History in the Making: A Drive-In Graduation to Remember

If you were in the vicinity of Fox Chase Road on October 10, you likely heard the roaring cheers and loud car horns of the graduating class of Manor College. The College held its annual 2020 commencement ceremony in a different way this year. Typically, the entire campus community, including the graduating class along with their families, join together in the gymnasium. This year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the College held the 69th Commencement ceremony in the parking lot for a drive-in style, on Saturday, October 10 at 1 p.m. While the new, socially distanced format did change the amount of hugs and handshakes that were able to be shared, this shift in modality did not at all take away from the accomplishments of the graduating class. Serving as Master of Ceremonies was Danielle Preston, a Philadelphia Market Audit Leader at RSM US LLP and Manor College Board of Trustees member. Student speakers included Jamal Utqi, Manor’s first-ever Bachelor degree graduate and Privish Sadaqat, a top-notch student who immigrated to the United States from Pakistan just two years ago. Both speakers mentioned how grateful they were for their experiences at Manor and how their fellow graduates should be so proud for accomplishing so much during a pandemic.  Leslie Turner, Business Leader and former executive for the Hershey Company, Coca Cola Company and Clinton Administration, addressed the crowd, lined up in cars, tuning in through an FM radio station. A common theme in Turner’s speech was the importance of memories. She stressed the significance of always remembering this special occasion as it is one of the most meaningful days in a student’s life. A standout quote worthy of noting was, “Don’t stop here. Keep dreaming; keep defying the odds”.  The majority of Manor’s students and therefore graduates are first-generation—so, graduating from college is an especially notable achievement. Faculty and staff were among the crowd, as well. Fran Stevenson, Public Safety Officer received the Board of Trustees Staff Award.  Jaime Simpson, Director of EFDA Program, won the Board of Trustees Faculty Award. Rabiya Dharsi, an adjunct faculty member, won the Seminak Award. Stevenson stated, “It was both a gratifying surprise and an honor to receive this award. I feel so blessed to have the continuous support of the Manor College community.” Danielle Preston, Board of Trustee member and Master of Ceremonies stated, “I am very blessed to have been a part of such a joyous occasion. There was such a great energy as we were able to celebrate the successes of our 2020 graduates. I’m proud to be part of an institution that continues to be innovative while navigating the recent challenges.” The College community is immensely proud of the graduates.

Continued Success in Real Estate

Kathy McGuriman is an alumna of the first and only 240-Hour FULLY ONLINE PA Real Estate Broker Pre-Licensing program offered exclusively at Manor College. McGuriman is currently a full-time REALTOR® and president of the Montgomery County Association of REALTORS®. We had the chance to ask her a few questions about her experience in the program.  What influenced your decision to enroll in this program?  I was looking for something online and this program fit that criteria. Most real estate courses are in-person—with my schedule, an online program worked best. Ayisha Sereni, a PA Licensed Real Estate Broker, Education Provider, and REALTOR®, created the program to fill a void in the real estate education sector. Ayisha, actively licensed since 1995,  also serves as the Lead Instructor. Interacting with an active Real Estate Broker and REALTOR® was a value-added perk!   What was your favorite aspect of the program?  Another aspect I enjoyed was being able to work at my own pace. I liked the flexibility of the online coursework and being able to do it when and where I wanted. My husband travels a lot before COVID-19 and most of my free time is at night, so it worked.    Is there something about this program that sets Manor apart from other real estate programs?  The curriculum sets it apart. Each course is different and contains the most up-to-date resources that we can use in the field! Other programs just don’t offer the flexibility of online learning with the comfort of a personalized and interactive learning experience.    How do you think this program has helped you advance in your career?  The education I’ve received in this program has helped make me into an even more knowledgeable REALTOR®. It has helped bring my career to the next level in residential real estate sales.    What is an accomplishment in real estate that you are particularly proud of?  I have a good reputation and lots of clients return to me—that is the biggest accomplishment!    What advice would you give to someone who is interested in enrolling in the program but hesitant?  My advice is to just do it! You don’t have anything to lose. If you are still hesitant just try one class. If you are concerned financially, take a course with lesser credits at first.    Any last comments about the course?  The process of enrolling in the course was extremely easy! The curriculum and materials were easy to download. Whenever I had a technical glitch the Information Technology team at Manor was very quick to help!