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Moravian Receives $4.5 Million Bequest from Long Time Friend of Seminary and College

Charles D. Couch a lineal descendent of Count Zinzendorf had many ties to Moravian

Bethlehem, Pa., August 10, 2007— The late Charles D. Couch, a long time friend of Moravian Theological Seminary and Moravian College, who died at the age of 91 on December 31, 2006, has bequeathed an anticipated amount of $4.5 million that the Seminary and College expects to receive in the near future. The Couch bequest is the largest single gift in the history of both the Seminary and the College. In July of 2007, Moravian Theological Seminary received a gift of approximately $3.2 million from the estate of prominent Bethlehem businessman, and philanthropist Adam Brinker who died in 1928.

Moravian recently received notification from Wilmington Trust, executor of the estate, that Seminary and College will receive the gift from Mr. Couch’s Revocable Trust.  “We are most grateful for this thoughtful and generous gift from Mr. Couch,” said Christopher M. Thomforde, president of Moravian College and Moravian Theological Seminary. “It is a testament to the loyalty and generosity of our alumni and friends.”

The roots of Charles D. Couch family run deep into Moravian history. Couch is a direct descendent of Count Nicholas von Zinzendorf and his daughter, the Countess Benigna von Watteville.  Benigna’s founding of the Moravian Seminary for Young Ladies in 1742 is counted as its founding date by Moravian College, and Couch’s family has been involved in the other streams of tradition that have flowed together to make up the modern-day institution.

Among those in his family tree are the Rev. Paul de Schweinitz, men’s collegeClass of 1884, and a president of the Northern Province of the Moravian Church in America, and the Rev. Edmund de Schweinitz, who served as president of Moravian College and Theological Seminary from 1867 to 1885. In all, more than a dozen members of Couch’s family have attended Moravian. His niece is Rt. Rev. M. Blair Couch ’78, an ordained pastor and bishop in the Moravian Church, who serves as a teaching associate for Moravian Theological Seminary

During his life, Couch treasured his Moravian roots. He established numerous charitable gift annuities throughout the years with appreciated securities. His generosity was motivated by his desire to ensure that Moravian would continue to train future generations of students at both the Theological Seminary and the College.

About Charles Daniel Couch

Charles Daniel Couch, formerly of Alapocas, Delaware, and a resident of the Methodist Country House, died on December 31, 2006 at the age of 91. Mr. Couch was a 1938 graduate of Lehigh University. After 39 years of service, he retired from the treasurer’s department of the DuPont Company in December 1979. During World War II, he served four and one-half years as an officer in the Army infantry, from 1941 to 1945, three years of which were spent in the South Pacific Islands. He was a member of the Aldersgate United Methodist Church, Fairfax, Delaware, and also of several other organizations. He enjoyed bowling, golf and bridge. His first wife, Elizabeth Mims Couch, died in January 1960, and his second wife, Nancy Wright Couch, died in April, 1994. Charles Couch was a strong supporter of many organizations, including Lehigh University, Moravian College, Moravian Academy, and the Bach Choir of Bethlehem.  (Published in The Morning Call, 2007).

About Moravian Theological Seminary

Moravian Theological Seminary is the seminary of the Moravian Church in the United States. The Seminary offers graduate degrees and continuing education programs to prepare men and women for effective leadership and service in congregational, counseling, teaching, and other ministries. The Seminary is rooted in the Moravian faith tradition – centered in Jesus Christ, grounded in Scripture, ecumenical in spirit, committed to community, and focused on missional leadership. For more information visit the Seminary on the Web at: http://www.moravianseminary.edu.

About Moravian College

Moravian College is a residential, liberal arts college that draws on the Moravian traditions of community, engagement in the world, and balance among body, mind, and spirit in the life of the individual.  The College seeks to develop in students of all backgrounds the capacity to learn, reflect, reason, communicate, and act with integrity as individuals and in association with others.  This education prepares men and women for advanced study and continuous learning, individual achievement, and leadership and service for the common good. Tracing its founding to 1742, Moravian is recognized as America's sixth-oldest college. Visit the Web site at www.moravian.edu