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Moravian Academy in Action

Chuck Cohen, Rebecca Binder, Leah Cohen ’16SS, and Benjamin Cohen ’11SS

A Legacy of Leading with Integrity: The Rebecca Binder Memorial Scholarship Fund

Julia Fox & Bob Zaiser
Rebecca Binder was never a bystander. She was a woman of action, someone who championed equity and justice, unafraid to ask the hard questions, who believed deeply in the mission of Moravian Academy. Growing up in a family of educators, Binder knew teaching to be one of the most important professions and recognized good teaching when she saw it. She was a graduate of Columbia University's Teacher College.

Her children, Benjamin Cohen ’11SS and Leah Cohen ’16SS, loved their time at the Swain Campus of Moravian Academy (then The Swain School). She and her husband, Chuck Cohen, were inspired by the creativity and joy that Swain brought to their children's education and the successful lives they are building because of it. 

Benjamin Cohen ’11SS is a Harvard University graduate and founder of Proton.ai, an AI-powered CRM for distributors. He made Forbes' "30 Under 30" list for 2024 in the Enterprise Technology category.

"The teachers and experiences I had during my eight years at Swain helped me to grow into the driven, independent person I am today. I also have Swain to thank for giving me some of my best friends who I still talk to almost daily. I will forever be grateful for my experience at Swain," says Leah. She is a student at Georgetown University pursuing an English major with a minor in journalism.

"They're not the people they are without their Swain foundation," Chuck says.

Rebecca embraced the Swain community and became one of its fiercest supporters. She was a longtime member of the Swain School Board of Trustees who championed the 2020 merger with Moravian Academy. Her voice was instrumental in the shaping of today's beloved three-campus school.

"She was always a person to throw her hat in the ring," says Chuck Cohen. "It was certainly not her nature to be front and center, but she understood the right thing to do. And she fought hard for it, whether it was raising money or making sure that we had the best teachers at Swain and Moravian. She was a big fan of the merger and worked hard on the Swain side to make it happen."  

Following a valiant battle with breast cancer, Rebecca passed away on July 28, 2023. With the same generous spirit that guided her life's work to make an impact for those  most in need, she and Chuck established the Rebecca Binder Memorial Scholarship Fund to support Moravian Academy students in need of financial assistance in grades one through eight. "It comes back to this idea of not wanting to be a bystander," Chuck says. 

Both he and Rebecca were grateful for the education their children received. Helping students afford an independent school education was important to them, and establishing this Fund made it possible for Rebecca's legacy to serve as a call to action for the school community dear to her family. 

"We've been lucky enough to have the resources to be able to make significant gifts to Swain and Moravian," Chuck says. He hopes that Rebecca's story inspires others to make a gift to Moravian Academy. Already, 75 donors have contributed more than $535,000 to The Rebecca Binder Memorial Scholarship Fund. 

According to Chuck, Rebecca thought that "seeing a student's lightbulb go off was the best thing ever." Every time students and teachers experience these lightbulb moments, Rebecca's legacy is at work. We invite you to honor her legacy by contributing. Gifts of all sizes are appreciated and make a difference for the school that Rebecca devoted much of her life to advancing. 

To make a gift to the The Rebecca Binder Memorial Scholarship Fund, visit www.moravianacademy.org/give
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