St. Nicholas’ Feast Day: An Ukrainian Tradition Alive and Well at Manor College

Manor College will celebrate the feast of Saint Nicholas this Thursday, December 6, 2018. The liturgy, conducted by Monsignor Peter D. Waslo, will begin at 12:15 pm at the Mother of Perpetual Help Hall Chapel, and St. Nicholas will start making his rounds around 1pm, bringing treats to classrooms and offices around campus. Celebrating the feast of Saint Nicholas has long been a tradition in Ukraine, where it is often called “the Magic Night.” Children wait for St. Nicholas to place a present beneath their pillows as they sleep. Chrystyna Prokopovych, curator of the Ukrainian Heritage Museum at Manor College, grew up in a Ukrainian-American household. Explains Prokopovych: “Waiting for St. Nicholas was the biggest thing as a child.” Unlike in America, Ukrainians make a clear distinction between St. Nicholas and Santa Claus, and St. Nicholas’ Feast Day is the traditional day of gifting in Ukrainian culture, rather than Christmas. But who is St. Nicholas? Born in  270 A.D., he became the Bishop of Myra, legendary for his kindness and for leaving secret gifts for those in need. He was also an important Christian theological figure when it came to affirming that God the Son and God the Father are the same being. As the patron saint of children, merchants, brewers and more, St. Nicholas’ legacy became more and more celebrated over the centuries. At Manor College, the St. Nicholas tradition is kept alive each year, with faculty, staff and students all looking forward to the festive event—and the opportunity to get a look at St. Nicholas as he makes his rounds. What makes Manor’s celebration unique? Monsignor Waslo explains that, due to its unique heritage, “Manor’s probably the only college in the country that takes part [in the feast of St. Nicholas]. The Sisters started it way back, and kept it going as a tradition.” And as a tip from the Campus Ministry: the special buzzword for the day is “Homoousios.” Figure out what it means and receive a gold coin from St. Nicholas!

Manor College Students featured in WPVI-6 Coverage for Community Outreach

Earlier this month, Manor College students participated in a local Interfaith Day of Service along with the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia and Catholic Healthcare Services. The event was featured on WPVI-6 Coverage that aired on November 4, 2018. The broadcast noted that students raked leaves, cleaned windows and doors, and changed alarm batteries for older residents living alone in their homes. The day of service in Northeast Philadelphia was dedicated to the Tree of Life synagogue shooting victims in Pittsburgh.  

