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March 28, 2019
Thinking Bigger: Bryon L. Grigsby, President of Moravian College
“We’re preparing students for the career they think they want,” says Bryon, “and the three to four other careers they most likely will have over their lifetimes.”
For Moravian College, thinking big is a part of its history—and its future. “We’ve been offering a revolutionary education for more than 275 years,” says President Bryon Grigsby. The College was founded in 1742, the same year that Bethlehem officially took its name on Christmas Eve. In those earliest days, unlike the handful of other pre-colonial schools in existence, Moravian wasn’t concerned with educating the sons of wealth and nobility alone. Moravian Bishop John Amos Comenius had a radical philosophy, one that guided the College’s founders: universal education. Moravian was the first school to educate women, and the first to educate Native Americans in their own language.
That spirit of universality, that “education should concern itself with that which concerns society,” guides Bryon and everyone at Moravian, from the students to the staff and faculty. And as society changes, so does Moravian. As an Apple Distinguished School, it provides each of its students with MacBooks and iPads so that the technological playing field is level and fair. And it imbues those students with a sense that education benefits the common good, and volunteering and serving their community is an important part of not only their studies but their lives.
Moravian’s mission is to develop individuals—for a reflective life, fulfilling careers, and transformative leadership. “We’re preparing students for the career they think they want,” says Bryon, “and the three to four other careers they most likely will have over their lifetimes.” Moravian offers professional programs in nursing, business, and education, in addition to a liberal arts undergraduate degree that readies students to never stop learning, to grow, and to adapt. As Moravian’s history demonstrates, treading a different path can open the way to the future.