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Our Story

Smith, West, Ziemba honored at Waynesburg U. Commencement

May 1, 2022

Waynesburg University honored its Commencement speakers during its Commencement Exercises Saturday, April 30, and Sunday, May 1.

The Honorable D. Brooks Smith, Senior Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, and Marilyn House West, Owner and Chief Executive Officer of M.H. West and Co., were awarded honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degrees.

In addition, Laural Ziemba, Director of Public Affairs at Range Resources, was presented the Timothy & Carolyn Thyreen Service Leadership Award.

The following citations were read:

D. Brooks Smith

D. Brooks Smith, in recognition of your steadfast dedication and leadership to the administration of law and justice, Waynesburg University honors you.

Making history as the only person to have served as a United States Chief District Judge and a Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, in addition to your service as a Judge on the Pennsylvania Courts of Common Pleas, you have proven yourself to be a distinguished public official, leading with ethics, sound judgement and goodwill in the fulfillment of your duties.

Your efforts at improving public understanding of the role of the judicial process in the administration of our constitutional system of government is a model for others to follow.

Through your commitment to educating and inspiring students in the field of law, tomorrow’s leaders learn not only from your instruction in the classroom, but from your exemplary career. For these attainments and for your deep and abiding faith, we are well pleased to recognize you.

In gratitude and respect for your accomplishments and for the ways in which you parallel the Waynesburg University mission, it is with great honor that we confer upon you our degree of Doctor of Humane Letters.

Marilyn House West

Marilyn House West, in recognition of your inspirational and innovative work ethic, as evidenced by your successful career, Waynesburg University honors you.

Your leadership and service to others are both an inspiration and a fitting example to Waynesburg University students as they prepare to embark upon their individual professional journeys.

Known for your strong analytical, communication, management and planning skills, your impact on diverse industries and governmental agencies has had a lasting effect on many.

Recognized for your leadership and business acumen by a multitude of civic organizations, you are an inspiration to young women who wish to change the world. Your ambition, influential career, and moral and business philosophies serve as examples to our students as they prepare to become the leaders of tomorrow.

In gratitude and respect for your accomplishments and for the ways in which you parallel the Waynesburg University mission, it is with great honor that we confer upon you our degree of Doctor of Humane Letters.

Laural Ziemba

This award celebrates Timothy and Carolyn Thyreen’s legacy of serving others and is presented to those who exemplify servant leadership in their daily lives, resulting in a transformational effect on their area of focus. For years, Laural Ziemba has actively and passionately served our local communities, making a profound difference in the lives of many.

Laural has devoted herself to serving others through her daily work, not only in the companies that she has represented, but also in the nonprofit organizations where she has voluntarily offered her unique skill sets. Her strategic and enthusiastic service is a great model for Waynesburg University graduates looking to benefit their own communities through the application of their individual skills, energy and time.

Laural has also played an integral community service role through participation in Waynesburg University’s Center for Corporate Social Responsibility, where she represents Range Resources on the Center’s member company advisory board. Many of her ideas have led to projects in Washington and Greene counties, particularly related to relief from the COVID-19 pandemic, in the form of strategic partnerships and fund development for nonprofit organizations.

In honor of the servant leadership exemplified by former Waynesburg University President Timothy Thyreen and former First Lady Carolyn Thyreen, and in recognition of her embodiment of the highest principles of this institution, Waynesburg University honors Laural Ziemba.

About Waynesburg University

Consistently ranked a best value school, Waynesburg University’s Strategy for the 21st Century affirms its commitment to developing an entrepreneurial mindset and ethical leadership skills for all students. Rooted in its mission of faith, learning and service, the private, Christian university is located on a traditional campus in the hills of southwestern Pennsylvania, with an additional site for graduate and professional programs in Southpointe.