Heritage Day: A Great Moravian Tradition


Photo courtesy of staff

On Wednesday the 15th Moravian celebrated its 6th Heritage Day. 

Due to it being the 280th academic year of the University, as well as there not being any events last year due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, this was definitely a fun and exciting year to celebrate. As a freshman, I participated in the Heritage Day events for the first time.

Moravian University President Bryon Grigsby announced that as of today, we are now signed as a transatlantic World Heritage Day site. Bethlehem will now be the 3rd place in Pennsylvania and the 25th in the US to be a United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization, or UNESCO, Heritage Day site. 

After breakfast, everyone was invited to join together in Johnston Hall at around 8:30 a.m.. In the auditorium, there were sections of different groups for each service event of the day. Students were allowed to pick what event they would like to do and there were plenty of options to choose from both on and off campus. 

Like most freshmen, I stuck with my First-Year Writing Seminar group for the day.

The speeches started at 9 a.m. President Grigsby gave us the great news about us becoming a part of UNESCO’s Heritage Day sites. We also heard the choir sing, and listened to a speech given by Dr. Chris Hunt, Vice President and Dean for Equity and Inclusion. 

Hearing President Grigsby speak about the stories of what our community has given us and how Heritage Day came to be was very inspiring. After these speeches, at around 9:30 a.m., we played a unique variation of bingo, using the locations of other UNESCO sites for our bingo words.

Once we finished, we all were dismissed to our own service activities. My site leader was Professor Kristin Baxter, associate professor of art. Our event involved creating murals for kids in the Northampton County Juvenile Justice Center to paint later on in the year. This took place around 10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., and was very enjoyable to do. Everyone came back together at 12:30 p.m. to take a group picture before eating lunch at the PPHAC patio. 

Overall, I think that this event was very well planned and enjoyable. I personally really enjoy doing acts of community service like this so I felt really happy being a part of it. I think I will return for the next three years and try out other activities that I can do in order to give back to the community.