Ultra-Marathoner to Run for 12 Hours on Giving Tuesday for Manor

Manor College is excited to announce a day of personal endurance and community building as part of their Giving Tuesday campaign. Local attorney and ultra-marathoner Paul S. Peters, Esq., will run for 12 straight hours at Manor College, in the midst of camaraderie, sponsorships, and challenges. Giving Tuesday is a global day of philanthropy that occurs on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving to kick off the charitable holiday season. Giving Tuesday this year is November 27. “I decided to offer to help Manor College on Giving Tuesday due to my different connections to Manor, and love for Manor’s mission, values, and overall impact on students and Montgomery County,” says Peters. “I have the honor of serving Manor’s Board of Trustees on the Advancement Committee, which has allowed me to clearly learn the mission and values of Manor.  Manor also afforded me my first opportunity to teach, for which I am forever grateful.” Peters is Running All Day—But He Won’t be Alone The day will begin at 7:00 am when Peters boards his first treadmill to begin the day-long challenge. He anticipates running at least two marathons over the course of the 12 hours, switching back and forth between two treadmills. He won’t, however, be running alone. Students, alumni, faculty, staff, and community members will not only be there to cheer him on, but they will also be participating and helping by running alongside him to meet sponsored challenges. “Through this somewhat quirky effort, we are going to have a fun time bringing together our entire campus community—students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends—to celebrate what makes Manor College a great place to be while supporting one another and bringing awareness to the need for student scholarship,” notes Director of Advancement, Kimberly Hamm. Manor College has seen amazing evolution in the last three years. Despite declining trends in higher education, Manor has posted enrollment increase, financial stability, and greater philanthropic support. Peters, a law schoolmate of Manor College President Jonathan Peri, PhD, JD,  has been there to witness these accomplishments. “I have chosen to take on the challenge of running for 12 hours on a treadmill to raise money for and awareness of Manor College and everything it has to offer. President Peri is one of the most compassionate, respectable, visionary, and genuine persons I have ever met.  I am beyond impressed with the extraordinary work he has done for Manor, leading Manor from the amazing launch of 15 bachelor’s degrees, rebranding, upgrades to the campus, enhanced learning and employment experience, and the fact that Manor has the largest enrollment of minority students in Montgomery County. These are the reasons I will run.” Manor College President Jon Peri, PhD, JD, states, “Giving Tuesday has been a wonderful philanthropic movement, and its global visibility helps us to educate our community about the importance of giving to non-profit organizations, like Manor College. This year’s addition–Paul Peters’s testimony to endurance through his 12-hour run–is inspiring our campus into action from challenges to cheering. We are grateful that Paul is so dedicated to Manor and we remain thankful to our event sponsors for joining in to raise Manor College’s Giving Tuesday profile.” Biography: Paul S Peters III, Esq. Paul is an attorney with the Law Firm of Bello, Reilley, McGrory & DiPippo, P.C. at 144 East DeKalb Pike, King of Prussia, PA.  His law practice concentrates in the areas of Employment and Small Business Law, Bankruptcy, Criminal Defense, Estate Planning, and Personal Injury. Paul grew up in the Lawndale section of Northeast Philadelphia.  As a student in the Philadelphia Public School system, he was educated at Crossan Elementary, Wilson Middle, and Northeast High.  After graduating from Northeast High School, he received his bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Albright College in 1998, and his law degree from Widener University School of Law in 2001. Immediately following law school, Paul opened his own law practice in the Kensington section of Philadelphia.  Here, he served clients in and around Philadelphia in areas of law including criminal defense, bankruptcy, family law, and personal injury.  After 13 successful years of practice, Paul decided to take a sabbatical from the law to teach and coach. Paul spent five years teaching business and law classes, coaching track and cross country, and serving as the Human Resources Director and General Counsel at Nazareth Academy High School in Philadelphia.  Paul continues to serve as an adjunct professor in the Schools of Criminal Justice and Business Administration at Holy Family University. While Paul found his work as a teacher and coach to be incredibly rewarding, he missed practicing the law, and helping clients.  In March of 2018, Paul returned to the legal profession. Paul prides himself as an attorney who is highly skilled in his areas of practice, and one who assists his clients with care and without judgement, and with a desire to help them navigate some of life’s most difficult circumstances. Paul has been a dedicated and avid runner most of his life. As a four-year varsity runner on Northeast High School’s Cross Country and Track Teams, he experienced great success and learned to love and embrace the sport of running.  He continued his running career at Albright College participating on the college’s cross country and track teams. After college and law school, Paul developed an interest in running marathons and ultra-marathons.  His first marathon was the Pittsburgh Marathon, and he went on to run the Philadelphia Marathon multiple times, the Boston Marathon twice, and marathons in Miami, Baltimore, New Jersey, Vermont, and Washington, D.C. Paul has also competed in 50- mile, 100- mile, 24- hour, and 12- hour races.  The highlight of Paul’s running career was the 200-mile Ragnar Relay he completed with friends in 2011. Paul lives in Elkins Park with his wife Heather and daughter Hsin-Hua.  Paul and his wife met the first weekend of college and have been together for 23 years this fall.  Heather is the VP of Human Resources for Allan Myers, a heavy civil construction company based in Worcester, PA. Read more >

Manor College to host Philadelphia film premiere: “Hunger for Truth: The Rhea Clyman Story

