Eleven years ago, a steeple rose high on the Waynesburg campus. A beacon of hope and renewal, for not only the University, but the community as well.
The celebration of life for Chancellor Timothy R. Thyreen and worship service will be held in Roberts Chapel Sept. 25 at 2 p.m.; a capstone of his presidency, a vision that began 39 years ago when he stepped foot on Waynesburg’s campus.
“I think the purpose of the chapel is really twofold,” wife of Chancellor Thyreen, Dr. Carolyn Thyreen, said. “One is to give honor to his life, and those who were a part of this, who prayed years before we came here that there would be a chapel on the campus, because it was not done alone.”
Dr. Thyreen recalled the day the steeple went high into the open blue sky. Hundreds of people called, taking in the sight from all different points of view throughout the community. The dedication for Roberts Chapel was September 24, 2011, lining up closely with the date of the memorial, Sept. 25
“As a Christian, you see God’s hands in everything,” Dr. Thyreen said.
Roberts Chapel sits as the highest point of campus – 120 feet tall to the top of the cross, Dr. Thyreen said.
The service is to be a true medley of Chancellor Thyreen’s family and the campus community. Scripture readings will be given by the Chancellor’s grandchildren, including Luke Diel, an alum of Waynesburg University (2021). Worship will be led by a close friend of the Thyreen family, The Rev. Dr. Stuart D. Bromberg. Bromberg was a part of the Chancellor’s life since he arrived at Waynesburg.
Robin King will be a soloist performer. Like many of the other guest speakers, King has had an impact on the Waynesburg community and Thyreen family. King started in admissions at Waynesburg 29 years ago, and gradually moved up the ladder to Senior Vice president of Enrollment and University Relations, then departed in 2015, according to Dr. Thyreen.
King performed at Chancellor Thyreen’s inauguration as president and sang at three of his daughters’ weddings. King will be performing a Swedish Christian hymn “Children of the Heavenly Father,” as an homage to Thyreen’s Swiss roots.
The arts will be highlighted throughout the memorial. Student performances will be done by the University Lamplighters led by Melanie Catana. Director of Music Ministry and Organist Mark Anderson of Shadyside Presbyterian Church will perform as the organist throughout the service.
“It’s a full weekend, it’s one that our family needs,” Dr. Thyreen said. “I think it’s a time to come together for the community.”
In an email, Dr. Thyreen said that there would be memories shared from the Chancellor’s brother, Daniel Thyreen, and his longtime friend, Mark Fox, also a trustee of the university. There will be a short reception after the service in Marsh Center.