a dark, rainy Friday afternoon in April, Moravian College revived
a cheering tradition of the pre-merger women’s college:
afternoon tea. More than 90 women from three College generations
gathered in the Victorian parlors, rarely seen, graced with period
furniture and ornaments and normally closed to the public.
the 1954 merger of the men’s and women’s colleges,
the Young Women’s Christian Association of Moravian College
for Women held weekly teas to “brighten up the darker days” of
winter. In those days, the dean of the women’s college
claimed the position of honor and poured the tea. Olivia Musselman
Barnes ’38 recalls: “I remember tea in the Blue Parlors.
It always marked a special occasion. I am sure that I was not
the only one who had never had ‘tea’ before. I remember
the difficulty of juggling the teacup and the napkin and the
revival was sponsored by Moravian Academic Women. “College
life often revolves around traditions,” said Carol Traupman-Carr ’86,
associate dean for academic affairs. “Afternoon tea gives
us the chance to create more mentoring possibilities between
female students and women on the faculty and in the administration.”
tea will henceforth become a once-a-semester tradition at Moravian.