Rain It Raineth ...
the first time in a decade, Commencement was rained out. It began
to sprinkle Friday afternoon during the Baccalaureate service. By
nightfall, it had become a drenching downpour, moving the Senior
Soirée into the HUB. And it continued well into the next
So everything moved into Johnston Hall, where there occurred one
of the most seamless, hassle-free graduations to be held in Moravian's
set-up helped. Instead of the stage's being at one end of the gym,
as in 1992, it was placed along the north side. Those sitting in
the south bleachers could see comfortably without getting a crick
in the neck.
professor who has wondered whether the faculty address to the graduates
goes in one ear and out the other might have been heartened by the
Baccalaureate speech of the Rev. Carol Vogler '80, '86, a member
of the governing body of the Moravian Church in Canada. She quoted
from the commencement address given to her undergraduate class by
Robert Stinson, professor of history: "You are going out into
a world whose most obvious face is its mask." They had remained
with her for 22 years, she said.
Stinson, sitting up in the balcony with the Moravian College Choir,
heard his words come back at him and tried to sink into the ground.
Several helpful students, however, announced: "He's up here!"
This year's speakers to the graduating class were, for the bachelor's
graduates, Kevin R. Bush, a prize-winning athlete and vice president
of the senior class; for the master's graduates, Norman O'Shaughnessy;
and, for the faculty, Steve R. Gordy, professor of religion.
senior class speaker was to have been Allen H. Frank, but he had
left campus a few days earlier to join the road company of Blast!,
a stage extravaganza that is said to be for marching bands what
Stomp is for street percussion. Frank plays the tuba, and jobs for
his instrument are infrequent enough that he thought it best to
take this one.
Class of 2002 included Michael J. Sands, 18, who entered Moravian
at 14 to study computer science. At an age when most teens are preparing
to be undergraduates, he has a degree backed by a perfect 4.0 average.
M.B.A. class included Frederick '82 and Teresa Sonn Smollinger '80,
who put their belief in family togetherness to the test. In between
degrees, they produced a set of twins, Max and Robert, who are destined
for Moravian's Class of 2020.
entire College rose to its feet for one new graduate: Christopher
Pittman, a management major, who received his B.A. cum laude from
The College bestowed honorary Doctor of Laws degrees on Curtis H.
(Hank) Barnette, chairman emeritus of Bethlehem Steel, and Philip
J. Erdle, president of the International Education Foundation and
professor emeritus at the U.S. Air Force Academy.
Barnette is Comenius Professor of Leadership and executive-in-residence
at the College. Erdle, a past member of the Board of Trustees (1998-2000),
established the Carolyn Knies Erdle Fund for the College's President
and the Alfred T. Williams Jr. Leadership Series.
Seminary awarded honorary Doctor of Divinity degrees to two international
religious leaders: Rev. Andrew A. Kyomo '75, who teaches pastoral
theology at Makumira University College, Tumaini University, Tanzania,
one of the largest theological seminaries in Africa; and Rev. Hans-Beat
Motel, chair of the Unity Board, the governing body of the world's
19 Moravian Church provinces. Kyomo had the added pleasure of seeing
his grand-nephew, Tuntufye Mwenisongole, receive his Master of Divinity
at the Seminary's Commencement, by which time the rain had stopped
and the sun had come out, were J. Christian Giesler, former chaplain
of the College and Seminary, and Jami Possinger.
but not least, Commencement 2002 marked the first public performance
of a new college song, "Proud Moravian," by Larry A. Lipkis,
Bertha-Mae Starner '27 and Jay F. Starner Professor of Music and
composer-in-residence, with words by his wife, Linda, an adjunct
professor of English. How many of us know the origin of the current
Moravian alma mater, "Old M.C."? It's sung to the tune
of a popular song of the 1880s called "Annie Lisle," to
words by J. Kenneth Pfohl of the Class of 1900. Best known as the
tune of Cornell University's alma mater, it is also used by many
of the high schools, colleges, and universities in the United States.