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Moravian College
Moravian College Logo
MottoVia Lucis (The Way of Light)
Endowment$71 million[1]
PresidentChristopher M. Thomforde
Admin. staff120[2]
LocationBethlehem, PA, US
CampusSuburban and Urban
ColorsBlue and Grey          
File:Moravian College text.png

Moravian College a private liberal arts college, and the associated Moravian Theological Seminary are located in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, United States, in the Lehigh Valley region. It is America's sixth-oldest college.

The College traces its founding to 1742 by followers of John Amos Comenius, the 17th century Moravian bishop.


The College traces its roots to the Bethlehem Female Seminary, which was founded in 1742 in Germantown, Pennsylvania, as the first school for young women in the U.S. The seminary was created by Benigna, Countess von Zinzendorf, the daughter of Count Nikolaus Ludwig Zinzendorf, who was the benefactor of the fledgling Moravian communities in Nazareth and Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. The Female Seminary was incorporated by the Pennsylvania State Legislature in 1863 and became the woman's college, the Moravian Seminary and College for Women in 1913.[4]

The College also traces its roots to the founding of two boys' schools, established in 1742 and 1743, which merged to become Nazareth Hall in 1759. It was located in the town of Nazareth. Nazareth Hall became, in part, Moravian College & Theological Seminary in 1807. It was later incorporated by the Pennsylvania State Legislature as "Moravian College & Theological Seminary" in 1863. Beginning in 1858 and continuing to 1892, the Seminary and College relocated from Nazareth to a former boys’ school on Church Street in Bethlehem, located on the present site of the Bethlehem City Hall.

The men's Moravian College & Theological Seminary then settled in the north end of the city (the present day North Campus) as a result of a donation from the Bethlehem Congregation of the Moravian Church in 1888. The first buildings constructed at North Campus, Comenius Hall and Zinzendorf Hall, were completed in 1892 and joined the property's original brick farmhouse to form the new campus. The farmhouse was later named Hamilton Hall and still exists today.

In 1954, the two schools combined to form the single, coeducational, modern institution of Moravian College. The merger of the two institutions combined the North Campus (the location of the men's College from 1892–1954) and the South Campus (the location of the woman's College) into a single collegiate campus. The distance between the North and South campuses is about 0.8 miles of Main Street, called the "Moravian Mile." First year students traditionally walk the "Moravian Mile" as part of their orientation activities.[5]

Colonial-era college

The college is one of the oldest in the United States, after Harvard (1636), the College of William and Mary (1693), St. John's College in Annapolis (1696), Yale University (1701), and the University of Pennsylvania (1740).


File:Moravian College Bethlehem Gates 2521px.jpg

Gate of the South Campus from Main Street

Moravian College currently enrolls ~1600 full-time undergraduate students in a wide variety of majors, all of which are presented in the liberal arts tradition. The Seminary enrolls over 100 full-time students in its graduate divinity programs. During most semesters at least 14 denominations are represented in the Seminary student body. Faith communities most often[clarification needed] represented among the Seminary's students include: Moravian, Lutheran, UCC, Episcopal, United Methodist, Presbyterian, Baptist, Roman Catholic, Quaker, Mennonite, Unitarian Universalist, African Methodist Episcopal, Assembly of God, Brethren, Reformed, and nondenominational. The College's varied and highly regarded music programs grow from the Moravian Church's musical traditions.[6]

Moravian College's student newspaper is The Comenian, which is printed biweekly throughout the school year.[7]

Every year the student body elects representatives to the United Student Government. USG has a Legislature, composed of 16 Senators from the undergraduate body, an Executive, including an elected President and Vice President, appointed cabinet and staff, and a Judiciary, composed of appointed Justices. USG was officially recognized in 1968.[citation needed]

A somewhat unique[clarification needed] facet of college governance is the existence of two elected student members of Moravian College's Board of Trustees; both are full, voting members and serve two-year terms.[8]

Moravian College awards the following undergraduate and graduate degrees: the Bachelor of Music; the Bachelor of Arts; the Bachelor of Science; the Master of Business Administration; the Master of Education; the Master of Human Resource Management; the Master of Science program in nursing; the seminary grants Master of Divinity; the Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling; and the Master of Arts in Theological Studies. The College also has evening undergraduate programs for adults seeking continuing undergraduate education and graduate degrees. The seminary has accreditation from the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada.[9]


  • Students of the College have received a number of national awards over its history. Between 2000-2007, seven students were selected as Fulbright Scholars. Overall, nine of the College's students have received the Fulbright Scholarship. Between 2000-2007, one student received a Goldwater Scholarship and another was a Rhodes Scholarship finalist.
  • Initially in 2004 and every year thereafter, the College has been selected for inclusion into the Princeton Review's Best 366 Colleges Guide.[citation needed]
  • Twenty-five percent (25%) of students participate in the College's renowned music program.[citation needed]
  • The internationally renowned College Choir tours throughout the United States and abroad.[10]
  • The College's accredited Music Institute brings the world’s finest performers to Moravian—who also conduct master classes.[citation needed]
  • Upper class art majors have access to their own studios and advanced computer labs.[11]
  • The College's Amrhein Investment Club has assets in excess of $1.3 million, has often outperformed professionally managed stock portfolios, and offers students an unusual hands-on investment opportunity.[12]
  • Moravian offers a number of scholarships for high achieving students. Students who rank in the top 5% of their high school class and achieve a score of at least 2150 on the SAT (or 31 on the ACT) are considered for the Comenius Medallion full-tuition Scholarship. Others include the Comenius Scholarship, the Trustee Scholarship, and the Founders Scholarship.[13]
  • Outside of the classroom, Moravian’s robust athletic program has produced a long chain of All-American student athletes in sports ranging from football to nationally ranked women’s softball and track teams.[citation needed]
  • The College offers the following study abroad opportunities: San José, Costa Rica; Oxford, England; Buckingham, England; London, England; Rennes, France; Paris, France; Alcalá, Spain; Alicante, Spain; Seville, Spain; Erfurt, Germany; Rome, Italy; Florence, Italy; Limerick, Ireland; Shanghai, China; Beijing, China; Tokyo, Japan; Hikone, Japan; Tondabayashi, Japan, Hyderabad, India; Jaipur, India; Wollongong, Australia; Macquarie, Australia; Dakar, Senegal; Accra, Ghana; Nairobi, Kenya; Quito, Ecuador; Cordoba, Argentina; Buenos Aires, Argentina.[14]
  • The College's SOAR Program (Student Opportunities for Academic Research) provides stipends, travel allowances, and expenses for students engaged in research or creative activities through close interaction with a faculty mentor. The program helps Moravian students gain a better understanding of scholarship in their discipline, and fosters scholar-colleague relationships. SOAR stipends can be as high as $3,000 for summer work.[15]
  • The College's Independent Study program allows students to delve deeply into areas of personal interest with the support of senior-faculty members—an unusual opportunity at the undergraduate level.[citation needed]
  • Established in 1960, the College's Honors Program provides qualified seniors the opportunity to pursue a yearlong intensive study of a subject of special interest.[16]
  • The College specifically promotes student and faculty research collaboration. Students and professors work together well—and often—at Moravian. Student-faculty research projects have included a habitat analysis of the nearby Monocacy Creek, robotic software development, and a study of cognitive changes following stroke-prevention surgery.[citation needed]
  • The College is a Member of the Lehigh Valley Association of Independent Colleges (LVAIC); members include Muhlenberg College, Lafayette College, Lehigh University, Cedar Crest College, and DeSales University; students from each institution can take classes in each other member institution and can take courses in programs offered at other institutions not offered at Moravian, such as architecture.[17]
  • Approximately twenty percent of graduates attend graduate school.[citation needed]
  • Because Bethlehem, Pennsylvania and Tondabayashi, Japan have been sister cities for over half a century, Moravian College and Osaka Ohtani University (大阪大谷大学) have had a partnership for over 10 years.[18] Each spring, several Japanese students come to Moravian for two weeks to take a class about the American education system. These students are hosted by Moravian students and enjoy trips to New York City and Philadelphia. During May and June 2010, the first two Moravian students studied at Osaka Ohtani University and such trips are expected to become a regular part of Moravian study abroad programs.[19]

Moravian College has been named one of the best liberal arts colleges in the nation by The Princeton Review.


The College's programs are offered on four campuses, known as the North Campus (Main Campus), the South Campus (Priscilla Payne Hurd Campus), the Steel Field Complex, and the St. Luke's Hospital Campus.[20]

File:Moravian College Bethlehem 2924px.jpg

South Campus from Main Street

South Campus

Art and music programs are offered in Bethlehem's historic district on the college's South Campus, also known as the Church Street Campus and now the Priscilla Payne Hurd Campus. Many of the buildings on that campus were built during the colonial period, including the Brethren's House, built in 1748, which served as a hospital during the Revolutionary War, and currently houses the Music Department. Also located on South Campus are the President's House, Main Hall (1854), the Widow's House, Clewell Hall, West Hall, South Hall, the 1867 Chapel, Clewell Dining Hall, and the Central Moravian Church. A number of the buildings are connected. The facilities have been renovated to include Payne Gallery (renovated from the original women's gymnasium - 1903), the College's two-level art gallery that offers several shows each year, Foy Concert Hall, an auditorium with excellent acoustics.As well as Peter Hall, a medium-sized colonial style recital hall, Hearst Hall, a small colonial style recital hall, and individual student rehearsal rooms and art studios. Also located on South Campus are intramural fields, Monocacy Creek, and an outdoor amphitheatre. The College presents its famed and televised Christmas Vespers services in the Central Moravian Church, located on the corner of Main and Church streets across from Brethren's House. Many of the buildings on the South Campus are located in a National Register of Historic Places District and Church Street has been referred to as one of the most historic streets in America.

In the 2009-2010 school year, Moravian College added a new living complex on South Campus called The HILL. Each floor has suites, where four to sixteen people can live. The complex has classrooms, a cafe, a fitness room, a mail room, and common rooms. The HILL is air conditioned and fully handicap accessible. The suites themselves contain a living room, full kitchen, private bathroom, and additional hallway sinks. A shuttle service is provided for easy transportation between the North and South campuses.

North Campus

Initially purchased in 1888 and settled in 1892, the North Campus is also known as the Main Street campus, as it is physically larger and is the site of the majority of the College's buildings, academic departments, administration, and student residences. The main building of the North Campus is Comenius Hall, which was built in 1892 and is named for John Amos Comenius, the last bishop of Unity of the Brethren, known as the "father of modern education" for his revolutionary educational principles. Comenius wrote in 1632 that "not the children of the rich or of the powerful only, but of all alike, boys and girls, both noble and ignoble, rich and poor, in all cities and towns, villages and hamlets, should be sent to school". The Moravians had considered schools secondary in importance only to churches. A statue of Comenius, which was a gift to the College from Charles University of Prague and the Moravian Church of Czechoslovakia, stands in front of Comenius Hall. The North Campus is also the location of Reeves Library, the newly constructed Priscilla Payne Hurd Academic Complex, Colonial Hall, The Bahnson Center, the Moravian Archives, Zinzendorf Hall, Borhek Chapel, Prosser Auditorium (capacity 300), Monacacy Hall, Collier Hall of Science, Hamilton Hall, Memorial Hall, Johnston Hall (capacity 1,600 for athletics, 3,000 for events), the Timothy M. Breidagam Athletic and Recreation Center, the Collier Hall of Science, the Haupert Union Building, the Arena Theatre, and most of the College's student housing, including dorms, townhouses, and apartments.

Located at one of the two quads of the North Campus are the soccer and lacrosse field. Intercollegiate contests are played at the center of campus with views from the residential halls, Reeves Library, and the portico of the Haupert Union Building. Also located on the North Campus is the Betty Prince field hockey field.

Steel Field Complex

Most of the College's athletic fields are located at this Complex, including the newly renovated football stadium with a grandstand capacity of 2,400 and a new Sportexe turf field, six lane Mondo Super X Performance synthetic track, the softball field, the Gillespie baseball field, the Hoffman tennis courts, the football practice fields, and a fieldhouse.

Steel Field and its brick grandstand were originally built by Bethlehem Steel to host the Bethlehem Steel Soccer Club, 1913-1930. In 1925, Lehigh University purchased Steel Field from Bethlehem Steel.[21] The Bethlehem Steel Soccer Club continued to use the field until its demise. In 1962, Lehigh sold the facility to Moravian College.[22]

St. Luke's University Hospital Partnership

The students in the nursing program spend much of their time at the Priscilla Payne Hurd Academic Complex at St. Luke’s Hospital in Bethlehem. The Center includes lecture halls, classrooms, a nurses’ learning laboratory, simulation technology, and lounges. The classrooms and lecture halls have state-of-the-art electronics enabling faculty to provide multimedia presentations including computer imaging.


  • Men's sports: football, soccer, basketball, baseball, track and field, cross country, tennis, and golf.
  • Women's sports: softball, basketball, soccer, field hockey, track and field, volleyball, tennis, and cross country.
  • From 1987 to 2011, Moravian's football coach was Scot Dapp, one of the best winning records among active Division III coaches. Dapp was president of the American Football Coaches Association.

Notable alumni

  • J. Neil Alexander, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta.
  • John Andretti, NASCAR, Indy car, and NHRA race car driver.
  • William Frederic Badè, former president of the Sierra Club, 1918–1922.
  • James Montgomery Beck, Class of 1880, United States Attorney for Pennsylvania, 1896–1900; Assistant Attorney General of the United States, 1900–1903; Solicitor General of the United States, 1921–1925; Member of United States House of Representatives, 1927–1934; and noted constitutional law scholar.
  • John B. Callahan, current Mayor of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania; 2010 Democratic nominee for Pennsylvania's 15th congressional district.
  • Rev. Edmund Alexander de Schweinitz, Class of 1834, Bishop of the Moravian Church; author and founder of "the Moravian", the weekly journal of the Moravian Church.
  • Edgar Lewis Clewell, Class of 1916, Brigadier General of U.S. Army.
  • Bertha Finkelstein Cohen, co-founder of Piercing Pagoda.
  • Ken Davis, lobbyist and Pennsylvania Republican political figure.[23]
  • John Gorka, contemporary folk musician.
  • Louis Greenwald, New Jersey State Assemblyman.
  • William Jacob Holland, zoologist and paleontologist; University of Pittsburgh Chancellor, 1891–1901; former Director of the Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh.
  • George Hrab, musician and podcaster.
  • Andrew A. Humphreys, Class of 1822, Brigadier General in the U.S. Army; Union General in the Civil War; Division Commander, Army of the Potomac; Chief Engineer of the U.S. Army; one of the principal incorporators of the National Academy of Science; author of scientific and historical works.
  • William D. Hutchinson, Justice, Pennsylvania Supreme Court, 1982–1987; Judge, United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, 1987-1995.
  • Bobby "Lips" Levine, American jazz saxophonist.
  • John Baillie McIntosh, Class of 1837, Major General in the U.S. Army; Union Army Officer in the Civil War; Commander in the Battle of Gettysburg; Superintendent of Indian Affairs for California, 1869-1870.
  • Sandra Novack, author.
  • Fred Rooney, Director, Community Legal Resource Network, CUNY.
  • Herbert Spaugh, U.S. bishop of the Moravian Church.
  • Edward Thebaud, Class of 1816, New York industrialist and merchant; principal, Bouchard & Thebaud, 1820–1826; principal, Edward Thebaud & Son, 1850-1858.
  • David Zinczenko, editor-in-chief, Men's Health magazine.

Notable trustees

  • Curtis H. Barnette, Trustee; former Chairman and CEO of Bethlehem Steel; former Fulbright Scholar; B.A., West Virginia University; J.D., Yale University; admitted to practice law in Pennsylvania, Connecticut, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia and before the U.S. Supreme Court and various federal courts; appointed by President Ronald Reagan as a member of the Council of the Administrative Conference of the United States in 1988; appointed by President George Bush to the Advisory Committee on Trade Policy and Negotiations in 1989; appointed by Secretary of Labor Elizabeth Dole as a member of the Coal Commission in 1990; President, Association of General Council; Chairman, American Society of Corporate Secretaries; Vice Chairman, Yale Law School Fund; and Member, New York Stock Exchange Legal Advisory Committee; Chairman of the WVU Foundation Board of Directors and the WVU Board of Governors; Vice Chairman, Foundation for a Drug Free Pennsylvania; Vice Chairman, Pennsylvania Business Roundtable; Director, American Iron and Steel Institute; Director, International Iron and Steel Institute; Director, WLVT-TV, Channel 39
  • James Montgomery Beck, Class of 1880 and Trustee, United States Attorney for Pennsylvania, 1896–1900; Assistant Attorney General of the United States, 1900–1903; Solicitor General of the United States, 1921–1925; Member of United States House of Representatives, 1927–1934; and noted constitutional law scholar; his most famous book, The Constitution of the United States (1924), sold over 50,000 copies, including translations in German and French; President of the Philadelphia Shakespeare Society from 1913 until his death in April 1936; elected a bencher of Gray’s Inn in 1914, being the first foreigner in 600 years to receive that distinction; received decorations from France and Belgium
  • Delight E. Breidegam, Trustee; Chairman of East Penn Manufacturing; son attended Moravian College & Theological Seminary and suffered a tragic accident in Mexico during his tenure; noted benefactor of Moravian College & Theological Seminary
  • Lewis W. Foy, Trustee; former Chairman and CEO of Bethlehem Steel; honorary degrees from Moravian College, The University of Liberia, Lehigh University, and Valparaiso University
  • Priscilla Payne Hurd, Trustee and former Chairperson of Trustees; 1942 graduate of Finch College and the University of Chicago; noted philanthropist; noted benefactor of Moravian College & Theological Seminary; noted art collector and benefactor of the arts; benefactor of DeSales University, St. Luke's Hospital, the Madeira School in Virginia, and Lehigh University; honorary degrees from Moravian College and DeSales University
  • Archibald Johnston, Trustee; former President of Bethlehem Steel (appointed by Charles M. Schwab); active civic leader

Notes and references

External links

Template:Women's colleges that became coeducational

Template:Moravian Church Navigation

Coordinates: 40°37.81′N 75°22.90′W / 40.63017°N 75.38167°W / 40.63017; -75.38167