs. T”) of Rancho Mirage, Calif., passed away on Dec. 10, 2010, at age 104. She was Thiel College’s nurse from 1952 to 1967. She is survived by her son, LES G. THOMAS ’56.

Class Notes and Photo Policy n Please send us your news after it has happened. Future events (such as expected births or engagements) are not listed. n News that appears in this issue arrived at the

Alumni Office on or by April 15, 2011. If your news was submitted after that date, it will appear in the next issue. News for Class Notes, Marriages and Births must be reported either by or with the explicit approval of the subject(s). All notes are subject to editing for content, space and style. Photos become the property of the Alumni Office and may not be returned.

n Photo Guidelines—Prints should be at least 2x3

inches for headshots and 4x6 for photos featuring several people. Both color and black & white are acceptable. Photos can be mailed care of Alumni Services, Thiel College. To submit a digital photo, e-mail the photo file to Digital photos should be 300 dpi resolution in as large a format as possible. Photos that are small and low resolution may not be usable. Digital photos should be saved as a JPEG or TIFF. Please include a brief description of the photo and the names and class years of alumni who appear.

The Bell • Spring 2011


Once in a Lifetime Ken Bash ’57 and his wife, Joyce, took the trip of a lifetime to Lima, Peru and Ecaduor in February. Bash is a retired health care administrator, currently living in Scottsdale, Ariz. Excerpts from their e-mail travel log are below: Feb. 13, 2011

Feb. 23, 2011

We arrived in Lima at 5:30 a.m. The group is a good mix of people. We are probably the elders of the group! After breakfast and a good nap, we took a city tour. There are some beautiful parts to this city and some very old stuff. It has been a good day.

We flew out of Quito to Coca to begin our jungle adventure. We traveled in a “truck,” open sides with benches and a roof (the luggage was tossed up on the roof) to the edge of the Napo River, the second largest tributary of the Amazon River and were fitted with knee-high boots. We got into a motorized canoe and went down the river to Yarsina Lodge. We saw some monkeys, acoundi and parrots there, and it rained all night the first night and made for perfect sleeping. Our first walk found a five-inch tarantula. Pretty cool! We had a cooking class in the jungle. Plates were very large leaves. One guy had to cut up freshly caught fish, bones and all. With onion, seasonings and something else, it was put in the pot and put on the fire. Another member of our group was given five fresh five-inch slugs and had to score, salt and wrap them in a leaf, and tie them with a vine and on the fire they went. There was also yucca and plantain. The fish was okay and the slug was crunchy, gross and Joyce had two pieces. We practiced with an eight-foot blow gun. It was amazing how easy it was to blow the dart!

Feb. 15, 2011 We have been in Cusco, Peru, for two days. This was an Inca stronghold that was destroyed and colonized by the Spanish in the 17th and 18th centuries. We have seen lots of ruins and the archeological restorations of incredible stone work. One of the highlights of the tour is a home-hosted lunch, which we spent in the house of a middle class family. It was a great meal, although we weren’t sure what everything was. Tomorrow, off to Machu Picchu! Feb. 18, 2011 Well, there are hardly words to describe this incredible place [Machu Picchu]. It was built about the time of Christopher Columbus and was one place the Spaniards didn’t discover. It was discovered by Hiram Bingham from Yale University in 1911. It rained while we were there and the fog was low, but that just made it more beautiful. We are in Quito, Ecuador, and will be here for two days and then off to the jungle. This is a hoppin’ place and very different from Cusco. We saw a beautiful snowcovered mountain with a volcano cone top when we flew in today. We are at the foot of Ecuador’s biggest active volcano. (The last eruption was in 1999.) We will sleep well!


The Bell • Spring 2011

March 25, 2011 We spent a week on a small yacht and saw lots of sea lions, lizards and birds of all varieties, including the friget birds and blue and red footed boobies. We did a lot of snorkeling and were blessed with warm water and calm seas. All in all it was a wonderful trip with many memories to add to our other trips throughout the world.


Got News? We want to hear it! Help keep us and other alumni up to date on what’s going on in your life. Please fill out this form and mail to: ALUMNI OFFICE, THIEL COLLEGE, 75 COLLEGE AVE., GREENVILLE, PA 16125. Fax: 724-589-2860 / E-mail: Please also consider a first-time or increased gift to The Thiel Fund this year. To give online, visit Thank you! q I wish to serve on an alumni committee.

q I wish to serve as a class agent.

Name ___________________________________________________Maiden Name ____________________ Year of Graduation _________ Spouse’s Name ______________________________________ Is your spouse a graduate of Thiel College? q Yes q No Year _________________________ Reason for writing (please check all that apply & specify on lines below): q New address/e-mail

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________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Home address ____________________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Seasonal address and dates (if applicable) _____________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ E-mail address ___________________________________________________________Phone____________________________________ Children’s names __________________________________________________________________________________________________ Birth dates_________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Your occupation (title) ______________________________________________________________________________________________ Employer (full name) _______________________________________________________________________________________________ Business address (city, state) ________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Spouse’s occupation (title) __________________________________________________________________________________________ Spouse’s employer (full name) _______________________________________________________________________________________ Business address (city, state) ________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Note: News that appears in this issue arrived at the Alumni Office by April 15, 2011. If your news was submitted after that date, it will appear in the next issue. News for Class Notes, Marriages and Births must be reported either by or with the explicit approval of the subject(s) and are subject to editing for space, style or content. Photos become the property of the Alumni Office and may not be returned.

