Thiel College in Greenville, Pennsylvania, has announced a $25 million gift from the estate of businessman and philanthropist William S. Dietrich II, who passed away in October.
The bequest, the largest individual gift in the college's 145-year history, will be administered by the Dietrich Foundation, a new organization to be funded by the Dietrich Charitable Trusts, charitable remainder trusts that hold assets largely created by the 1996 sale of Dietrich Industries. The college will announce in February how it plans to use the funds.
Dietrich's parents, Kenneth and Marianna (n�e Brown), met at Thiel College in the 1920s, and Kenneth Dietrich served on the college's board of trustees from 1978 to 1984. In 1996, William Dietrich II was honored by the college with the Haller Enterprise Institute's Entrepreneur of the Year award for his leadership of Dietrich Industries, which his father had started as a small lumber business.
"A gift of this magnitude has the potential to fundamentally change Thiel College," said Thiel College president Troy VanAken. "Each time we met over the last several years, I left impressed with Bill's passion, focus, and ability to understand investments in an increasingly global economy. The faith and trust he has put in Thiel College with this investment is humbling and will enhance our ability to serve our mission of academic excellence, ethical leadership, diversity, and service to the world."