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Moravian College to Exhibit Portion of AIDS Memorial Quilt

A week of programs to raise awareness of AIDS prevention

Bethlehem, Pa., November 27, 2006—Three panels of the AIDS quilt will be on display during the NAMES Project Memorial week, Monday, November 27 through Friday, December 1, in Moravian College Prosser Auditorium, located in the Haupert Union Building.  Additional events throughout the week include films, guest speakers, a candlelight vigil and information displays.

Ann Stuart Thacker, executive director of AIDSNET of the Lehigh Valley will address the impact of AIDS in the region on Monday, November 27 at 4:00 p.m. The closing ceremonies are scheduled for Friday (World AIDS Day) at noon in Prosser Auditorium. The guest speaker will be Andrew Velez, psychotherapist, educator and writer, and a member of AIDSMEDS and consultant to the Latino Commission on AIDS.

The AIDS panels will be exhibited each day from 10:00 to 1:00 p.m. and 4:00 to 8:00 p.m. in memory of Pedro Zamora, Arthur Ashe, and Moravian graduate Kim Kostenbader ’73.

Zamora came to the United States in the 1980 Mariel boat lift. He was a very influential HIV/AIDS activist and educator, and was a guest on numerous television programs, including The Oprah Winfrey Show, before he appeared on MTV's The Real World: San Francisco. Zamora died the day after the last episode aired. After his death, the mayor of his hometown, Miami, dedicated a day in his honor and a street was renamed Pedro Zamora Way.

By the tender age of 7, after the death of his beloved mother, Ashe’s talent for tennis was recognized, and at 10 years old, he was taken under the wing of trainer and mentor, Dr. Walter Johnson. He graduated with a degree in Business Administration from the University of California at Los Angeles via a tennis scholarship. He also served as a second lieutenant in the United States Army Reserve.

In 1963, Ashe won the U.S. hard-court singles championship and became the first African American player to be named to the U.S. Davis Cup team. Two years later, he captured the intercollegiate singles and doubles titles, and won the NCAA men's singles championship, leading UCLA to the team title. In 1968 he defeated Tom Okker to win the U.S. Open. He was, and still is, the only African American man to hold the title. Ashe also helped create the USTA National Junior Tennis League, an inner-city program designed to encourage young athletes.  He went on to win the Australian Open; and then accepted a position with the U.S. Davis Cup team, where he served as captain for the next five years. He was voted into the International Hall of Fame in 1985. After double bypass surgery Ashe was given a blood transfusion, and later tests would reveal that he was HIV-positive. He re-focused his efforts to write a three-volume history of African American athletes who hailed from the U.S., and dedicated the remainder of his life to AIDS education. On February 6, 1993, Ashe died of AIDS-related pneumonia — he was 49 years old.

Kim Kostenbader graduated in 1973 with a major in music from Moravian College. He was gifted with a very fine baritone voice and sang in the greater Delaware Valley region.  After graduation, Kim served as an adjunct faculty member at Moravian College and taught voice.  At Moravian College, baritone Jeffrey Kneebone ’81, began to study voice seriously with Kostenbader; and subsequently launched his career as a successful opera star. Kim moved to Philadelphia and worked as programmer for the radio station WHYY, and changed his name to Lucas Ernst.

Moravian College student and committee member, Debbi Evans ’09, Bethlehem, Pa. explains why she got involved on the project, "I became interested in HIV/AIDS after taking a seminar course on the disease at Moravian College.  My advisor, Dr. Kurvink, suggested I take the course because it coincides with my interest in biomedical research.  The biggest message I took away from that class was the idea that HIV/AIDS is not a solved problem in the world or even the Lehigh Valley.  I’m glad Moravian College is bringing the AIDS Memorial Quilt to our campus because community awareness is an integral part of the fight against HIV/AIDS."

On Tuesday, November 28th, Sharon Brown, director of institutional diversity and multicultural affairs, will lead a discussion of the AIDS epidemic in Africa at 6:00 p.m. in the Synder Room of the Haupert Union Building.

As part of the Reel Leadership film series, the movie “Speaking Out: Women, AIDS, & Hope in Mali” will be shown on Wednesday, November 29 at 6:30 p.m. in the Leadership Center. The film will be hosted by Dr. Suzanne Schneider, post-doctoral teaching fellow in cultural anthropology, Moravian College. After the program, a candlelight Vigil will be held at 8 p.m. by the Peace Pole near Reeves Library on Moravian’s Main Street Campus.

On Thursday, November 30, the Pre-Med Club at Moravian will host a movie titled “KIDS” followed by a discussion period.

The week’s activities will conclude with a closing ceremony featuring a talk by Andrew Velez, a member of AIDSMED, ACT UP New York, and the Latino Commission on AIDS.

The NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt exhibit committee is lead by students Ginny Wilkins ’07, Severna Park, M.D., and Geoffrey Roche ’08, Bethlehem, Pa.  Members of the planning committee include students Deb Evans ’09, Bethlehem, Pa., Lydia Zarrella ’08, Middletown, N.J., Andy Goodbred ’08, Willow Street, Pa. and Kelly LaTourette ’08, Honesdale, Pa.  Advisors for the program are Ann Claussen, director of student activities and the Haupert Union Building (HUB) and Laura Gordon, assistant director of student life at Moravian College.  The programs are sponsored by student organizations including Amnesty International, APE, Gamma Sigma Sigma, The Leadership Center, MCCF, Pre-Med Club, Student Activities, Student Life, and USG.

Student volunteers will participate during shifts in Prosser Auditorium to read names from the quilt and to supervise public views of the quilt. To date 135 students, faculty, staff, and administrators have signed up to be both Names Readers and Greeters in Prosser Auditorium during the course of the event.

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.