The Bell • Spring 2011


The Final Word

Preparation Meets Opportunity I am proud to be a Thiel alumna. As a freshman, I never thought I would proclaim this statement. I did not have my heart set on Thiel during my senior year of high school; my college of choice was a large university. Thiel awarded me a generous scholarship, and I finally made the decision to attend the small liberal arts campus. I must admit, I was not entirely happy at first and informed my advisers that I planned to transfer my junior year. I suppose I was exuding my hard-headed freshman mentality of denying change and opportunity that I now see in some of my freshman students. Fortunately, my advisers recognized my potential as a student both in and out of the classroom. Their influence encouraged me to excel in my studies and immerse myself in the Thiel environment, which ultimately led me to where I am today—a graduate English student and teaching assistant at Gannon University. The anxiety I felt before my first graduate classes quickly dissipated after excelling in assignments and class discussion. The graduate-level courses are more intense, but I find that I am extremely prepared for the course material. In fact, I am surprised to discover that some of my classmates do not have nearly the same foundation in English and the humanities as I do. I attribute this preparedness to the liberal arts education I received at Thiel, especially to the English and history disciplines. I cannot give enough praise for these two distinguished departments at Thiel. I was continuously challenged and rewarded by the faculty and their diverse classes. Most of all, the professors structured their upper-level courses on a reading, writing and class discussion basis, much like the structure of graduate-level courses. These disciplines also gave me the opportunity to develop leadership skills outside the classroom through my involvement in Sigma Tau Delta, The Phoenix and Phi Alpha Theta, as well as provided me with cultural experiences through the Literary New England trip, the tours of the Manuscript Division of the Library of Congress and my internship at my county’s historical society. As a teaching assistant at Gannon, I have the privilege of teaching freshman composition. I may no longer feel anxiety about my graduate courses, but I often still feel nervous about teaching, which is only natural for a first-year instructor. However, the English and history faculty at Thiel afforded me with outstanding

Gross outside the Writing Center where she serves as assistant director.

role models in teaching. My professors mentored me during my undergraduate experience, and they continue to do so. One aspect I deeply appreciate about Thiel is the relationships students can form with their professors. Thiel also provided me with opportunities to learn essential skills outside the classroom. My four years of work experience at the Thiel Writing Center and Academic Success Center allowed me to develop teaching skills through tutoring students in writing and history. These skills qualified me to work at the Gannon Writing Center, where I will soon be assistant director. By my senior year, I worked as a tour guide in the Admissions Office, and I often times told my story to prospective students. Whether I inspired those students to attend Thiel, I am confident that I portrayed the importance of taking advantage of a college education. Students at Thiel are constantly challenged as they progress to upper-level courses; the students who embrace the challenge succeed when they move beyond their undergraduate education. I embraced the challenge, and I am grateful for the education I received from Thiel College.

Sheila Gross, originally of Sharpsville, Pa., graduated summa cum laude in May 2010 with degrees in English writing, English literature and history. 40

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What’s in a Name? Roth. Bly. Passavant. Rissell. Johnson. These names surface hundreds of times each day on Thiel’s campus and are followed by words like gym, hall, auditorium, chapel. When you permanently link your name to Thiel College, your name will join that distinguished list and will enhance the living and learning environment that our students benefit from each day—for years to come. Many naming opportunities exist on campus for a variety of interests at a variety of giving levels. Most naming opportunities can be pledged for up to five years. Consider leaving a lasting legacy to Thiel College that will be on the lips of our students for years to come! Brick in honor/memory $500 Garden/Landscaping $1,000 Scoreboard Sign $2,500 Stadium Permanent Seat $5,000 Educational Technology $5,000 Theater Permanent Seat $5,000 Faculty/Staff Office $10,000 Residence Hall Room $10,000 Residence Hall Lounge $20,000 Classroom $20,000 Conference Room $25,000 Building Wing $100,000 Building $500,000-plus (equal to at least half of cost of construction/renovation) To discuss naming opportunities on campus at Thiel College, contact David J. Grober, vice president for college advancement, at 724-589-2842 or

7 5 C ol le ge A ve nu e Gr e e nv i l le , PA   16125-2181

From the Archives

Was love in the air?—Bob Weinztl ’59 and his date, Donna Maykovich ’61, (on left) serve punch to Knute Hamre ’58, Homecoming Queen Elaine Posta ’60, Adolph Scialabba ’60 and Nancy Tirk ’60 (on right from back) at the Homecoming dance in October 1957.

The Bell (Spring 2011)  
The Bell (Spring 2011)  

The Spring 2011 edition of Thiel College's alumni magazine