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A Student Union for the Future

Moravian's student union is transforming to better serve our current students and anticipate the needs of future generations.

A priority of the Lighting the Way campaign is to support our students with leading-edge tools and learning spaces. Investing in our campus makes a statement about who we are, what we value, and where we are going. It allows Moravian to provide world-class instruction to our students today, promoting dynamic interaction and informal learning experiences to prepare them for success, while also changing to anticipate the needs of future Greyhounds and Seminary students.

The innovation of a student union on Moravian’s campus dates back to the 1920s. Students longed for a centralized location for student life. Demand for a student union persisted through the hardship of the Great Depression and resurfaced, full force, in the 1950s when students rallied for the development of a central “hub” for student recreation. They fundraised and donated their own money and eventually presented a check to campus leadership for $400,000. The board of trustees approved building a student union in 1958, and the College Union Building, or CUB, opened in 1962. In the 30 years that followed, students paid a “student activity fee” to help finance the CUB. Student contributions were matched by alumni support and supplemented by board members and donors. In 1969, the CUB was renamed the Haupert Union Building, or HUB, in honor of Raymond S. Haupert, PhD, ’22, S’24, who had served as president since 1944 and announced his retirement.

The HUB has served as the center of the campus community for decades. Come early 2024, the HUB Expansion will transform the current building into a four-floor, state-of-the-art space equipped with the latest technology for collaboration, meetings, and events. It will centralize programs and resources for students and faculty across campus and the seminary and celebrate the entire Moravian community. 

In 1962, when The Comenian announced the opening of the CUB, it detailed its purpose as “providing an informal, home-like atmosphere in which the student can come and feel as though [they] belong.” Just as Moravian students envisioned decades ago, the new and improved HUB will continue to serve as the epicenter for student living and learning while anticipating the needs of future students in our changing world.

Creating Great Leaders Through a Transaction of Trust

Robert P. Flicker ’71 spent more than 50 years as a leader at East Penn Manufacturing, a battery company in Lyon Station, Pennsylvania. He began as a product engineer and climbed the ranks to chief operating officer. Now retired, Flicker is devoted to imparting his knowledge of leadership and trust to today’s rising leaders, all the while giving back to his roots where his own leadership journey began.

Flicker grew up on a small farm in Mertztown, Pennsylvania. He received his undergraduate degree in physics from Moravian and earned a master of science in physics from Lehigh University in 1974. He says he did not know much about science, higher education, or leadership until he came to Moravian as a first-generation student, but professors Ed Roeder, Jack Ridge, and Joe Powlette helped him gain confidence and sparked his interest in science. “Because they were excited about their subject matter and about being educators, they really got you excited,” Flicker says. “If you liked physics at all, you got hooked, because they not only were your mentors, but they led you. They wanted you to succeed.” 

Flicker strived to emulate these examples in his professional career. “I tried to have the same passion and to make sure that I shared my knowledge with other people,” he adds. “My attitude was to be an open book and to encourage people to grow. A good leader should have good followers, and it is the leader's responsibility to develop them into good leaders. That's as simple as it is.”

Flicker has made it his mission to prepare today’s workforce to adapt to challenges. He will leave his mark in the new and improved HUB by investing in the Robert P. Flicker ’71 Leadership Suite, a 1500-square-foot space dedicated to student organizations and clubs. The suite will offer two areas for student groups to gather—one will be an open common area, and the other will have closed-door privacy. Lockers will provide storage space. The suite will also allow student leadership groups, the Moravian Activities Council and the United Student Government, to centralize their offices together for the first time.

Robert P. Flicker ’71 Leadership Suite
Robert P. Flicker ’71 Leadership Suite

“Both of these student groups are funded through the student activity fee and have, in the past, worked separately to meet the legislative and activity goals for engaging the campus community," says Suzanne Moyer, Director of Conference and Event Management. "As these groups serve as prominent resources in themselves for our students, having them in the same physical location opens up a plethora of new opportunities and potential.”

Moyer says the suite will be prominently positioned in a corner of the building facing Makuvek Field and Johnston Hall and will span approximately 8 percent of the second-floor footprint. She anticipates it will provide the space and resources for our student groups to thrive. “As the student community unpacks all of the features of this space, the foundation for next-level collaboration and support could very well lead to this space not only being an essential resource but the very heart of the HUB,” she says.

