On Friday, January 29, 2021, Manor College held its 18th annual Founders’ Day. This tradition consists of a two-day celebration that honors the College’s founders, the Sisters of Saint Basil the Great. While the ceremony took a virtual format this year, the same energy and sense of community was present. The festivities kicked off on Thursday, January 28, with a virtual Tea with the Sisters. This component of Founders’ Day started several years ago as a way to show appreciation to the Sisters of Saint Basil the Great. Members of the College’s faculty, staff and students struck up conversation with the sisters. A trivia game was played while everyone enjoyed peppermint tea provided by the Student Affairs team. The pinnacle of the festivities was the Founders’ Day Livestream celebration on Friday, January 29. Nicholas Rudnytzky served as the master of ceremonies. One of the many highlights of the ceremony was the keynote speech, delivered by Jane Zegestowsky, a former Associate Dean and faculty member of the College. Zegestowsky gave a heartfelt speech about Manor’s mission of service to the community. She stated, “Meeting students where they are is what makes the work we do so special.” Each year on Founders’ day, two prestigious awards are given out — the Mother Josaphat Medal and the Educator of the Year. The Mother Josaphat Medal is given out to a student who demonstrates strength of character and generosity of spirit. Students are nominated by faculty and staff members. The Educator of the Year is given to a professor whose dedication and commitment go beyond the classroom. This student nominated award honors the selected faculty member who received the most votes. This year’s Mother Josaphat Medal winner is Riley Stone, an Early Childhood Education student pursuing her associate’s degree. Stone is an active member of the Early Childhood Education and Rotaract clubs. She suffered a traumatic brain injury when she was younger which has not deterred her from achieving her goals. Riley runs a small charity that she calls “Funds for Families.” She makes keychains, sells them, and then purchases gift cards that social workers distribute at the Ronald McDonald House to families in need. Riley recently supported a girl who needed a diabetic alert dog and a baby with leukemia. Stone stated, “I am both humbled and honored to be awarded this medal. To be recognized alongside my fellow classmates, is an honor and I extend my congratulations to the other finalists.” Dr. Stephanie Marks, Program Director of Veterinary Technology, is the recipient of the Educator of the Year award. Over 55 nominations were submitted for this award. Some of the sentiments about Dr. Marks were: “She makes me feel safe and motivated.” “She has always been there for me even if I emailed her over 20 times a day.” “She teaches with passion and that is what is needed for a great professor.” Dr. Marks commented, “I am honored to have been chosen by the students for this great award. I started my career with the goal of caring for animals, and I now have found my home in helping students reach their goals in Veterinary Technology. I would like to thank my students, my co-workers, the administration and my family for supporting me through such a difficult year. I am blessed to have you all in my life.” This year marked the first time the Sister Cecilia Award was given to the winner and finalists of the Mother Josaphat Medal. The award was provided by a very generous gift from Leonard and Helena Mazur, who wanted to honor Sister Cecila’s memory in a lasting way. Sister Cecilia, former President of the College who served for several decades, passed away on November 5, 2020. For years to come, Mother Josaphat Medal winners and finalists will receive an award from this very special and distinctive fund. “We cannot thank the Mazurs enough, says Dr. Peri, for their generosity and ongoing support of Manor College and an endearing tribute to Sister Cecilia.” The virtual ceremony ended with a video tribute to Sister Cecilia. Members of the community—faculty, staff, friends, alumni and more—submitted tributes to express their love for Sister Cecilia. So many of these testimonies spoke of Sr. Cecilia as being a true friend and inspiring leader. She was a remarkable person, and we are thankful to have grown under her compassionate and unwavering leadership for so many years. The full Founders’ Day ceremony can be watched here.
Manor College has recently been ranked #2 on the list of safest colleges in the country by StateUniversity.com. This list is compiled by analyzing Cleary and FBI data on the following categories: the number of weapon occurances, drugs, burglary, vehicle theft, arson, larceny, robbery, non-forcible rape and more. The college’s ranking increased from the third spot to the second spot. Dr. Jonathan Peri, President of Manor College, stated, Manor has a history of choosing safety first. If we’re not safe, we can’t learn. So we lead in the nation because our priority, pandemic or no pandemic, is the safety of our community” said Dr. Peri, President of Manor College. “Our You Belong Here statement invites everyone to Manor to learn and study…safely.” Fran Stevenson, Public Safety Officer stated, “We attribute this ranking to the mission and to the great rapport we have with students, faculty and staff. Providing a safe environment is our ultimate goal so our students can achieve their goals. My goal is to become number one.” An ID badge swipe system was recently installed across campus as another step to keep the college safe and secure. The College community is thrilled about this new ranking and will continue to keep the safety of the institution as a top priority.
