Bethlehem Press

Friday, December 15, 2017
Press Photos by Tim GilmanErin Campbell and Hannah O’Connor lead the Moravian Academy commencement procession. The ceremony took place June 3 on the Jacob Lawn at the Merle-Smith Campus near Northampton Community College. The Class of 2017 consisted of 71 graduates from the private school with Moravian roots dating back to the founding of Bethlehem 275 years ago. Press Photos by Tim GilmanErin Campbell and Hannah O’Connor lead the Moravian Academy commencement procession. The ceremony took place June 3 on the Jacob Lawn at the Merle-Smith Campus near Northampton Community College. The Class of 2017 consisted of 71 graduates from the private school with Moravian roots dating back to the founding of Bethlehem 275 years ago.
Michael Gibson Jr., class of 2017 president, is the student speaker at the ceremony. “I walked to school almost every day for four years,” said Gibson, who lives near Northampton Community College. Michael Gibson Jr., class of 2017 president, is the student speaker at the ceremony. “I walked to school almost every day for four years,” said Gibson, who lives near Northampton Community College.
Anastasia Karras is congratulated by Moravian Academy Headmaster Jeffrey M. Zemsky after receiving her diploma. Robert H. Brown, chairman of the board of trustees, assists in the graduation ceremony. Anastasia Karras is congratulated by Moravian Academy Headmaster Jeffrey M. Zemsky after receiving her diploma. Robert H. Brown, chairman of the board of trustees, assists in the graduation ceremony.
Kyra Manson, Callen Messman and Jack Michaelis applaud their classmates during the Moravian Academy Commencement graduate introductions by the headmaster. Kyra Manson, Callen Messman and Jack Michaelis applaud their classmates during the Moravian Academy Commencement graduate introductions by the headmaster.

‘Use your powers wisely’

Tuesday, June 6, 2017 by Katya Hrichak Special to the Bethlehem Press in School

Blue skies and sunshine greeted the 71 members of Moravian Academy’s class of 2017 as they marched two-by-two across the lawn at the Merle-Smith Campus in Bethlehem. The commencement took place June 3, marking and celebrating the new graduates as well as the school’s 275th year.

All-School Chaplain the Reverend Jennifer Nichols began by recognizing the character of the students, whom she called a “unique collection of joy-filled, thoughtful souls, hard workers and decent human beings.”

“During the years we have known them, [they] have each been challenged and changed, have commanded intellect and genuine love of learning,” Nichols said. “We’ve been impressed by their dedication and commitment. They have met and surpassed the challenges we have set for them. We have marveled at their curiosity, artistry, imagination; their playful, happy spirits and the care with which they hold each other in friendship.”

Continuing with the theme Nichols introduced class president Michael Gibson, who spoke about the importance of reflecting upon their time as Moravian Academy students and reminded his fellow graduates of all the people who helped them along the way.

“Today marks the end of a portion of our youth and represents the great accomplishments in our lives,” he said. “I urge you to reflect upon the impediments and defeats, but also the fact that, behind you, that contributed to the development of the person you are today. Think about your network of supporters and think about the community that influenced you.”

Brian D. Kelly, director of the upper school, presented the class of 2017 and addressed their successes in various fields, including academia, music, athletics and the arts, concluding with the statement that they set high standards for classes to follow.

Once Board of Trustees Chair Robert H. Brown certified the completion of requirements for graduation and authorized the presentation of diplomas, Headmaster Jeffrey M. Zemsky took the podium.

“What is left for this evening, then, is to honor you, our 71 graduates, as the individuals that you are,” he said. “It will soon be your turn, without the watchful presence of your parents and your teachers, to make many more choices for yourselves. Those choices will affect your future and the future of those around you. Use your powers wisely.”

Zemsky recalled the inspiration provided by the students and their willingness to persevere and stand up for the greater good, as well as his personal attachment to what will be considered his “defining class” for what it means to be Moravian Academy.

As the students individually made their way up onto the stage, each heard reflections on their growth during their time spent at Moravian Academy, compiled by former teachers and counselors from all three divisions of the school.

As stated by Gibson, “To the class of 2017, reflect upon your time here so that you can better understand how it affected you. Take this understanding with you on your next adventure. Congratulations.”