The board and staff of the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy are deeply saddened by the passing of longtime Conservancy Board Member Timothy R. Thyreen, who passed away on May 16 surrounded by his beloved family.

Tim was a member of the Conservancy board since 2003 and dedicated to advancing the Conservancy’s work. He and his wife, Dr. Carolyn Thyreen, first joined the Conservancy as members in 1993.

Tim was the chancellor of Waynesburg University and served as president of the university from 1990-2013. He founded the Center for Research and Economic Development and the Murtha Center for Sustainable Economic Development at Waynesburg University. He also partnered with Waynesburg Prosperous and Beautiful to spearhead town revitalization, established the A.J. & Rita Morris International Endowed Scholarship Fund and founded the Bonner Scholars Program at the university.

“Tim was a wonderful member of our board, and of our committees including our executive committee,” says Tom Saunders, the Conservancy’s president and CEO. “He was a caring, gentle, smiling and gracious man who was always kind and helpful to everyone he was around. His generosity and community leadership will be greatly missed.”

In addition to serving on the Conservancy board, Tim also served on the Greene County Industrial Development Board, the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency Board and its executive committee, and is a former member of the Pennsylvania Lawyers Fund for Client Security. In addition, he served as chair or member on multiple other boards, including Pennsylvania Association of Colleges & Universities, Association of Independent Colleges & Universities of Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania Campus Compact – Community Service Emphasis, and the National Wildlife Federation.

Tim is survived by his wife and their three daughters and grandchildren. The Conservancy staff and board extend their sincere condolences to the Thyreen family during this difficult time.

Read more about Tim’s accomplishments as Waynesburg University’s chancellor and reflect on his legacy in this Observer Reporter article.


About the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy:
The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy (WPC) enhances the region by protecting and restoring exceptional places. A private nonprofit conservation organization founded in 1932, WPC has helped establish 11 state parks, conserved more than a quarter million acres of natural lands, protected or restored more than 3,000 miles of rivers and streams, and assessed thousands of wildlife species and their habitats. The Conservancy owns and operates Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater, which is on the UNESCO World Heritage List and symbolizes people living in harmony with nature. In addition, WPC enriches our region’s cities and towns through 130 community gardens and other green spaces and thousands of trees that are planted with the help of more than 7,000 volunteers. The work of the Conservancy is accomplished through the support of more than 10,000 members. For more information, visit or