Lourene and Jim Nevels inspire a scholarship campaign at Manor College, and Leslie Turner, 2020 graduation keynote speaker, pledges $100,000 for first-generation student scholarships. Leading up to fall of 2021 at Manor College there will be thousands of dollars available to first-generation students from underserved communities because of the generosity of Lourene and Jim Nevels. After the Manor College 2020 Virtual Gala this past November, Lourene and Jim opened the Nevels Family and Friends Fund for first-generation college students like themselves. They also launched an amazing challenge: “Match our generosity,” they told our community. They started their benevolence at Manor with a $100,000 gift to Manor’s Veterinary Technology Program renovation project, and they called on the Community at large to give the same to their new scholarship fund. The scholarship fund is a separate fund from the Veterinary Technology Renovation Fund started by the Nevels. The scholarship fund started by the Nevels addresses direct tuition needs. “Our community came through. We exceeded the goal to raise nearly 50% more than planned with almost $150,000! What an amazing start to a fund that will provide thousands in support every year for years to come!” said Kelly Peiffer, VP of Marketing, Communications and Advancement for Manor College. Dr. Jonathan Peri, President of Manor College, expressed deep gratitude for the support this funding will provide to students who are underrepresented in higher education. “The Nevels are a beacon of hope to students who otherwise cannot afford college. Students can be strongly encouraged to enroll now with the peace of mind needed that they can really, really do it & really, really afford it..” Jim Nevels said, “We are thrilled that so many caring members of the Manor Community and the Community more broadly took up our challenge–and achieved so much more than we could have ever imagined! Education is the key to a better life, especially for those who might otherwise be left behind. Lourene and I are honored to stand with everyone who believes this and demonstrates their compassion. Thank you, Manor Community!” Leslie Turner, who gave Manor College’s keynote speech at its 2020 Graduation Ceremony, was particularly moved by the challenge from her friends, the Nevels. Under the auspices of the Nevels Family and Friends Fund, she has started a scholarship for first-generation students with a pledge of $100,000. Indeed, this transformative gift placed Manor’s results far beyond what we had anticipated. “I believe strongly in Manor College and the life-changing opportunities Manor offers to students throughout the region,” Leslie says. “The efforts of the College to personalize education and encourage underserved and underrepresented students need to be supported. I am delighted to join in the Nevels Fund Campaign and help bring more students to ManorCollege to achieve their dreams.” Dr. Peri added, “We look forward to this scholarship helping year after year.”
The holiday season may seem monumentally different this year, but the sense of holiday spirit is still found within the Manor College community. The College has been continuing traditions in a novel format this year. Giving Tuesday This year, the charity Manor College chose to support for Giving Tuesday was The Breathing Room Foundation, an organization that provides care and support to families affected by cancer by taking care of their most important needs. Members of the Manor community were able to view the Amazon Wish List for the foundation and send items directly to the organization. $2,000 in items were donated! Thomas Sims, Donor Relations Officer, stated, “Every Giving Tuesday, we look forward to supporting families in need. This year, we partnered with an organization that helps people the most in need. It was so good to see the Manor College community make this wish list fulfillment possible.” Student American Dental Hygienists’ Club Toy Drive The Student American Dental Hygienists’ Club hosted a toy drive for children in need in the community. Dental Hygiene student and club member, Stacy Mulholland, stated, “I just kept thinking of all these children who may wake up for the first time this year without gifts from Santa.” The drive has collected over 211 gifts so far. 12 Days of Manor Giveaways Each year, the Office of Marketing Communications at Manor College hosts a giveaway held on the Manor College Facebook page where members of the community answer the question and are entered to win the prize of the day. One of the daily questions that was asked was “What is your favorite thing about Manor College?” Kareena B, stated. “As an international student, Manor welcomed me with open arms. Everyone was warm and friendly. You never felt like you didn’t belong because we were all one big family.” The giveaway is currently underway and not only fostering a spirit of togetherness and cheer, but this year Manor is giving away TWO prizes per day! Week of Cheer For Faculty and Staff Since the majority of Manor’s faculty and staff members are working remotely, the College planned a virtual “Week of Cheer” for employees to have holiday related activities to do together! The week included quirky and virtual activities for the community to participate in, activities such as: Cookie Recipe Exchange, Live Zoom Holly Jolly Trivia, A Gingerbread House Making Night, and even Christmas Stories with Santa (you will want to check that one out). Holiday Greetings Video Lastly, faculty, staff, students and trustees submitted holiday greetings and messages of cheer that were collected and made into this video.
When you ask Stacy Mulholland, a Manor College Dental Hygiene student, about the Toy Drive she is leading for the Student American Dental Hygienists’ Club fundraiser, her face lights up immediately. The toy drive will benefit children from families in need and will be running through December 18. Every year there are families who struggle around the holidays. Many families have been facing unforeseen financial hardships. In the midst of this, children are suffering as well. Suffering because they can’t play with friends, they can’t go to school and family get-togethers have come to a halt. Stacy stated, “I just kept thinking of all these children who may wake up for the first time this year without gifts from ‘Santa’ ’or their parents.” Children do not have the ability to understand that their parents couldn’t buy gifts this year because they had to pay their rent or mortgage, or because they only had enough money for food. Mulholland stated, “A quote I once came across hopefully will inspire others like it has me, ‘If you want to touch the past, touch a rock. If you want to touch the present, touch a flower. If you want to touch the future, touch a life.’”Stacy says the most obvious goal of this toy drive is to help as many families in need this year. There are so many families in need as a result of job losses from COVID-19 on top of families already relying on the help of others. Christmas is about giving, and what better way than to give to the little people who help keep the spirit of Christmas alive. When asked why she is passionate about this, Mulholland replied, “Oh wow. I don’t even know where to start. I myself am a mother of four children. I can’t even begin to imagine how helpless and sad I would feel if I was ever in a position where I had to choose between feeding my family and giving them a few small gifts to wake up to on Christmas morning (or for Hanukkah). There are so many people out there struggling and I want to help keep the spirit of Christmas alive in the hearts of these children in need.” Mulholland hopes that the community sees how one small act of kindness has a ripple effect and how much good can come out of something that starts out so small. The Toy Drive has collected 100 gifts so far and received a $500 donation. Want to donate? Find our amazon wish list at www.amazon.com/registries Type in “Manor College” for registrant Name and Select “Custom Gift List” Shop for gifts! Please make sure to have gifts delivered to Manor College Attn: SADHA Toy Drive All gifts must be received by December 18th to ensure proper delivery. Questions? Email Stacy at email@example.com or Samantha at firstname.lastname@example.org.