$3.7 million gift to Thiel to fund scholarships

Staff report

greenville, pa.

Thiel College announced that David E. Baughman, a Greenville native and lifelong resident of the borough who died last November, bequeathed $3.7 million to the college.

The gift, the second-largest estate gift in Thiel history, will fund the Emerson A. Baughman, Agnes F. Baughman and David E. Baughman Endowed Scholarship, which will bestow full-tuition scholarships each year to attend Thiel College for students from the Greenville, Reynolds, Commodore Perry or Jamestown school districts.

“Dave Baughman had a passion for his community and higher education that is clearly reflected in his many years of community service and his generous gift to Thiel College and others in the community,” said Troy VanAken, Thiel College president. “Several students each year will have their lives changed by Dave’s generosity. His faith and support of the transformative power of a Thiel College education is truly inspiring.”

Baughman was born in Greenville in 1920 and was a graduate of Penn High School and Grove City College. He was a World War II veteran, serving in the Air Force’s 318th Fighter Control Squadron in the Asiatic-Pacific Theater. He was a longtime employee of Greenville Steel Car Co. (1946-1983), retiring as director of personnel. In his retirement, he was very active in community affairs, serving on government and related committees for more than 55 years, including the Greenville Borough Council and the original Greenville Recreation Committee (serving with Charles “Tod” Rissell 1900, the “father of Thiel athletics,” and Jack B. Stoeber, Thiel’s legendary football coach, athletic director and dean of men).

He also was instrumental in the building of the first Little League ball field in Greenville on Alan Avenue and the Memorial Swimming Pool. He also was involved in the Greenville Library Board, Mercer County Boroughs Association and Greenville Lions Club. He was well-known for his love and care of his town and its people.

“Dave wanted to help local students to achieve and fulfill their dreams of an education at Thiel College,” said Mario Marini ’91, director of special and planned giving, who helped Baughman set up the fund. “He was very grateful for the college’s presence in Greenville.”

Baughman bestowed the first scholarship in person Aug. 23, 2012, to Samuel T. Lackey ’14, a Greenville, Pa., native and a Commodore Perry High School graduate who is pursuing a psychology and sociology double major.

Baughman’s $12 million estate, which includes bequests to other Greenville area organizations as well as Thiel College, is administrated by the Northern Mercer County Community Foundation, which is part of the Community Foundation of Western Pennsylvania and Eastern Ohio.

Students interested in Thiel College and the Baughman scholarship should contact the Thiel College Admissions Office at 724-589-2345 or admissions@thiel.edu.

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