Moravian College Unveils the Sally Breidegam Miksiewicz Center for Health Sciences

Moravian College welcomed some 500 guests on Thursday, Sept. 21., to celebrate the opening of the $23 million Sally Breidegam Miksiewicz Center for Health Sciences.

Among the guests were students, faculty, staff, and esteemed community members, including Mayor of the City of Bethlehem Robert Donchez, House Representative Steve Samuelson, State Senator Lisa Boscola, Lieutenant Governor Mike Stack, and Congressman Charlie Dent.

Housing the Lehigh Valley’s first virtual cadaver lab, simulation rooms, nursing and public health suites, and robotic mannequins, the Center will bolster the College’s nursing, physical therapy, and health sciences programs by providing state-of-the-art equipment and training.

“It’s wonderful, given all the new opportunities with the simulation lab,” said nursing student, Jenna Ritter ’18. “It’s extremely helpful in making our training more life-like. It really affects our overall patient care.”  

While the dedication ceremony served as a celebration of the building’s opening, it was also a thank- you to all those who made the 100 percent donor-given building’s construction a reality. The ceremony paid special tribute to the Breidegam family for their years of support of the College’s endeavors.

The Center was named after former Moravian College Board of Trustees member, Sally Breidegam Miksiewicz, who was struck and killed by a driver in Berks County. Miksiewicz was the chief executive and vice chair of her family’s business, East Penn Manufacturing. In attendance was Miksiewicz’s mother, Helen Breidegam, and children Dan, Kate, Tim, and Matt Miksiewicz.

“We could not have made this dream a reality — and in record time — without the ever-faithful, ever-present help from whom I’d like to refer to as the First Family of Moravian College, the Breidegams,” said Ken Rampolla, chair of the Moravian College Board of Trustees.

In total, the Breidegam family has given 44 years of service as members of the Board of Trustees. The family is among the founding members of the Priscilla Payne Hurd Society, which recognizes those that exhibit exceptional generosity to the College. The Breidegams have established three scholarship endowments that provide financial support to over 60 students per year.

At the ceremony, Moravian College President Bryon Grigsby awarded the first President’s Medallion to the Breidegam family for their contributions to the College. The medal is awarded to individuals, families, and organizations whose contributions have a far-reaching and positive influence on the College, community, and beyond.

“The whole Breidegam family is encompassed in this building, and it is right to say that the first President’s Medallion should go to the Breidegam family,” said Grigsby.

The 55,000-square-foot building houses the nursing department, named after Helen, as well as DeLight’s Café, named for Miksiewicz’s father, the late DeLight Breidegam for his many contributions to Moravian.

The building was constructed in 32 months by J.G. Petrucci Company, Inc., and an Iron Hill Construction Management team. The architectural vision of Earl Swensson Associates, Inc. (ESa) spoke to Moravian College’s 275-year history and to the future of the growing health sciences programs.

“A design taken right out of our architectural roots but with the bridge to the future of nursing, not only for our Valley but for our entire state and beyond,” said Rampolla.  

After the ribbon-cutting ceremony, the building was open to the public so it could tours classrooms and witness the use of the innovative equipment in action.