Breidegam Connector Dedicated June 2
The Breidegam Connector of The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia (LTSP) — a $2 million project funded by three donors connecting the historical 200,000 volume Krauth Memorial Library to the state of the art Brossman Center — was officially dedicated on June 2, 2016, with a ceremony including distinguished guests, city and state representatives, LTSP board members, friends, alumni, and LTSP faculty and staff.
Dennis Trotter, the seminary’s Vice President for Advancement, was Master of Ceremonies and opened the dedication stating this event was “Emblematic of our commitment to educational accessibility for all students, and a desire to honor our ties to more than 150 years of history while also remaining relevant and vital and in providing pastors and leaders for the ELCA, and continuing to provide a community resource to our neighbors here in Mt. Airy and the greater Northeast and Northwest Philadelphia area.”
The Rev. Dr. Karl Krueger, Director of the Krauth Memorial Library and Professor, History of Christianity, offered an opening prayer “and a few remarks.” As a nod to the library’s history, Dr. Krueger offered the prayer that was given by the Rev. Mahlon C. Horine, DD (President of the Board of Directors at the time) at the 1908 dedication of the Krauth Memorial Library, June 3, 1908, one day shy of 108 years ago.
Mr. Trotter then introduced the Rev. Dr. David J. Lose, president of the seminary, who welcomed and thanked guests for their presence, and shared some reflections about the Connector and community: “Places — the physical spaces where people gather for recreation, renewal, reflection, and rest, play a distinct role across the scriptures — these places matter. We come together this morning to give thanks to God for this place, for this space. We call it a connector, but do not let that simple name fool you. For connection is one of those things that seems in such short supply in today’s world. From the expanding gap between rich and poor, or the growing chasm that separates political parties, increasing tension and inequity between people of different races and ethnic groups, we seem to be so painfully short on points of connection. And so we built this space to connect. The building connects, of course, the Krauth Memorial Library and The Brossman Center, but it also connects persons with disabilities to a space that had formerly been accessed only with difficulty, and it now also links a place dedicated to theological study and research with a space that has become known as the town hall of Mt. Airy, symbolizing the school’s commitment to connect with the community. To provide a place of meeting for people of different races and religions and economic backgrounds in order that we might discern together and work together for what is most helpful, even most just in our communities. Connection matters, and so do connectors.”
The Breidegam Connector was funded by the late Berks County, Pennsylvania, businessman and philanthropist DeLight E. Breidegam, Jr., and his wife, Helen Breidegam, who supported the project in memory of Timothy M. Breidegam and Sally Breidegam Miksiewicz, their late son and late daughter. Speaking on behalf of the Breidegam family was the family’s pastor, the Rev. Cheryl Meinschein, a 1981 graduate of the seminary and currently on the LTSP Board of Trustees.
Also supporting the project was the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Tom Wolf, Governor, and Frank Henry, chairman emeritus of Martz Trailways, and his wife, the late Dorothea “Dottie” Henry. Mr. Henry offered a few words. Jalila Parker, Deputy Director of the Governor’s Southeast Pennsylvania Regional Office and Executive Director, Advisory Commission of African American Affairs, commented on behalf of Governor Wolf. Philadelphia City Councilwoman Cherelle Parker addressed the group later, making a special trip from City Hall for the occasion.
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania funding for the project came about as the result of collaborative leadership efforts from LTSP, local, state, and federal politicians and civic leaders including Governor Tom Wolf, former State Representative and now Councilwoman Cherelle Parker (9th District), Councilwoman Cindy Bass (8th District), Pennsylvania Senator Art Haywood (4th District), Congressman Chaka Fattah (PA 02), Robert B. “Bob” Asher, Co-Chairman of the Board of Directors of Asher’s Chocolates and Pennsylvania committeeman on the Republican National Committee, Representative Tonyelle Cook-Artis, PIDC Philadelphia CEO John Grady, and the Rev. Dr. Philip Krey, former President of LTSP, who offered the final blessing.
The architect and construction manager for the Breidegam Connector were Roberson Butz, Inc. and Alvin H. Butz, Inc. of Allentown, Pennsylvania. Brothers Greg and Eric Butz, longtime donors and friends of the seminary, were in attendance as well.
“This Connector, this place, and sacred space, could not have been built alone. From the generous gifts of the Breidegam and Henry families, to the critical support of the Commonwealth, to the care and creativity and confidence of the Butz family of architects and builders, to the city inspectors and multiple vendors that have supported this effort. We have had many many partners to bring this dream to fruition, and we are grateful for each and all of them,” said President Lose.
View a slide show of the Breidegam Connector Dedication:
View a slide show of the Breidegam Connector images: