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(Bethlehem, Pennsylvania) - On Friday, October 18, the Moravian College Board of Trustees approved naming the College's new academic building in honor of Mrs. Priscilla Payne Hurd, chair of the Board of Trustees. The fifteen million dollar academic building was officially named prior to an official dedication ceremony, also held on October 18.
Priscilla Payne Hurd, a Moravian trustee since 1979, assumed the chairmanship of the Board of Trustees at its October 1999 board meeting. She was awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Letters from Moravian College in 1993.
Mrs. Hurd is a well-known and prominent figure on Moravian's campus. Her support of the institution has included funding for the Hurd Center for Music and Art, the establishment of the Payne Art Gallery, and the launching of the Comenius Scholarships for outstanding students. Hundreds of students, faculty members, and other members of the Moravian community turned out to honor her 80th birthday in September 1999. As chair of Moravian's Board, Mrs. Hurd has spearheaded major improvements in the College's infrastructure and programs, including construction of the new academic complex and townhouse-style student residences, and a campus-wide renovation of signage and landscaping. In October 2001, the Board of Trustees formally designated the College's campus on Church Street in historic Bethlehem the "Priscilla Payne Hurd Campus."
Her prominent leadership role in the region has not been limited to Moravian; she was also the first woman chair of the board of St. Luke's Hospital in Bethlehem. Rotary International has named her a Paul Harris Fellow "for tangible and significant assistance given for the furtherance of better understanding and friendly relations among peoples of the world." She is also a trustee of the Frank E. and Seba B. Payne Foundation. She was named an Eminent Fellow of the American Biographical Institute in 1993.
The 55,000-square-foot, ADA-compliant building was erected on land between the Collier Hall of Science and the Haupert Union Building, facing Memorial Hall across from an open plaza. A second-floor bridge connects the new building to Collier Hall of Science.
The Priscilla Payne Hurd Academic Complex is a technologically advanced classroom facility containing fourteen new classrooms, including two tiered lecture halls, with a total seating capacity of 618. All classrooms are "smart" classrooms, with a computer stations for the instructor, selected multimedia equipment to match the use of the room, and a ceiling-mounted projector. Some classrooms also include student computer stations.
One classroom is designed as a mock teaching space for kindergarten-through-twelfth-grade teacher training. Laboratories include a computer laboratory with 30 student workstations, a data and statistics laboratory, an experimental teaching room, three observation rooms for psychology, and four small student and faculty research rooms. The conference and breakout rooms lend themselves to small group discussions and seminars.
The building will house four academic departments: Mathematics and Computer Science, Psychology, Sociology, and Education, with individual offices for permanent faculty members and four group offices for adjunct faculty. The placement of faculty offices for the four academic departments in proximity to each other promotes the College's multidisciplinary efforts, while proximity to the classrooms and to student/faculty common areas will provide for easy interaction on a one-to-one basis.
The construction of the Priscilla Payne Hurd Academic Complex addressed what was a pressing need, additional classrooms accommodate an increasing enrollment with technologically-enhanced space to meet the demands of modern pedagogy.
Moravian College is a private, coeducational, selective liberal arts college located in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Tracing its founding to 1742, it is recognized as America's sixth-oldest college. Visit the Web site at www.moravian.edu.