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Moravian College to hold Commencement on May 12

The Ceremony will conclude the 265th academic year at Moravian College

Bethlehem, Pa., May 6, 2007—Moravian College will hold commencement ceremonies on Saturday, May 12, beginning at 10:00 a.m., in the outdoor quadrangle behind the Haupert Union Building on the Main Street Campus. The ceremony will conclude the 265th academic year at Moravian, America’s sixth-oldest college. In the event of rain, the program will be held in Johnston Hall. The College will grant degrees to approximately 385 bachelor degree candidates, 13 Master of Business Administration degree candidates, and 13 Master of Education degree candidates.

In honor of a longstanding Moravian College tradition, the graduating class elected a faculty member and a student to speak at the commencement ceremony. Dr. Theresa Dougal, associate professor of English and chair of the Department of English, has been selected to present the Statement to the Graduates. A member of the faculty since 1994, Dougal has won the Lindback Teaching Award and the Golden Apple Award for leadership and excellence in teaching.  She received a B.A., from Boston College, and an M.A., and Ph.D. from the University of Chicago.

Peter Cunha, class of 2007, (Alexandria, N.J.) will deliver the Statement of the Bachelor's Graduates. Cunha pursued a double major in International Management/Spanish and English. During his college career, he was an academic all American who earned a spot on the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District First Team College Division Men’s Soccer this fall. Cunha has maintained a 3.84 grade-point average at Moravian and was a three-year starter and captain his senior year on the men’s soccer squad. A member of multiple honor societies he was named to the Dean’s list every semester. He was the sports editor for The Comenian student newspaper.

M.B.A. degree candidate Krista Benkovic (Whitehall, Pa.) was selected to deliver the Statement of the Master's Graduates. She is the program manager for Product and Technology Reengineering at Dun & Bradstreet in Center Valley, Pa. A graduate of Central Catholic High School and Lehigh University, Benkovic is a member of the Network of Young Professionals and actively volunteers with Junior Achievement.

During commencement, the College will present an honorary Doctor of Science degree to the husband and wife team of Dr. William S. Hoffman and Dr. Margaret A. Kraybill for their pronounced and sustained leadership in advocating, assisting, and expanding treatment programs and care for the people of Tanzania, especially those who are afflicted with HIV/AIDS.

Upon their retirement as practicing physicians at St. Luke’s Hospital in Fountain Hill, Pa., Hoffman and Kraybill embarked on a mission to determine how they might provide medical assistance to people in Tanzania, East Africa.  In the year 2000, they journeyed to the remote village of Sikonge to volunteer their time and talents at a 200 bed hospital built by German and Danish settlers in 1932. They found conditions at the hospital very adverse and many people suffering from malaria, typhoid fever, pneumonia, infectious tuberculosis, and HIV/AIDS.

After their initial visit, they have returned ten times to Tanzania to help improve medical conditions and to engage in open and honest discussions about HIV/AIDS with government officials and the local population.  They established a program that gave blood tests to pregnant women to determine if they were HIV positive in order to prevent the transmission of the virus from mother to child. 

Due to their hard work and effort to communicate openly and to educate the people of the region, the testing program was well received, and they expanded the program to include the administration of the drug Viramune to the HIV positive pregnant mothers.  The protocol is an effective treatment for the prevention of transmission of HIV/AIDS from the mother to the child.

The couple established an “Adopt a Village” program and encouraged others in America to help provide ongoing support for the care of Tanzanian orphans.  Today, over 2,600 orphans receive help from the efforts of Hoffman and Kraybill and the attention of the world now focuses upon the AIDS pandemic.

The College will present DeLight E. Breidegam, Jr. with an honorary degree of Doctor of Letters in a special ceremony at a later date. Breidegam, chairman of East Penn Manufacturing Company, is a member of the College’s Board of Trustees.

The Moravian College baccalaureate service is scheduled for Friday, May 11, at 5:00 p.m., in Central Moravian Church. The honored speaker will be The Rev. Dr. Joan Brown Campbell who will present a talk titled, “For Such a Time As This.”

Campbell presently serves as the director of the Department of Religion at the Chautauqua Institution, a 131-year old center for art, education, religion and recreation.  She serves as spiritual leader and chaplain for the Institution. Campbell, formerly general secretary of the National Council of Churches USA, and director of the US Office of the World Council of Churches, is an ordained minister with standing in the American Baptist Church and the Christian Church Disciples of Christ.

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 Moravian College Web site at http://www.moravian.edu. For more information on commencement at Moravian, visit http://www.moravian.edu/studentLife/commencement/index.htm