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Bryon L. Grigsby ’90 Named 16th President of Moravian College

Chief Academic Officer at Shenandoah University chosen to lead College and Seminary

Bryon Grigsby

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Bethlehem, Pa., December 20, 2012 —Bryon L. Grigsby, senior vice president and vice president for academic affairs at Shenandoah University, has been named the 16th president of Moravian College and Moravian Theological Seminary. Grigsby is a 1990 graduate of Moravian College.

The announcement was made by Lyn Trodahl Chynoweth, chair of Moravian’s Joint Board of Trustees. Grigsby will assume the presidency in July 2013. He succeeds Christopher M. Thomforde, who will depart Moravian in July after serving seven years as president of the College and Seminary.

“Dr. Grigsby brings experience from a number of other institutions as a scholar, a teacher and an innovative administrator,” said Trodahl Chynoweth. “His leadership skills and his commitment to the holistic student experience were touted by his colleagues. Those skills and experiences, coupled with his passion for Moravian, position him to lead Moravian College and Moravian Theological Seminary superbly in the coming years—a time which will be fraught with changes to the higher education landscape in the Lehigh Valley and beyond.”

“As the successful administration of Dr. Thomforde concludes, Moravian is positioned for even greater future success,” Trodahl Chynoweth added. “We believe that Bryon Grigsby will provide the experience, energy, and character needed to lift Moravian to a new level of institutional excellence and distinction.”

Kenneth J. Rampolla, chair-elect of the Board of Trustees echoed Trodahl Chynoweth’s enthusiasm. “It is an honor to welcome Dr. Bryon Grigsby back to the Moravian College community as our new president-elect. His experiences as a provost, administrator, professor and Greyhound make him an ideal candidate to lead Moravian as we continue to strengthen and enhance our institution,” he noted.

Grigsby is honored to return to Moravian and meet the challenges facing higher education and build upon the College’s strong tradition of academic excellence. "There is no greater honor than to serve your alma mater, and I am truly humbled to be selected as the next president of Moravian College. It is a call to come home,” he said. “As the sixth-oldest college in the nation, Moravian has a rich history, distinguished alumni, engaged faculty, committed student support staff, and a vibrant and active student body.

“Moravian also provides a beacon of faith through its values-based undergraduate education and the teaching at the Seminary,” Grigsby noted. “Moravian prepared me well for life, and I want to ensure that the College flourishes in the future so it can continue to transform lives. I look forward to working with those who call Moravian and the Bethlehem community home."

The presidential search committee worked over a six-month period with Greenwood/Asher and Associates, an executive search firm specializing in higher education. The committee solicited the input and perspective of the entire campus community through face-to-face listening sessions, as well as through an online leadership survey, which also captured input from alumni.

Rev. David Bennett, chair of the Seminary Board of Trustees, chaired the search committee. “The Board of Trustees of Moravian Theological Seminary is extremely pleased with Dr. Grigsby’s willingness to serve as the next president. We know Moravian will benefit from his collaborative leadership style and his experience in utilizing technology in higher education,” he explained. “We are grateful for Dr. Thomforde's excellent leadership in helping us to navigate our way through today’s changing landscape of theological education. We now welcome Dr. Grigby's vision as we explore new and innovative ways for preparing men and women for effective leadership and service in congregational, counseling, teaching, and other ministries.”

Grigsby has served as senior vice president and vice president for academic affairs at Shenandoah University in Winchester, Virginia, since 2008. As the chief academic officer at the institution, he is responsible for the administration of academic programs and is their main advocate to the president and the Board of Trustees. He is also responsible for the implementation of the campus-wide strategic plan.

Under his leadership, Shenandoah became the first environmentally friendly laptop campus in 2009, distributing MacBook Pros and iPod Touches to all incoming students. He has also shepherded the new First-Year Seminar Program called "Going Global" which provides the starting point for undergraduates to become good global citizens. He worked with the president and vice president for development in a successful $65 million capital campaign. In the classroom, Grigsby has regularly taught courses in his fields of expertise, including composition, Chaucer, Shakespeare, medieval and early modern literatures, and the history of medicine and disease.

Grigsby received a B.A. from Moravian College in 1990, an M.A. from Wake Forest University, and a Ph.D. from Loyola University Chicago, specializing in medieval literature, early modern literature, and the history of medicine. During 1991, Grigsby studied at Oxford University as part of his master's degree program. In 2004, he completed Harvard University's Institute for Educational Management program and Villanova University's Graduate Certificate program in Project Management.

As a scholar, Grigsby has published a monograph, Pestilence in Medieval and Renaissance English Literature, and Misconceptions of the Middle Ages, a collection of essays compiled with his co-editor Stephen Harris. Both works were published by Routledge Press. He has also served as the general editor for an online journal Medica, and was one of the founding members and inaugural president of Medica: The Society for the Study of Health and Healing in the Middle Ages. He served as an expert for The Washington Post's article on the cultural interpretation of disease in relation to SARS, and has published articles in Shakespeare Magazine, The Writing Lab Newsletter, Modern Language Association's Teaching Medicine and Literature, The Connecticut Review, and Essays in Medieval Studies.

Prior to his work at Shenandoah University, Grigsby held several administrative and academic positions at Centenary College in Hackettstown, New Jersey. From 2000 to 2008, he was an assistant professor of English and director of the Writing Center, dean of graduate and professional programs, vice president for strategic implementation and professional programs, and provost and chief operating officer.

While at Centenary, Grigsby assisted the president in completing a $38 million capital campaign. He also was credited with building consensus for the institution’s strategic plan, significantly growing adult and online curricula to improve access and convenience to generate revenue, and shaping undergraduate curriculum to better serve the students and increase retention. He also received a grant from NASA for an Innovative Teacher Training Program that used gaming technology to enhance learning. As an advocate for using technology to improve teaching and learning, Grigsby has been recognized and interviewed by Campus Technology as a leading chief academic officer for employing cutting-edge technology.

Grigsby has been an active member of the communities in which he has worked. He is a president of the Frederick County Rotary, and chairman of the board for the United Way of Northern Shenandoah. He serves as a member of the Shenandoah Valley Technology Committee, and the Old Town Development Board.

About Moravian College

America’s sixth oldest 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.

The College traces its founding to 1742 by followers of Jon Amos Comenius, the 17th-century Moravian bishop whose humanistic ideals helped to shape modern education. Those ideals—that learning should be available to all, that teaching should be in accord with human nature, and that education should be applied to practical uses—are much in evidence at Moravian. Today, the college enrolls students from a great variety of socioeconomic, religious, racial, and ethnic backgrounds; provides for highly personalized learning experiences; and offers many opportunities for students to direct their education toward individual and professional goals.

The college expresses its Moravian heritage in musical and artistic programs of great distinction, which are shared with the Bethlehem community. Together with its cultural offerings, Moravian’s handsome historic campuses, the community service of its undergraduates, and its programs of graduate and professional education for adults through the Comenius Center make it a valued part of the fabric of Bethlehem. Moravian Theological Seminary, an ecumenical learning community preparing men and women for Christian leadership, is a global resource. Visit the web site at http://www.moravian.edu.