Flicker has been involved in the development process and has added his own touches to the plans, including featuring leadership-based quotes throughout the space to inspire students who will pass through daily. “I think it's a good spot to put the word ‘leadership’ on the wall, to have people begin to focus on what they think is a good leader and to try to become good leaders themselves,” he says. “I think a liberal arts education, coupled with whatever your major is, gives you the ability to be a contributing member of a team. [It] teaches you to accept other people's opinions, to have open discussions, to be a better listener, and this builds trust. You want to be the kind of leader that people will want to follow because they trust you.”

Flicker learned a lot about leadership and the power of trust from his former boss, DeLight E. Breidegam Jr. P’84, GP’14, GP’16, GP’18, cofounder of East Penn Manufacturing, who he says made deals with just a handshake. “DeLight loved people, and he had a passion for his business and for anything that he did,” Flicker says. “The first step in being a good leader is putting people first. DeLight sought input from everyone and was a clear communicator, but most of all, he could be trusted.”

Robert P. Flicker ’71 and DeLight E. Breidegam Jr. P’84, GP’14, GP’16, GP’18

Flicker acknowledges much of his foundation as a leader started at Moravian, which is a significant reason why he is one of the first living alumni to become a member of the Priscilla Payne Hurd Club in Moravian’s lifetime giving society, the Via Lucis Society. Flicker has also served on Moravian’s board of trustees since 2013 and is a member of the Student Affairs Committee, Audit Committee, Capital Campaign Committee, Advancement Committee, and University Executive Committee. “You need to give back to the community, even if it’s with your time,” he says.

Flicker knows universities and colleges face challenges due to changing demographics, but he believes in Moravian’s mission and says it is well-positioned for success. “I’m very excited about the Lighting the Way campaign and how we’re thinking about being a valuable and long-term player in higher education,” he states. “We have great leadership with the president and his staff, and they have a vision for where we can go to meet future needs.”

A Place for Thousands of Talks

Nicole Loyd, Ph.D., was a big surprise. She was born 12 years into her parents’ marriage, after they had been told they could never have children. From humble beginnings in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, Loyd attended Bucknell University and the University of Virginia on academic and athletic scholarships and received degrees in education.

Loyd’s love of sports started early. “My first word was ball,” she says. “My dad was an exceptional athlete and played Major League Baseball for a summer, and my mom was a talented athlete, too. By the time I was three, I was in swimming lessons, ballet, and gymnastics. By the time I was in middle school, I had added golf, field hockey, basketball, and softball to the list.” 

Loyd’s parents shared “thousands of talks” with her about the importance of teamwork, good communication, and leadership. She brought that drive and endless energy to Moravian in 2008 when she started as dean of students. Today, she serves as Moravian’s executive vice president for university life and chief operating officer. “I immediately fell in love with the people here and their deep sense of caring for one another,” Loyd says. “As a first-generation college kid who came from a working- and middle-class background, Moravian just fits me.”

Loyd Family Portrait

Loyd is well-known by students, faculty, staff, and volunteers as an influential and caring administrator. In 2015, she opted out of having an assigned office so she could work among students and faculty on campus. You can often find her in the HUB; more than anyone, she recognizes its great importance as a central gathering space. “Our staff, our faculty, our president, our trustees, our alumni—our entire community—all put students first,” she boasts. “For me, having a student union building at the core of campus that shows our values and provides a place for our community to be together is a testament to our student-centered philosophy.”

Loyd’s gift to the Lighting the Way campaign is an extension of that philosophy. Anyone entering the expanded HUB will be greeted at the Marion Gibson “Gib” & Barbara Loyd HUB Information Desk. Those same “thousands of talks” that Loyd experienced with her parents will happen here with the same level of compassion and care. “All of the things I hold fundamental to my life—living with integrity, always making time for people, working hard, giving back to the community, and telling the people you love that you do—I learned from them,” she says. 

