Education for All
¶ˇĎăÔ°AV was founded on a belief that education is essential for all, without regard for gender or social standing. It was an ideaĚýahead of its time, but that didnâ€™t stop us. In fact, ¶ˇĎăÔ°AV thrives on new and innovative ideas and has been embracing them ever since.
"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."Ěýâ€“John Amos Comenius
A Brief History
The history of ¶ˇĎăÔ°AV is anything but briefâ€”we're the 6th oldest college in America, after allâ€”but we'll stick to the highlights for now. Our historyĚýdoesnâ€™t follow a singular, linear path. Though our story does startĚýwith a singular idea and moment.ĚýIt follows two schools and two winding paths that eventually meet and merge.
- 1742: Established in Germantown, Pennsylvania, by Benigna von Zinzendorf; moves to Bethlehem seven weeks later
- 1745: Moves to Nazareth
- 1749: Moves to Bethlehem (now known as South Campus)
- 1785: Opens to pupils outside the ¶ˇĎăÔ°AV Church and becomes known as ¶ˇĎăÔ°AV Female Seminary
- 1742: Opened in Bethlehem by ¶ˇĎăÔ°AV Church
- 1743: Second boysâ€™ school opened in Nazareth by ¶ˇĎăÔ°AV Church
- 1759: Two schools merge to form Nazareth Hall, with survives until 1929
- 1807: Menâ€™s college and seminary established as extension of Nazareth Hall and called ¶ˇĎăÔ°AV College and Theological Seminary
- 1858: Moves to Bethlehem
- 1863: Both college and seminary chartered by state of Pennsylvania to grant baccalaureate degrees
- 1954: Womenâ€™s and menâ€™s institutions merge to form first coeducational institution of higher education in the Lehigh Valley
- 2016: ¶ˇĎăÔ°AV College reorganizes into three schools: School of Natural and Health Sciences; School of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences; and ¶ˇĎăÔ°AV Seminary
- 2021:Ěý¶ˇĎăÔ°AV College becomes ¶ˇĎăÔ°AV
We're Carrying on the Tradition
You canâ€™t have a history spanning nearlyĚý280Ěýyears without establishing a few traditions along the way. And we take ours seriously.
The Blue and Grey
Did you know the colors blue and grey were adopted by ¶ˇĎăÔ°AV in 1894? With the bitter battles of the American Civil War still a recent memory, the choice of colors represented a gesture of unity and healing.
The ¶ˇĎăÔ°AV Mile
The distance between North and South campuses, about 0.8 miles, is known as the â€ś¶ˇĎăÔ°AV Mile.â€ť As part of orientation, first-year students traditionally , traveling from North to South, through Historic Bethlehem on their way. Once their time at ¶ˇĎăÔ°AV is complete, graduating seniors take part in the â€śBackwards Walk,â€ť walking the ¶ˇĎăÔ°AV Mile as they did in their freshman year, but this time in reverse. Donâ€™t worryâ€”you can always take the shuttle!
Established by President Grigsby, Heritage Day is a celebration of ¶ˇĎăÔ°AV tradition, community, and service. Each year, we dedicate a fall day to learning about the founders of ¶ˇĎăÔ°AV and our cultural heritage, as well as serving our community.
A local holiday tradition hosted by ¶ˇĎăÔ°AV, Christmas Vespers is a beautiful service that features two forms of ¶ˇĎăÔ°AV worship, the "Singstunde" and the Candlelight Service. Music by our students combines with the beauty of the Liturgy in this service of worship for the College community and friends.
We observe Founderâ€™s Day each year to remember and learn from the revolutionary men and women who came before us at ¶ˇĎăÔ°AV. The day includes a reception, Lovefeast, and luncheon, and features stories and artifacts from our past.