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As a graduate of the small Bangor High School, Donald F. Spry II ’69 believed he would be more successful at a small college than at a large university. He looked around at a few small, private colleges, and was hooked when he visited Moravian.
“I knew Moravian had a strong history department and at that time, I wanted to get my PhD in history and teach,” he explains. “I had no thoughts of becoming a lawyer, but over time, the teaching field seemed crowded, and so I took my LSATs and applied to law school.”
Spry joined half-dozen other Bangor High students who arrived at Moravian simultaneously, and they formed a bond. In fact, one of his roommates was among those six. His father had a law firm in Bangor, and after Spry graduated from law school at University of Pittsburgh and served in the Army, he went to work for him.
“Moravian prepared me well for what I had to deal with in law school,” he says. “I wouldn’t have been as academically focused if I had gone to a large school right out of high school. But I was ready for it after my Moravian experience.” Spry majored in history and minored in political science. Aside from being a member and officer of OGO, he focused on his academic studies. He remembers Dan Gilbert and his class in the Civil War, and Richard Jones, his pre-law professor and advisor with whom he did an independent study on WWII and European History.
“My professors were engaging. They inspired me, required rigor, and made us come to class prepared. Because of that, I enjoyed my time at Moravian,” says Spry. “Having a professor who engages you makes the experience a lot better. I recall that my professors were all outstanding in their own right, and brought that experience to the classroom.”
After earning his JD at Pittsburgh in 1972, Spry joined the Army, but because of military pull-back in Vietnam at that time, served six months active duty at Fort Knox, Kentucky, then began practicing law in Bangor, Pa. His law firm merged in 2001 and relocated to Bethlehem. He concentrates in family law and education law.
Spry loves Bethlehem. He calls it a “good place with good quality of life,” and is at home in the community that welcomed him as an undergraduate. He has lived in the town with his wife and two children since his discharge from the Army.
“I was grounded in the basics at Moravian, and felt a comfort level that I could compete with all the other law students, even though I came from a small, private school. There were a lot of Ivy Leaguers, but I felt just as prepared as anyone else,” he says. “And I attribute a lot of that to Moravian. I got a good education there, and had fun too.”
"My professors were engaging. They inspired me, required rigor, and made us come to class prepared. Because of that, I enjoyed my time at Moravian."