Moravian Hosts 6th Annual Heritage Day

 More than a thousand Moravian University students participated in community service projects during the school’s sixth annual Heritage Day event last Wednesday.

This year’s event supported a total of 27 service projects, which included a wide variety of organizations. Among them: weed removal and cleanup along the Monocacy Creek; making fidget toys, bookmarks, and more for Thomas Jefferson Elementary School and William Penn Elementary School; and wrapping candles for Moravian’s Christmas Vespers service.

“Two hundred and eight-one years ago Moravian saw that the best way to serve the community was to start a school for girls and then a school for boys,” said Moravian University President, Bryon Grigsby. “Giving back to the community is essential to the Moravians and to what we do.” 

Grigsby started the annual event in 2016 in order to honor that long history of service. 

“What makes it special for me is it was a response from alumni that we needed more events that talked about our history,” he said. “[So] a group of faculty, staff, students, and alums, went away for a year to think about what that would be and then came back with Heritage Day. I think they hit it out of the park.”

To begin the day, students gathered in Johnston Hall between  8:30 and  9:00 a.m. They then listen to Grigsby’s opening remarks and to a number of other guests and speakers. including Vice President and Dean for Equity and Inclusion, Dr. Chris Hunt, and Bethlehem Mayor, William Reynolds. Afterward, students departed to their service assignments as instructed by Heritage Day organizer and Director of Civic Engagement, Gillian Sharkey.

From 10:30 a.m. to 12:45 a.m. students and staff departed from Johnston Hall and attended their respective service assignments. Along with the aforementioned projects, Heritage Day had students and staff donating blood for blood drives, helping set up Celtic Fest, and packing food for the Second Harvest Food Bank and Feed the Children.

After returning from their service projects, students and staff received free t-shirts and gathered on Makuvek Field to take a group picture in the shape of the numerals, 2022. A lunch of burgers, pulled pork, and a variety of chips and desserts was also provided.

“I think it’s incredible that so many of our students want to do this,” said Grigsby. “I think it shows the kind of engagement that our students have with the community and how they want to give back.”