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News Release

Moravian Theological Seminary to Rededicate Newly Renovated Bahnson Center

Event marks celebration of successful campaign -- A Mission that Matters

Bethlehem, Pa., October 18, 2011--Moravian Theological Seminary will hold a rededication ceremony for the newly renovated Bahnson Center on Wednesday, October 19 beginning at 4 p.m. The ceremony also serves to celebrate the Seminary's comprehensive campaign, A Mission that Matters, which began five years ago.

This summer saw the fruition of one of the A Mission That Matters campaign initiatives through the most extensive building renovations the Bahnson Center has undergone since 1999. A new tower provides a dramatic entrance to the building facing Locust Street (see photo). Other improvements include the replacement of the original heating and air-conditioning system, installation of energy efficient windows and improved lighting, doubling of the restroom facilities, a new kitchen with community room, upgrades in the Saal, and painting in the interior and exterior of the building.

The building is named after Paul G. Bahnson (1898-1973) the grandson of a Moravian bishop, who graduated from Moravian College in 1919. In 1971, he and his wife established the Paul G. and Evangeline B. Bahnson Fund to be used for physical improvements to that institution. The center is a 10,000 square foot one-story structure of masonry and wood frame designed on a "residential scale" to provide for a humanistic environment. Typifying this environment was the large, multipurpose community room known as the "Saal." Bathed in natural light with a minimum of decoration, the Saal included a balcony and moveable seating, in keeping with traditional Moravian meeting space. The rest of the building included a lounge, recreation area, classrooms, offices, a kitchen and a bookstore. Expansion of the facility in 1999-2000 provided for a videoconferencing facility, a student computer lab and the addition of multimedia capabilities in two classrooms and the Saal.

The rededication festivities will begin at 4 p.m. with a prelude by the Bethlehem Area Moravian Trombone Choir. The rededication program will include remarks from Rt. Rev. Hopeton Clennon, chaplain of Moravian College and Theological Seminary; Rev. Dr. Frank Crouch, dean and vice president of Moravian Theological Seminary; Dr. Christopher Thomforde, president of Moravian College and Theological Seminary; and Rev. David Bennett, chair of the Seminary's Board of Trustees.

Moravian Theological Seminary's comprehensive campaign -- A Mission that Matters -- began five years ago with the commitment of the Seminary's Board of Trustees. In 2006 the Trustees made personal pledges totaling over $1 million to the campaign's final goal of $15 million. "Their vision was to impact the life of the students by significantly investing in student scholarships, faculty development, facility renovations, and technology upgrades," said Christopher Thomforde. "Over the course of the campaign numerous alumni and friends of the Seminary made pledges and gave gifts of varying amounts. As a result, the goal of the Seminary's campaign has been achieved."

"Moravian Theological Seminary remains forever grateful to all who have supported the mission of preparing men and women to lead and serve in congregational, counseling, teaching and other ministries over the many years," said Rev. Dr. Frank Crouch. "For generations, God has blessed the Seminary through the benevolence, care, and faithful devotion from many. We offer special thanks to those who have supported the Seminary's campaign, A Mission that Matters. They include the members of the Seminary's Board of Trustees ,the Moravian Church, Northern and Southern Provinces, Salem Congregation of Winston-Salem, alumni, faculty, students, staff, and our many friends, including those who have gone before us."

"Thanks to this unprecedented generosity, the entire Seminary community joins in celebrating the successful conclusion of the campaign. Renovations to the Bahnson Center, a substantial increase in scholarship support for students, and support for the work of an outstanding faculty will be the legacy of this campaign. Moravian Theological Seminary is in a stronger position to serve those exploring a call to ministry, the Moravian Church, and the greater church," Crouch continued. Moravian Theological Seminary encourages persons with disabilities to participate in its programs and activities. Anyone who anticipates needing any type accommodation or who has questions about the physical access provided should contact Kathi Roman at katro@moravian.edu or 610 625-7880.

Moravian Theological 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.