Pharmacy chain owners Bretton and Stacey Walberg to be awarded Thiel’s Passavant Award

GREENVILLE, Pa.—The husband-and-wife team of Bretton and Stacey Walberg, who own the Walberg Family Pharmacies, will be given Thiel College’s William A. Passavant Award on Sunday, May 9 as part of the College’s 147th Commencement Exercises at Alumni Stadium and Stoeber Field.

The Walberg Family Pharmacies held some of the first COVID-19 vaccine clinics in the region in February at the College’s 2,000-seat William A. Passavant Memorial Center. The Walbergs estimate they have distributed more than 37,000 doses. The Passavant Award is a rare and distinct honor that in the past has been awarded to Lutheran church leaders but in this exceptional year, in keeping with Passavant’s pursuit of humanitarian causes, the criteria was expanded to recognize community leaders. The last recipients of the award were the late Glen H’88 and Lavonne Johnson H’16 in 2012.

“It is essential we remember and honor the contributions all of our frontline healthcare workers made, but it is especially rewarding for the College to give this award to the Walbergs,” President Susan Traverso, Ph.D., said. “We teamed with them to use the Passavant Center as a vaccination site which opened the door for thousands of people to get their vaccinations. This award symbolizes so much about the spirit of community and connection and the important relationship between the region and the College.”

The Walbergs held several first- and second-dose vaccination clinics at the Passavant Center as well as other locations in the region.

The Walbergs purchased Jamestown Pharmacy in 1999 from Bretton’s parents and have continued to grow their business throughout Pennsylvania and Ohio. In 2014, Walberg Family Pharmacies won the prestigious Pharmacy of the Year Award for the Northeast Region from McKesson Pharmaceuticals, and during the same year, Bretton was selected as a Top Pharmacist Entrepreneur of the Year by Pharmacy Times. The Walberg family has grown Walberg Family Pharmacies from one location to 11.

Thiel College is also awarding alumnus Frank Maenpa, Ph.D. ’69 with an honorary degree on Sunday, May 9. Also on Sunday, the College will hold Commencement Exercises for the Class of 2020 where John Hauser ’71 and Ruthanne Beighley, Esq. ’73 will be awarded honorary degrees.

For the health and safety of the Thiel College Community, these Commencement Exercises are being planned in accordance with Centers for Disease Control and Pennsylvania Department of Health guidelines, which include reduced attendance, hygiene recommendations, social distancing and the use of masks regardless of vaccine status.

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Thiel College is an independent college founded in the Lutheran tradition. Located in Greenville, Pa., the College offers 60 majors and minors, 24 varsity sports, and an 11:1 student-faculty ratio. The College is also home to a new Master of Science in speech-language pathology and 2Master of Business Administration. Both master’s degree programs offer innovative and accelerated five-year paths which allow students to earn a bachelor’s and master’s degree in five years. The speech-language pathology program also has an accelerated 15-month graduate-level program. The M.B.A. program also has a 12-month post-graduate program.A dedicated faculty paired with dynamic research and internship opportunities produce numerous graduate school and job placements. Coeducational from its beginnings, the College remains committed to combining tradition with innovation as it celebrates 150 years.