Institution's Altered Face, con't.
face of Moravian College and Moravian Theological Seminary
have been minority students at Moravian in the past,
especially in the 1970s, just after legislation passed in
the wake of
the Civil Rights movement saw the first crop of African-American
from integrated schools. One of those was Odell Guyton ’77,
now a member of the Board of Trustees.
in the main, enrollment at both College and Seminary has been
largely white, middle-class,
and homogeneous. “Think
about this! We’ve been sitting here since 1807, and the
Moravian church is worldwide,” says Stephen Simmons, director
of continuing education at Moravian Theological Seminary. “We
bring in students from Guayana and many parts of Africa—but
not a lot of minority students from our own territory.”
changed in 1997, when President Rokke took office. He called
for a series of initiatives to enrich the white-bread student
body and the greater Moravian College community. These included
training for all faculty and staff and an outreach effort
to attract a more diverse population of students.
progress in such a complex area has not happened overnight,
there is already a demonstrable difference in the spectrum
of undergraduate students, non-traditional students who attend
the College through
the Division of Continuing and Graduate Studies, the graduate
programs in business administration and education, and the
of students who answer the call to ministry by enrolling
in the Seminary. Faculty and staff of the College and Seminary
An undergraduate course in women’s studies/political science
sends its students out to interview real women—specifically, “women
not like yourselves,” says the professor.
The Class of 2007, in addition to being the largest (386 students)
and best-qualified academically in Moravian history, also has the
distinction of being the most diverse, with 40 students, more than
10 percent of the freshman class, of color or complex ethnicity.
The new faculty and staff hired in the last three years come, literally,
from all over the map: Finland, Germany, New Zealand, Korea. There
have been three African-Americans, an Afro-Caribbean, two Latinas,
The Chaplain’s Office gained a rabbi, Seth Frisch, and a
prayer room was set up in the Seminary for observant Islamic students.
Though the perpetual problem of too many places to put limited
resources has cut the international student population
at the College this year, there is still a healthy presence on
campus of students
from many countries, including Bulgaria, Pakistan, Ghana,
Nicaragua, Turkey, Cameroon, China, India, Lebanon, the Czech
and Slovak Republics,
Nepal, Yugoslavia, Denmark, Tunisia, Canada, and Jamaica.
article on this page appeared in the Easton Express-Times
on August 17, 2003. It gives a glimpse of how Moravian
is facing perhaps
the most difficult—and fulfilling—challenge
in its history. The winter issue of the Moravian College
feature a further look at the subject.