Amelia Earhart has Thiel College connection - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Amelia Earhart has Thiel College connection

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Amelia Earhart Amelia Earhart
GREENVILLE, Pa. -

There's been a renewed interest in the disappearance of Amelia Earhart after a photo was found in the National Archives that appears to show her alive on a remote island in the South Pacific.

But did you know Earhart has a connection to Thiel College in Greenville?

When you drive onto the campus of Thiel College you might notice the name of the street that takes you there, Amelia Earhart Drive.

Thiel's new President, Dr. Susan Traverso, says Earhart made a profound impact on the college.

"Amelia Earhart represented a different type of woman. A woman who could take a risk. A woman who broke through barriers. A woman that was fearless," said Traverso.

But what is her connection to the college?

It turns out, her father, Edwin Earhart, graduated from Thiel in 1886.  Then in 1932, Thiel awarded Amelia with an honorary Doctor of Science degree which she came in person to accept.

"1932 was still early in her aviation fame yet Thiel already recognized her as an outstanding heroic woman and gave her this degree. It was probably very meaningful to her," said Traverso.

You can find autographed pictures of Amelia on campus.  They even have an autographed book.

Amelia clearly had an affection for Thiel because, before she disappeared, she planned to raise funds and create opportunities for women on campus.

Later, Eleanor Roosevelt and others helped Amelia with that goal by helping Thiel raise $48,000 in 1940 for women's causes at Thiel.  Something that continues to this day.

"We want to know what happened to her. We still don't know what happened to her  But we know she was a great hero and a great role model for young women particularly that they could fly high like she did," said Traverso.

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