Alumni Reap New and Revived Honors at Second Annual Alumni Awards Ceremony

The Moravian College Alumni Association presented its first Benigna Education Award to John T. Burke '56 for his outstanding contributions to the field of education. At the same ceremony on October 19, it presented the Haupert Humanitarian Award to J. Hugh Gratz ’70. It was the first time this award has been given since 1982.

A 1948 Liberty High School graduate, Burke attended Moravian College after completing four years in U.S. Air Force Special Intelligence. While at Moravian, he was president of the Moravian College Veterans Association and later served as Alumni Association president.

Through his 37-year career with the Bethlehem Area School District, Burke served as teacher, curriculum specialist, elementary principal, and acting assistant superintendent.

Burke served in many educational leadership positions during his career. He was chairman of the Pennsylvania State Education Association Department of Administration and Supervision and president of the Bethlehem Education Association, the Northampton County Educators, the National Education Association Teachers Rights Committee, and the Northampton County PSEA. He was also vice chairman of the Middle States Association Commission, member of the PSEA Board of Directors and the PSEA Intergroup Relations Committee; and chairman of various Middle State Association Elementary School evaluation teams throughout Pennsylvania, New York, and Puerto Rico. For many years, Jack has also been an advocate for education as chairman of the Bethlehem Democratic City Committee.

On behalf of the BEA, Jack accepted the National Education Award for developing a method of promoting harmony between teacher, school board, and administrators. Additional awards have included the PSEA Award for Promoting Harmony in the School System over the Years, the 250th Anniversary Committee’s Bethlehem Star for dedication to children and their families, the Lehigh Valley Business/Education Partnership Distinguished Recognition Award, and the Friend of Education Award from the Northampton County Council of Educators.

J. Hugh Gratz, who received the Haupert Humanitarian Award, is a licensed clinical social worker, a workshop presenter, and an organizational consultant in private practice in Trenton, N.J. He has specialized training in trauma debriefing as well as diversity and anti-oppression. He has worked with diverse groups in Venezuela, El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, and Canada.

Gratz contributed a feature article on his work in El Salvador with his co-facilitator, Selena Sermeño, to the Fall 1999 issue of the Moravian College Magazine. In their work in Central America, he and Sermeño have constituted a multicultural teaching team, training others, providing critical-incident stress debriefing for human services staff, military, police, and victims of violence, and demonstrating respectful intercultural cooperation. Gratz made his ninth trip to El Salvador in the summer of 2001.

Gratz was named the Central New York Social Worker of the Year in 1988 and is currently volunteering as a member of the NYC Red Cross mental health team working with people affected by the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center.


J. Hugh Gratz 70 and John T. Burke 56 congratulate each other on receiving the Haupert Humanitatian Award and the new Benigna Education Award from the Alumni Association.

Photo: Tim Gilman '73