An Update from Head of School, Adrianne Finley Odell: August 9, 2023

Dear Moravian Academy families,
A new school year is always an exciting (if also hectic) time for all of us. And as this new year approaches, I’m especially thrilled to share some long-awaited developments with you.
First, a recap: As you know, Moravian Academy has been working with Crane + Peters (C+P), a branding firm specializing in independent schools, to develop updated messaging and graphics for the school as a whole and for the three individual campuses. The goal of these new materials is twofold: to convey the overall philosophical unity of our three campuses, and to preserve and highlight the intentional distinctiveness of each one. C+P began the process last year by conducting focus groups with students, parents, faculty and staff, administrators, and alumni from all three campuses. Next, the C+P team delivered a white paper reporting and analyzing their findings, which we shared with stakeholders across the three campuses, facilitating sessions to gather additional feedback. 
The C+P team then drew from those findings and responses to develop a suite of graphic design and messaging concepts. After extensive input from students, faculty and staff, parents, administrators, and board members, and many rounds of thoughtful iteration, we have adopted the following elements. Thanks to the helpful participation of so many community members, we’re confident that these updated materials authentically and elegantly represent today’s Moravian Academy. 
TAGLINE  Our new tagline is an inviting, memorable statement that captures the school’s overarching purpose. With its three intentionally distinctive but philosophically united campuses, MA gives students more ways to learn about the world around them—and, equally important, about themselves. 


ILLUSTRATION + PHOTO PAIRINGS  A series of silhouette illustrations, inspired by artwork the C+P team saw on our campuses, represent the many dimensions of each individual child, which MA’s multidimensional programs bring out. Here are two in the series:

MORAVIAN ACADEMY LOGO  The creation of the Moravian Academy logo was a stepwise process that involved numerous stakeholders in the MA community.  We are thankful for the thorough feedback from many perspectives, including students, faculty and staff, alumni, the Culture Committee, administration, and board members. Elements from all three campuses were considered, debated, and infused in what you see here. Our beloved colors of red, gold, and white remain, with 1742 inside the shield as a nod to our long and rich history. 


  These logos prominently showcase each campus name in addition to the Moravian Academy umbrella. 

We are excited for you to see how this work comes to life on the Moravian Academy website, print materials, and signage around our campuses. This will not be a process that happens all at once, however, given the extensive number of places where our former logos are represented.  The process will begin with those easiest to adopt, such as our website and other digital presence, then evolve through print materials for admissions and step-by-step with signage at each campus.  This will likely be a multi-year process.
DECISIONS REGARDING RECOMMENDATIONS FROM THE CULTURE COMMITTEE  As you may recall, we convened a Culture Committee last year that was populated with individuals representing each campus--faculty, alumni, and some trustees.  This committee was charged with making recommendations to the administration related to school events, traditions, colors, school songs, and logos to help the school unify post-merger.  Those of you who are familiar with the history of Moravian Academy are aware that in 1971 Moravian Seminary for Girls and Moravian Preparatory Academy merged to create Moravian Academy.  Soon after the merger, Mr. David Devey became the Headmaster of the merged institution.  He knew that in order to unify the school, it would be important to adopt some unifying elements, such as school colors, a logo, and an alma mater.  While these changes were initially difficult for the two school communities, the new school colors, logo, and alma mater became cherished aspects of the school.  
The history of the prior merger certainly influenced the work of the Culture Committee as they discussed and deliberated their recommendations for our school today.  The committee completed its work in May. Then in June, during our final all-school meetings, we provided opportunities for employees to provide feedback on those recommendations.  Taking all of this into consideration, along with additional follow-up conversations with students and trustees, the leadership team has endorsed the following:  
  • Our school colors will merge across campuses to now embrace three colors: Red, White, and Gold.
  • Just as in 1971, a new Alma Mater will be created for our combined school. The 23-24 school year will begin with the existing alma maters (Swain/Moravian), and once a new alma mater is adopted, we’ll introduce the community to the words and music, eventually retiring the former alma maters. It is our intention to charge our music faculty across all three campuses to take the lead on this and encourage them to involve students as well. 
  • Each campus will have its own mascot.  The Lion will continue to be the mascot for the Merle-Smith Campus, the Cougar will continue to be the mascot for Swain, and the Historic Downtown Campus will select a new mascot in the cat family to stick with the theme, involving students in the process.  
  • The Downtown Campus will now be referred to as the Historic Downtown Campus.
  • Red & Gold Games will include all three campuses and will transition to Red, White, and Gold Games. Students will still be on either the Red or Gold team.  Swain students will be assigned to one of these teams prior to the games. Faculty members across all three campuses will wear white on the day.  First graders at both Swain and Historic Downtown will be matched with senior buddies.
  • There will be no changes to school uniforms for the 2023-24 school year.  A committee will be formed with representatives from the Swain and Historic Downtown Campuses to make a recommendation on uniforms.  The committee will include three representatives per campus, including one faculty/staff member who is a current parent. The decision will be shared with select Family Association leaders before being rolled out to the broader community.  A decision will be made by Oct./Nov. so that an announcement can be made in January for the 2024-25 school year.
  • There will be a virtual opening community convocation by the Head of School attended by all three campuses.  In addition, the Historic Downtown and Merle-Smith Campuses will have their traditional opening chapel at Central Moravian Church, while the Swain Campus will have its all-school opening ceremony. The Head of School and Associate Head of School will attend all events.
  • The All-School Birthday Celebration will include a school-wide celebration via Zoom in May. The Historic Downtown and Merle-Smith Campuses will have the annual Birthday Lovefeast in the morning at Central Moravian Church, and the Swain Campus will have opportunities for a secular celebration on their campus in the afternoon.  Founder's Day at the Swain Campus will continue to take place in October with its tradition of pinning new students and planting trees in honor of Swain’s founder, D. Esther Swain.  With both Founder’s Day and the Birthday Celebration, there will be opportunities for students across campuses to share with each other and learn about the people throughout our school’s history that have contributed to the strength of the school today.
I would like to thank the members of the Culture Committee for their dedicated and thoughtful work in leading this process.  They spent many hours together throughout the past school year that culminated in recommendations to help unify our school:
  • Patti Davis, co-chair, faculty member, Merle-Smith Campus
  • Nate Diehl, co-chair, faculty member, Historic Downtown Campus
  • Kelley Stout, co-chair, faculty member, Swain Campus
  • Barbara Medina, faculty member, Historic Downtown Campus
  • Cole Wisdo, faculty member, Merle-Smith Campus
  • Sarah Kleppinger, faculty member, Swain Campus
  • Ian Gutgold, Swain and Merle-Smith alumnus, former faculty Merle-Smith
  • Kristin Noonan Hutchins, Swain and Merle-Smith alumna, and trustee
  • Carole Devey Schachter, Merle-Smith alumna and trustee
We have navigated a tremendous amount of change over the last several years. I remain in awe of our community’s fortitude, patience, optimism, and inventiveness as we’ve turned daunting challenges into positive transformations. Our school’s long and rich history, including two mergers, has created the school we know today.  With a new strategic plan on the horizon and exciting new programs and opportunities ahead for our students, there is much to look forward to.  I invite us all to take a moment to celebrate this important milestone and to join us as we step boldly ahead as a community. I’m deeply proud and grateful that we’ve done this together. 
With appreciation for your partnership in our commitment to empower every student to thrive as a lifelong learner, critical thinker, and global citizen. 

Adrianne Finley Odell
Head of School

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