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The Ceremony will conclude the 261st academic year at Moravian College
(Bethlehem, Pennsylvania) - Moravian College will grant honorary degrees to two distinguished individuals at its commencement ceremonies on Saturday, May 17, beginning at 10:00 a.m. Honorary doctorates will be awarded to Dr. Walter Turnbull, founder and executive director of The Boys Choir of Harlem and Dr. Margaret McClure ’61, president of the American Academy of Nursing and a professor at New York University in New York City. The College will grant degrees to approximately 244 bachelor’s degree candidates, fourteen Master of Business Administration degree candidates, and eight Master of Education degree candidates at the graduation ceremonies in the outdoor quadrangle behind the Haupert Union Building. In the event of rain, the program will be held in Johnston Hall. The ceremony will conclude the 261th academic year at Moravian, America’s sixth-oldest college.
Dr. Walter Turnbull will be presented with an honorary Doctor of Music degree for his lifelong commitment and achievement in propagating the transforming power of music, both as an accomplished performer and as the leader of one of the world’s most acclaimed and inspiring choral groups. “For more than 3 decades, Dr. Turnbull has lifted the hearts, minds, and spirits of scores of inner-city youth in the Boys Choir of Harlem, restoring hope and promise to their lives through the powerful tools of discipline, hard work, and self-respect,” said Dr. Ervin J. Rokke, Moravian College president. “In that regard, Dr. Turnbull represents both an artistic and humanitarian ideal to all our students and faculty, and most especially to the graduating class.”
Turnbull’s dream of a world-class chorale, not only to interpret great classical works but to maintain the “unique and warm” qualities of the African-American singing style that pervaded pop, jazz, and gospel music, led him to establish the choir not only to cultivate the love of music in children, but to turn their lives around. He founded the Choir Academy of Harlem in 1986, and his dedicated work, enthusiasm and exacting standards have produced impressive results: 98 percent of his students go on to college, and many go on to graduate study and careers in music. The choir recorded its first full-length album in 1994.
The Boys Choir of Harlem traveled internationally, appeared on 60 Minutes with Morley Safer, contributed to a number of film soundtracks, notably Jungle Fever, and has made guest appearances on recordings by varied artists, including Quincy Jones, Kathleen Battle, and Alvin and the Chipmunks. The ensemble performed a smash two-week run on Broadway. Turnbull has also been honored by the Volunteer Action Award received from President Ronald Regan, and named as one of the “15 Greatest Men on Earth” by McCall’s magazine.
Dr. Margaret McClure will be presented with an honorary Doctor of Laws degree for her extended senior leadership of major nursing programs at New York University’s Medical Center and Mount Sinai NYU Health, where she delivered effective health care to patients, and worked to improve the operating environment for nurses. “In addition to her direct contributions to the nursing profession, Moravian is privileged to honor an alumnae who has been actively engaged in nursing’s most important organizations, authored a large and significant body of professional literature, and has been an influential lecturer and member of the faculty at New York University,” president Rokke said. “We are pleased that Dr. McClure will join us in celebrating the graduation of our first class of students from the St. Luke’s School of Nursing at Moravian College.”
Dr. McClure is internationally recognized as a nursing leader. She is a prolific writer and lecturer, and her best-known contribution to the literature is the study entitled, Magnet Hospitals: Attraction and Retention of Professional Nurses, which she co-authored under the auspices of the American Academy of Nursing. She recently completed a new volume, Magnet Hospitals Revisited, which is a compilation of all the work that has been done to date regarding this subject. Dr. McClure was the chief nursing officer at NYU Medical Center, where she also served as the chief operating officer and hospital administrator. She retired from the medical center in 2000 but continues as a consultant to the institution.
In keeping with a longstanding Moravian College tradition, the graduating class recently elected a faculty member and a student to speak at the commencement ceremony. For the sixth time, Dr. James Ravelle, professor, and chair of the of Sociology Department, has been selected for this honor. Ravelle will give the Statement to the Graduates for 2003. He spoke previously in 1996, 1989, 1987, 1983 and 1980. Ravelle has been teaching at Moravian since 1978. He received his B.A. from Villanova, J.D. from the University of South Carolina at Columbia, and his D.A. from Lehigh University.
John R. Giacchi (Franklin, N.J.), Class of 2003, will deliver the "Statement of the Bachelor’s Graduates." Giacchi, a Physics/Math and Management major, is a member of Sigma Phi Epsilon, a varsity football player, and a member of IMPACT, United Student Government, and the Society of Physics Students. He has been named to the Dean's List, Who's Who Among Students in American Colleges and Universities, second team Middle Atlantic Conference, and All Middle Atlantic Conference Academic.
Richard A. Fehr (Bath, Pa.), MBA Class of 2003, was selected by the MBA program to deliver the "Statement of the Master’s Graduates." Fehr is the director of Member Services for Air Products & Chemicals, Inc. Federal Credit Union.
A baccalaureate service will be held on Friday, May 16, at 5:30 p.m., in Central Moravian Church. The Reverend Dr. Paul A. Wee will be the honored speaker at Moravian’s 261st Baccalaureate Service. Wee has been recognized not only for his humanitarian, educational, pastoral and ecumenical service on an international level, but for championing the civil rights movement, and presently is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Moravian Theological Seminary. Wee is pastor of the Lutheran Church of the Reformation located on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. Dr. Wee was the Assistant General Secretary for International Affairs and Human Rights of the Geneva-based Lutheran World Federation From 1986 to 1993. Wee graduated from Harvard University and later received his Ph.D. from the Free University of Berlin.
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 Moravian College Web site at www.moravian.edu.