Manor College will host the Philadelphia premiere of the movie “Hunger for Truth: The Rhea Clyman Story” on Saturday, November 17, 2018 at 2:00 pm. The film, by Emmy-award winning director Andrew Tkach, will be screened in the Basileiad Manor Library and is presented by the College’s Ukrainian Heritage Studies Center. At the conclusion of the viewing, Mr. Tkach will offer some remarks on his journey in making this work as well as conduct an open Q&A session with the audience.  The event is free and open to the public. “The Ukrainian Heritage Studies Center is proud to sponsor the presentation of Mr. Andrew Tkach’s moving work, Hunger for Truth: The Rhea Clyman Story. This film and its journey in shedding light on a dark episode in our common history is precisely what Manor College’s mission of enabling students to fully develop as individuals and instill an understanding of scientific, humanistic and ethical principles to form a global vision is all about,” states Nicholas Rudnytzky, Manor College Dean of Academic Services. “Seeing what Mr. Tkach’s passion for inquiry while applying critical thinking and effective communication skills resulted in is a most effective example of the power of higher education. Putting all these elements together is how we can serve both society as well as social good and will provide our students with the tools to arm themselves to be vigilant and defend against such evils in the present and future.” In 2017, the Pennsylvania Senate approved Senate Resolution 244 designating November as “Ukraine Genocide Remembrance Month” and Philadelphia’s City Council formally recognized the 85th anniversary of the genocide via resolution in October 2018.   Film Synopsis In an age when disinformation muddles the truth, a new voice cuts through the historical haze. She is Rhea Clyman, a young Canadian reporter who traversed the starving Soviet heartland when Stalin’s man-made famine was just beginning. Clyman’s newly discovered newspaper articles from 1932-33 show her remarkable resourcefulness and courage. After she was banished from the USSR for writing about the Holodomor and the Gulag, this brave woman went on to cover Hitler’s early lethal years in power. Today, another Russian autocrat is trying to dismember Ukraine by using disinformation and brute force. Three years into Ukraine’s forgotten war, its soldiers are still held as prisoners of war. In central Ukraine, two little girls are growing up without their dad–Serhiy Hlondar. He’s a member of Ukraine’s Special Forces who was captured in the battle of Debaltseve, a day after Russian led forces were meant to silence their guns in the Minsk 2 Peace Accord. Hlondar has never seen his youngest daughter, and after 1200 days of captivity, his family has received only seven letters to keep their hopes alive. The feature-length documentary interweaves Clyman’s truth telling trip during the 1930s with today’s conflict in eastern Ukraine. Combining rare archive photos, historical perspective and today’s real life drama, the film shows the power of truth telling in the face of disinformation. Tkach has created two versions of the film: a 75-minute version that includes a parallel story with today’s war in Ukraine and a 50-minute version focusing on just the 1930s. This screening will be the full 75-minute version.   Biography: Andrew Tkach Andrew Tkach has produced long form television programs for more than 25 years, most recently directing two documentaries on Ukraine’s tumultuous history. His work spans the globe including films about the traditional hunters in Greenland, child gold miners in Mali, Fukushima’s exclusion zone, China’s control of the internet, Czech Neo Nazi’s attacking the Roma, Irish Clerical sex abuse, Philippine attack on the press, Tibetan & Burmese resistance, Islam in Iran, UK and Afghanistan, Aids in Africa, Gangs in the Americas, Modern day slavery, Burmese drug lords, Cocaine cowboys, and much more. Prior to forming his own company, Messy Moment Media, Tkach was the principal long form producer of Christiane Amanpour for both CNN and CBS 60 Minutes, winning multiple Emmys, Duponts, and Peabodys for his work. He is currently producing a weekly environmental documentary series in Kenya made by African filmmakers called Giving Nature a Voice. Filmography: Hunger for Truth (2017), Generation Maidan: A Year of Revolution & War (2015), On Thin Ice (2014), Artivist (2013), Imelda & Me (2012), Secrets & Sins (2011), Scars of Racism (2011), Buddha’s Warriors (2010), Generation Islam (2009), God’s Muslim Warriors (2008), Czar Putin (2007), War Within (2006), Where Have All the Parents Gone (2006), World’s Most Dangerous Gang (2005), Of Human Bondage Slavery Today (1995), Heroin Connection (1993), Murder Capital (1991), Moscow Vice (1989), Urban Nomads (1988).