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News Release

Moravian to Welcome Class of 2013 with Orientation Weekend

Students to Walk Moravian Mile; Discuss “The World Without Us” with author Alan Weisman

Bethlehem, Pa., August 12, 2009—Moravian College will welcome the incoming class of 2013 on Orientation Weekend that marks the official introduction to the campus community and the transition into the academic environment.  With the orientation of the Class of 2013, comes the second year of two new traditions, the Crossing Ceremony and HOUNDfest which were popular among last year’s incoming class. Other highlights of the weekend include the opening convocation, a cookout, orientation programs, the class walk, campus service project, and Introduction to College Life group discussion of The World Without Us and a community event featuring the author of the book, Alan Weisman. Classes for all students begin on Monday, August 31.

First year students will begin moving in the morning of Friday, August 28 and representatives from the Bursar’s Office, the Financial Aid Office, Counseling Center, and the Health Center will be present to provide information and answer questions. An Opening Convocation ceremony will take place in Central Moravian Church to signify the ceremonial beginning for new students and a formal “farewell” for parents. Activities are planned until the evening program of entertainment and socialization.

On Saturday, August 29 at 11 a.m., students will be led by President Dr. Christopher M. Thomforde and senior administrators to walk the “Moravian Mile.”  The traditional walk starts at the 1742 oval located at the corner of Locust and Monocacy Streets and follows the Moravian Mile down Main Street to Moravian's Priscilla Payne Hurd Campus on Church Street. Afterwards, students will make the 6,000 candles in Johnston Hall from wax that will be used by the College during the Christmas Vespers Services in Central Moravian Church.

On Sunday at 4:45 p.m., President Thomforde and other senior administrators will lead the Class of 2013 from the admission office lawn, across the street, through the College gates to Comenius Hall. This crossing symbolically marks the formal arrival and initiation as members of the Moravian College community.

Sunday’s program in the morning will lead with an “Introduction to College Life” and group discussions of the assigned reading of The World Without Us by Alan Weisman. Later in the day, the Community Event will feature a talk and discussion by Weisman about his book, and a book signing.

In The World Without Us, Weisman offers an original approach to questions of humanity's impact on the planet: he asks us to envision the Earth, without us. In this far-reaching narrative, Weisman explains how our massive infrastructure would collapse and finally vanish without human presence; what of our everyday stuff may become immortalized as fossils; how copper pipes and wiring would be crushed into mere seams of reddish rock; why some of our earliest buildings might be the last architecture left; and how plastic, bronze sculpture, radio waves, and some man-made molecules may be our most lasting gifts to the universe.

“We are delighted to host an author of his caliber as part of our common reading program,” said Holly Nonnemacher, director of student activities and chair of new student transition. “Learning and thinking about issues and situations from multiple and diverse perspectives is a hallmark of a liberal arts education. The common reading experience provides a model of learning that values openness to new ideas and promotes an expectation for academic engagement.”

The World Without Us, a bestseller translated into 30 languages, was named the Best Nonfiction Book of 2007 by both Time Magazine and Entertainment Weekly, the number one Nonfiction Audiobook of 2007 by iTunes; a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award in Nonfiction, for the Orion Prize, and a Book Sense 2008 Honor Book.

Alan Weisman's reports from around the world have appeared in Harper's, The New York Times Magazine, The Atlantic Monthly, The Los Angeles Times Magazine, Orion, Wilson Quarterly, Vanity Fair, Mother Jones, Discover, Audubon, Condé Nast Traveler, and in many anthologies, including Best American Science Writing 2006.  His previous books include An Echo In My Blood; Gaviotas: A Village to Reinvent the World; and La Frontera: The United States Border With Mexico. A senior producer for Homelands Productions, Weisman’s documentaries have aired on National Public Radio, Public Radio International, and American Public Media.  Each spring, he leads an annual field program in international journalism at the University of Arizona, where is Laureate Associate Professor in Journalism and Latin American Studies.

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.