On the initiative of the Student Senate at Manor College, a campus food pantry is now ready to serve. A recent article in The Chronicle of Higher Education reported that every day, college students across America are struggling with food insecurities. Last spring the Manor College Student Senate brought this issue to the attention of the college’s administration. The Manor student body was surveyed and they uniformly felt that addressing food insecurities was a worthy campus outreach effort. The college’s mission statement includes: “Manor graduates are prepared to serve society effectively and compassionately;” the campus culture and community at Manor are dedicated to serving students of all capacities effectively, compassionately (and quickly) too! Allison Mootz, Dean of Students said, “We saw the students take an issue of national concern seriously and we felt strongly that they were doing the right thing and should be supported. After visiting many local pantries, attending forums on the topic, and speaking with other schools that are servicing their students in the same way, we were able to make it happen. The opening of a food pantry on campus helps to eliminate barriers to degree completion for students and helps them succeed.” After Mootz’s summer of bringing the pantry together with a number of faculty and staff members, the Bird Feed is now open and ready to serve! Today’s ribbon cutting and blessing symbolizes the Bird Feed’s official opening and will meet immediate needs by providing a variety of non-perishable food items and basic necessities. The pantry is located in Mother of Perpetual Help Hall on the second floor across from the campus Chapel and will be open Monday – Friday from 8am – 6pm. “Sometimes folks find it difficult to ask for help. If a student finds him or herself ready, willing and able to take on the challenges of college, but they’re stomach is growling because they couldn’t have breakfast, then how can they put their minds on what they need to learn?” said Jonathan Peri, President of Manor College. “We took the need to ask for help out of the equation. With thanks to student perceptiveness and initiative, we’re addressing a national issue locally. Our food pantry is wonderful evidence of the kind of partnership our students and staff & faculty community have together on our campus.” During the Summer, the Bird Feed collected hundreds of non-perishable items. One faculty member bought and donated a new freezer. Others donated shopping bags and organizational/storage items to make the Bird Feed as accessible and friendly as possible. The administration also secured a recurring donation to the Bird Feed from Panera Bread, which is gifting leftover breads every Wednesday. The Bird Feed will be collecting items and restocking on a regular basis. Just last week, the Bird Feed received a $500 grant from the WAWA Foundation to purchase food and organizational supplies! The college is seeking new partnerships with food stores, foundations and nonprofit organizations that would like to help serve the students. All donations are appreciated and will be used to help combat community food insecurities. Inquiries and offers of donations and support can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. Click here to watch a segment on NBC10 about the opening of the Bird Feed!
Local two-year college joins forces with dance studio and performing company to better serve students and the community Manor College has been expanding into the performing arts, with its most recent expansion connecting the college with the nationally renowned Metropolitan Ballet Company. The new partnership unites two unique community resources which have each served the greater Philadelphia region for decades. Now Manor and Metropolitan Ballet are forging a creative collaboration that enables each organization to expand its course offerings in a new dance studio on the Manor campus, where high quality dance classes for all ages and pre-professional level ballet training will be taught by outstanding Metropolitan Ballet and guest faculty. The relationship also allows Metropolitan to offer safe and convenient housing for its Summer Intensive dance program, welcoming students from afar to the Manor campus. Since Manor’s President Jonathan Peri began his tenure a little more than a year ago, he has fostered the expansion of fine and performing arts programs for Manor’s students. Metropolitan Ballet is recognized as one of the country’s finest dance academies, offering creative movement and classical training for ages 3-18, and ballet classes for adults. Metropolitan is also widely respected for its Boys’ Scholarship Program, offering boys tuition-free training with male faculty as well as performance experience with Metropolitan Ballet Company. In October 2011, POINTE magazine proclaimed Metropolitan Ballet as one of America’s top seven studios “cultivating top talent.” It is led by artistic director Lisa Collins Vidnovic, who performed with Pennsylvania Ballet for a decade and served as Ballet Mistress there before founding Metropolitan Ballet in 1996. More than 30 of Metropolitan’s alumni have performed professionally in the U.S. and abroad, representing the studio in prestigious dance companies, on Broadway and in the entertainment industry. Constructed with Vidnovic’s guidance, the new dance studio at Manor College features surrounding mirrors, ballet barres, and a sprung marley dance floor. Manor students will enjoy using the studio for the College’s new Hip-Hop Dance Techniques 1 class, a 3-credit course taught by a well-respected hip-hop dancer, choreographer and teacher. Metropolitan Ballet will utilize the Manor studio space to offer new Saturday morning community classes for 3-5 year old boys and girls, starting in September 2017, as well as new classes for pre-professional dance students and adults. For example, starting this fall, Pennsylvania Ballet dancer Etienne Diaz will teach a two-hour pre-professional level class and a class in partnering on the Manor campus. Also new this summer, Manor College is hosting students attending Metropolitan Ballet’s Summer Intensive, offering dancers the opportunity to spend the week on campus, with room and board provided in Manor’s residence hall. “This exciting partnership between Manor College and Metropolitan Ballet offers tremendous opportunities for us to reach and train more students of all ages and abilities,” said Vidnovic. “For more than 20 years, Metropolitan Ballet Academy and Company has offered the finest classical dance training, while inspiring a broader appreciation for dance through Metropolitan’s community outreach programs and performances. Together with Manor College, we look forward to creating a vibrant dance presence on campus, as well as combining our individual resources to promote the performing arts on campus and further inspire community arts engagement in Montgomery County and beyond.” “This is just another example evidencing our long term commitment to our students and our community,” said Manor’s President Peri. “We’ve reframed a nicely sized classroom into a full-on dance studio with Metropolitan Ballet, and now we’re looking at some wonderful creative possibilities. In combination with our other programs and collaborations in the arts, the opportunities for comprehensive liberal arts education at Manor continue to expand.” Manor expects to add more dance classes over time, and is considering offering a concentration or degree in dance in the future. Of course the news today is just a snapshot of a much bigger picture of a quick pace happening at Manor College, which has made significant strides towards becoming a bachelor’s degree granting institution. In the last year, Manor has been able to tout: renovating old facilities into new rebranding its logos launching a new website improving the organization of its structure and operations creating new opportunities and innovative programs for students such as fully online courses in healthcare administration, liberal arts, and business administration. Overall, because Manor is able to offer its students a 10:1 student teacher ratio, its faculty serve as mentors to students, which enhances the student experience and positions them for great opportunities in life. This is confirmed when looking at Manor’s numbers. In comparison to their peers, Manor’s graduation rate and average salary after graduation are both higher than national average. Manor was recently named the Top Five Best Two Year Colleges in Pennsylvania by LearnHowToBecome.org, a leading resource provider for higher education and career information. Manor is also the best priced-private Catholic college in Pennsylvania and has been recognized as the safest college in Pennsylvania. Manor welcomes the Metropolitan Ballet as a partner and can’t wait to see the beauty and art of ballet fill its campus!