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Seminary Trustees Honor President Rokke with Scholarship Fund

Bethlehem, Pa., November 2, 2005—When Ervin J. Rokke announced that he would step away from the presidency of Moravian College and Moravian Theological Seminary in July 2006, his announcement was met with deep emotion from members of the Seminary Trustees. A much admired leader, Dr. Rokke has worked closely with the trustees as they have overseen changes in leadership, faculty, and curriculum throughout his 9 year tenure.

Soon after hearing of Dr. Rokke’s retirement plans, Chairperson Lyn Trodahl Chynoweth invited the Seminary Trustees to consider raising funds among themselves and former members to establish a student scholarship fund to honor Erv and his wife Pam Rokke. By October 18th, more than $55,000 had been pledged with additional funds expected.

In a show of overwhelming support, all active members of the Seminary Trustees contributed to the scholarship fund. According to Chynoweth, “the board really came through. I’m grateful to each member for stepping up. I’m also grateful to the Rokkes for being the strong supporters of the Seminary, its programs and its mission. This is a small token of appreciation to help the legacy of the Rokkes live on.”

The Erv and Pam Rokke Scholarship Fund will provide support for students enrolled at the Seminary beginning in the 2006 fall semester. When asked to comment on the creation of the scholarship fund by the trustees, Dr. Rokke replied, “There is no better legacy for a departing president. It’s hard for me to describe adequately how much it means to Pam and me. Our Seminary trustees are marvelous people; over the past 8 years, Pam and I have developed close friendships with them. They also have taken what I would call an 'activist approach' in their oversight responsibilities, continually prodding us toward higher levels of excellence and showing incredible generosity with their time and resources. The result is that we have a thriving Seminary with students, faculty, trustees and staff stepping a little higher these days.”

The fund honors both President Rokke and Pam, who has been a participant in the Seminary community since their arrival. She has frequently attended the Seminary’s Continuing Ed programs and chapel services, and is currently auditing her second graduate course with a third planned in the spring semester. Pam sums up her Seminary participation by saying, “I have loved being a part of the Seminary community. The diverse student body, professors, and trustees make it such a dynamic place to be. You can feel the energy as soon as you walk in the door. I will greatly miss my connection to the Seminary when we move next summer.”