Spring 2024 Issue:

Avator of Love

In Memoriam

The Rt. Rev. C. Hopeton Clennon (March 25, 1960–January 7, 2024), Chaplain of Moravian College and Theological Seminary, 2009–2013


Throughout the years, I’ve frequently heard people express their admiration for the Rt. Rev. C. Hopeton Clennon, often noting that encountering him led to an inevitable love for him. Yet, a more precise portrayal of the experience is that when one crossed paths with Hopeton Clennon, an overwhelming sense of being loved by him arose.

In many religious contexts, bishops typically assume administrative roles. However, within the Moravian Church, bishops are not administrators; they are instead pastors to the pastors themselves. As a bishop, Hopeton always prioritized his role as a pastor—extending his care not only to the pastors but also to the members of his congregation, the residents of Bethlehem, and people across the globe. The term pastor finds its origin in the Greek word ποιμήν (poimén), meaning “shepherd.” Hopeton embodied this concept, tirelessly ensuring the well-being of the entire flock, a principle that defined his essence within the Moravian Church and our Moravian University community.

In 2013, when I assumed the role of university chaplain, following in Hopeton’s footsteps, I was forewarned that I had, literally, big shoes to fill. This proved to be true. Beyond Hopeton’s height, it was the expansiveness of his love that sometimes seemed larger than life. His unwavering care and support were extended to everyone he met—no stranger ever left his presence without feeling like a friend.

The world was a warmer, more joyful, more peaceful place because of the embodiment of love that was as true for him as the very air he breathed.”

—Jennika Borger, chaplain

I’ll forever cherish memories of Hopeton’s infectious laughter, the seemingly random yet heartfelt text messages that would catch me off guard, catching him trading Pokemon with his colleagues, the light in his eyes every time he saw me—the same light that was experienced by everyone who encountered him. And, lastly, the enduring precedent that he set at the university—that the chaplain is always fashionably late. I, unfortunately, cannot attribute my own lateness to being on “Jamaican time.”

I still cannot imagine a world without the Rt. Rev. C. Hopeton Clennon. The world was a warmer, more joyful, more peaceful place because of the embodiment of love that was as true for him as the very air he breathed.

My experience of Hopeton was unique and special and also shared with countless others because to know Hopeton was always to be loved by him.

In Memoriam

1948 Lois Margaret Warner
August 9, 2023

1948 Allen Albert Lenius ’48, S’51, P’74, GP’03
October 19, 2023

1950 William Bishop Ringer
September 11, 2023

1951 Jane Ann Missime
October 2, 2023

1952 Dr. Robert H. Stine
August 18, 2023

1956 Eleanor Beck Schleicher
October 26, 2023

1956 James John Ovady
November 10, 2023

1957 Ronald L. Zeller
August 25, 2023

1958 William J. Straccia
August 20, 2023

1958 Alfred F. Apple
September 13, 2023

1958 Dr. Palmer J. Cotturo
December 1, 2023

1959 Kenneth Arlen Bernd
December 9, 2023

1961 James J. McCrudden
December 1, 2023

1963 Randolph E. Wagner
August 31, 2023

1963 Michael J. Kissel Jr.
November 16, 2023

1964 William B. Grosh, MD
September 16, 2023

1964 Francis “Fran and Frank” Demko
November 1, 2023

1965 John C. Demuth ’65
April 9, 2023

1966 Douglas L. Hackman
September 3, 2023

1966 Margaret A. Bridson
November 6, 2023

1966 Jacob A. Papay Sr.
November 14, 2023

1966 Dorothea G. Klotz
November 18, 2023

1967 LaMar M. Steigerwalt
August 22, 2023

1967 Stephen F. Kralick Jr.
June 23, 2023

1967 Darlene Faye Refsnider Borst
November 28, 2023

1973 Paula Ann Wilson
September 14, 2023

1975 Russell “Russ” P. Kopy
September 25, 2023

1976 David Morganti
September 12, 2023

1988 David “Dave” Joel Gombotz
August 27, 2023

2001 Jeremy Lefever
February 11, 2023

2014 Zachary Richard
September 24, 2023

Faculty in Memoriam

Bob Windolph
November 19, 2023
Windolph was an assistant professor of chemistry from 1969 to 1975. His journey at Moravian continued as assistant dean of students, associate dean of students, and finally dean of student life. He received the James J. Heller Award as Administrator of the Year in 2007, and a year later, in July 2008, he retired after having served Moravian for 39 years.

The Rt. Rev. C. Hopeton Clennon
January 7, 2024
Chaplain of Moravian College and Theological Seminary, 2009–2013

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