Marion Gibson “Gib” & Barbara Loyd HUB Information Desk

Loyd lost her father to COVID-19 in 2021, but she will honor him and his impact on her life and success by giving back to the university she holds dear. She recognizes you do not achieve success in life, or at Moravian, alone. “It goes back to why I fell in love with this place—we look out for one another, and we help when we can. I’m not an alum, but I believe in the people who shape this institution, and I’m grateful to be a small part of it,” Loyd adds. “Sharing what my parents meant to me with this community is one of the greatest honors of my life, and I strive through my words and actions to make them proud every single day. I can’t wait to walk by that desk, and I’m sure I’ll often have tears in my eyes when I do.”

Giving Thanks for Being a Friend

Laurie Riley Brubaker, Patricia “Pat” Murray Hanna. Joanne Belletti Molle, Judith “Judy” Mazzucco Oehrle, and Carol Sampson Sweeney, all 1982 graduates, clicked their first weekend at Moravian. They won a lottery contest for a suite in the newly-built DeSchweinitz house, and from then on, they were deemed the “Roomies.” “We learned how to live on our own under Moravian’s umbrella,” says Molle. “We divided up household chores and cooking, learned to budget weekly grocery money, held annual parents-day gatherings with our families, sunbathed in our baby pool, played practical jokes on each other, held our infamous General Hospital costume party during the Luke and Laura era, and planned our annual summer get-togethers at a classmate's home by a lake.”

The close living quarters posed occasional trials and tribulations and forced them closer. “There were at least five of us girls in that three-bedroom, one-bathroom apartment, so you can imagine that there would be challenges over the three years we were together,” says Oehrle. “I think the secret to making it work was organization, humor, and love.” 

The Roomies became lifelong friends, and three met their husbands at Moravian. “We navigated life’s ups and downs together, and we still do now—our marriages, the births of our children, health issues, the passing of our parents and siblings, our children’s weddings, and now grandchildren for some of us,” says Molle. “Laurie’s passing added another element to our friendship.”

The Roomies Homecoming
The Roomies visiting Laurie

Laurie Riley Brubaker passed away in August 2019 after a long battle with cancer. She had a long and stellar career at Aetna, last serving as president of the company’s Pennsylvania, Delaware, and West Virginia operations. Laurie gave back to Moravian throughout her life, serving on the board of trustees, the Campaign Cabinet Committee, and the Leadership Council. She and her husband, Loyd, established the Moravian Tomorrow Endowed Scholarship to support academically qualified students and the Lloyd and Laurie Riley ’82 Brubaker Endowed Internship Fund to support first-generation and low-income students pursuing internships. They also named a faculty office in the Sally Breidegam Miksiewicz Center for Health Sciences.

Developing future leaders was important to Laurie. After she passed, Lloyd sponsored the naming of the Center for Career & Civic Engagement in the expanded HUB in her memory. The Laurie Ann Riley ’82 Center for Career & Civic Engagement will continue the mission of the current center by empowering students to develop the skills, experiences, confidence, and connections necessary to pursue fulfilling careers while remaining civically-minded in their personal and professional endeavors.

Laurie Ann Riley ’82 Center for Career & Civic Engagement
Laurie Ann Riley ’82 Center for Career & Civic Engagement Phone Booths

The Roomies are honoring Laurie by funding two interview rooms in the center. The booths will provide students with private space for in-person or virtual interviews or meetings with prospective employers. “Laurie understood how important career development and community involvement are to students’ professional development and personal fulfillment,” says Hanna. “Our gift of the interview rooms is a perfect way for us to support the Lighting the Way campaign and to support Laurie, who is always in our hearts.”

“I know that Laurie, like the rest of us, really saw our time and experience at Moravian as hugely significant in shaping who we became in our lives. She wanted others to have that same benefit,” adds Sweeney. “[The room’s] function and purpose are a great way to exemplify Laurie’s desire to help others be able to get off to a good start by having a place to put their best foot forward while seeking that first big opportunity after Moravian.”

The Roomies will always remember Laurie as friendly, fun, confident, passionate, empathetic, and nurturing. “She was driven to work hard and succeed but never at the expense of her morals and integrity,” adds Hanna.

“Ensuring that the next generation has the facilities its students need to be successful in their careers is very important to all of us, and I just love being able to honor Laurie’s memory in this way,” says Oehrle.

Roomies visit Laurie Riley Memorial Bench