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Charles D.
Republican PA 15

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  • Honoring the Service of Dr. Christopher M. Thomforde, President of Moravian College and Moravian Theological Seminary

    by Representative Charles W. Dent

    Posted on 2013-01-25

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    DENT OF MORAVIAN COLLEGE AND MORAVIAN THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY ______ HON. CHARLES W. DENT of pennsylvania in the house of representatives Friday, January 25, 2013 Mr. DENT. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to honor Dr. Christopher M. Thomforde, who has ably served as the 15th President of Moravian College and Moravian Theological Seminary in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, for the past seven years, and will be stepping down in July.

    When Dr. Thomforde announced his intention to retire, he expressed that Moravian College and Seminary needs a president with ``abounding energy, aspiration, and imagination.'' He has surely exemplified those values in his years of service to Moravian College, its students, faculty, the Bethlehem community and the greater Lehigh Valley.

    One of Dr. Thomforde's most steadfast pursuits during his tenure has been recruiting and supporting a diverse student body that reflects the surrounding community and honors the College's founding principles and mission. The Moravian tradition is exemplified by the words of the Unity of Brethren Bishop John Amos Comenius, the ``father of modern education,'' who wrote in 1632 that ``not the children of the rich or of the powerful only, but of all alike, boys and girls, both noble and ignoble, rich and poor, in all cities and towns, villages and hamlets, should be sent to school.'' Dr. Thomforde has continued to challenge Moravian College to live by those values even during difficult economic times.

    During his presidency, Dr. Thomforde has overseen the renovation of the Collier Hall of Science, the construction of the 231-bed Hurd Integrated Living and Learning Community between East Church and Lehigh streets, the construction of a state of the art Fitness Center and the renovation of the Haupert Union Building on the main campus. His vision has been instrumental in establishing Advancing Into Moravian, a three- week summer program that helps incoming freshmen transition from high school to college life, and IN FOCUS, a year-long program to promote in-depth examination of complex issues, such as poverty, sustainability, health care, and war & peace, from multidisciplinary perspectives.

    Dr. Thomforde came to Moravian after a distinguished career which included: serving as the president of St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota for five years; president of Bethany College in Lindsborg, Kansas; chaplain and teaching in the Department of Philosophy and Religion at Susquehanna University; pastor at St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Dansville; assistant chaplain and instructor in philosophy and religion at Colgate University; and teaching Western languages and medieval European history at Tunghai University, Taichung, Taiwan.

    Dr. Thomforde earned a B.A. in medieval and Russian history from Princeton University in 1969. He received a Master of Divinity degree from Yale University Divinity School in 1974, with concentrations in biblical studies, church history, and philosophy. Dr. Thomforde was awarded a D. Min. from Princeton Theological Seminary in 2000, and Susquehanna University awarded him an honorary D.D. in 2001.

    I wish Chris and his wife, Kathy, the best as they pursue the next chapter of their life, and I thank them for their service to Moravian College, the Moravian community as a whole, and the Lehigh Valley.


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