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A Legacy of Love

“It is our hope that the scholarship inspires experiences where students step out of their comfort zone, test boundaries, overcome their fear of failure, and learn amazing lessons while having fun.”

—The Bruther family

When Norah Bruther ’20 first set foot on Moravian University’s campus, she immediately knew it was the school for her. She loved the size of the campus, the central location of the soccer field, and the feeling of community.

“Norah and our family fell in love,” recalls her mother, Piper. Norah enrolled as an accounting major and happily immersed herself in a variety of Moravian experiences. She joined the Sigma Sigma Sigma sorority, where she served as risk manager on the sorority’s leadership council and was a Big Sister. She was a member of the Amrhein Investment Club, secretary of the Accounting Club, a member of the Accounting Honor Society, and treasurer of the Operation Smile Club. She also met her boyfriend, Brandon Sisk ’20.

“We heard through Norah’s stories just how much Moravian is a tight-knit community, from the professors and mailroom staff to the cafeteria staff, even President Grigsby is present on campus,” recalls Piper. “And my husband John and I watched our young, and sometimes shy and unsure, girl develop into a confident, thoughtful, loving young woman.”

Norah earned Dean’s List honors and graduated with a position secured at the Big Four accounting firm EY. She was living in Manhattan and was promoted to assurance senior associate when her life was cut short.

In the spring of 2022, Norah was struck and killed by a drunk driver while vacationing with friends in Arizona. Although her family was devastated, Piper and John, along with Norah’s sisters, Grace and Emma, decided to establish a scholarship in Norah’s name.

“The decision came after thinking about how to continue her legacy of love,” says Piper. “What helped Norah develop into this beautiful, loving young woman, and how can we make sure that legacy of love is never forgotten? When we sat down as a family to discuss this, a scholarship made the most sense to us.”

“There will never be another Norah Bruther, but if we can provide some of the same advantages in the form of a scholarship to someone who may not otherwise have them, we can continue her loving legacy,” Piper said.

The Bruther family approached Moravian to establish the Norah Elizabeth Bruther ’20 Endowed Memorial Scholarship Fund to support an undergraduate student who demonstrates financial need. The fund is part of the Lighting the Way campaign, Moravian’s ambitious effort to raise $75 million for scholarships, meaningful experiences, and leading-edge technology and learning facilities to empower our students to succeed in the classroom and beyond.

“It is our hope that the scholarship inspires experiences where students step out of their comfort zone, test boundaries, overcome their fear of failure, and learn amazing lessons while having fun,” the Bruther family wrote in establishing the scholarship.

“She can continue to have an immense impact on someone’s life just as she always has done for everyone surrounding her,” says Sisk.

A Welcoming Community

Norah was known for approaching her work and play with equal joy and determination. She was an accomplished student and tenacious soccer player who loved spending time at the beach and giving her younger sisters fashion advice.

Her enthusiasm first brought her to the attention of Jeff Ykoruk, head coach of Moravian’s Women’s Soccer team, who recruited her to the university. But Ykoruk remembers Norah even more for her fun and loving personality. “She was always up for a quick conversation about good places to eat and where she wanted to shop,” he says. “Norah greatly impacted our program and will forever be remembered by the coaches and, most certainly, her teammates.”

Megan Chesney ’22 met Norah during her first year playing soccer at Moravian. “She was so funny and made us comfortable right off the bat,” says Chesney. Norah quickly became like a big sister to Chesney and encouraged her to join Sigma Sigma Sigma. “She made you feel included and special. She was a true highlight of Moravian for me.”

Friends also remember Norah for creating plans of action for everything from fun weekends to her ambitious postgraduate goals. She earned all 150 credits needed for the CPA exam while still at Moravian—something that takes five years for many prospective accountants.

“Norah was one of the hardest-working individuals I have ever met, not only in her classes at Moravian or her job at EY, but in every part of her life,” recalls Sisk. “She cared so much for her friends and family. She would always lend a helping hand in any way possible, from late phone calls to switching plans around, so she could be there for everyone.”

For Piper, that’s one of the most enduring tributes to her daughter. “We are blessed that Norah’s friends continue to keep in touch with us, share memories, and keep her memory alive,” says Piper.

Shining a Light for Our Students' Future

As the inaugural recipient of the Norah Elizabeth Bruther ’20 Endowed Memorial Scholarship, Adia Gilham ’26 is doing her best to honor Norah’s legacy.

“Receiving this scholarship has greatly impacted my confidence and inspired me,” says the native of Saylorsburg, Pennsylvania. “I intend to make the most of my college career and enjoy these years, just like Norah did.”

Gilham is a biology major who aspires to attend veterinary school and eventually own a veterinary clinic. “What I value most about Moravian is the many opportunities they provide to students through internships, experiences, and studying abroad,” she says.

This past semester, she gained career-relevant, hands-on experience through a work-study opportunity in the biology program, caring for cockroaches, walking sticks, and a turtle named Suzy Waffles. “I am learning new things all the time about animals, like what food they can eat and about their habitats,” says Gilham, adding, “Suzy’s behavior can be humorous, and she is quite cute.”

Gilham has also taken advantage of the educational support offered through the Writing Center, peer-assisted study sessions (PASS), and course mentors, which she credits with helping smooth her transition to college so she can succeed.

Gilham joined the Phi Eta Sigma Honor Society, the nation’s oldest and largest honor society. It offers membership to first-year students who demonstrate academic excellence by obtaining a 3.5 grade point average or being in the top 20 percent of their class. Gilham has enjoyed their social and service events, doing activities like making study bookmarks with encouraging sayings for local high school students.

For these experiences, Gilham wants to thank Norah’s family. “I want to tell them how much I admire their strength—and how much I appreciate the scholarship. They have inspired me to persevere in my college career.”

To learn more about Norah’s scholarship and support her memory, visit