Alumni March for Moravian at College Inaugurations

Dr. Jim Houser '60 (top) and Karen Leonard Irish '66 (above) recently donned academic robes to represent Moravian at college inaugurations.

Colleges and universities have a wonderful tradition of marching in procession, according to the year of their founding, at the inauguration ceremonies for college presidents across the country. With the distinction of being the nation's sixth oldest college, Moravian delegates usually find themselves at the front of the line—a step ahead of Princeton University (1746) and just behind the University of Pennsylvania (1740).

When President Thomforde is unable to attend, the Office of the President invites an alumnus/ae or other College representative to march in his stead. This year, nine alumni and emeriti served as delegates at college presidential inaugurations.

"I enjoyed participating, and would do it again if asked," said Jim Houser, M.D. '60, who attended the inauguration of Dr. Smolla October 22 at Furman University. "The space in which we met before the procession was a little narrow, so we went out helter skelter, but Moravian was number five on the list of 97 attendees."

"I had a wonderful time," reported Karen Leonard Irish '66, who represented Moravian at the Morgan State University inauguration of Dr. David Wilson. "It was quite an event with delegates from 73 colleges and many dignitaries present. The music was spectacular. Morgan State is known for its choir, which reminded me of Moravian’s great choir and musical history.”

Alumni and emeriti who represented Moravian at inaugural events in 2010: John Aloe '79 (St. Vincent College); David Hnatow, M.D. '81 (Trinity University); James Houser, M.D. '60 (Furman University); Karen (Leonard) Irish '66 (Morgan State University); Kevin Jones, Ph.D. '74 (University of Oregon); John McDermott, Ph.D., emeritus professor (Mt. Holyoke); William Needs '62 (Columbia Theological Seminary); Frederick Patt '77 (Washington College); and Colin Sandercock '78 (Catholic University).