Humble Presence, High Impact

Manor College Honors Jim and Lourene Nevels at First-Ever Evening with Manor, Virtual Gala Humble. Caring. A Passion for Education. These are just some of the many glowing tributes made to Jim and Dr. Lourene Nevels that were discussed when meeting with nearly 25 of the couples’ nearest and dearest friends.  Jim and Dr. Lourene Nevels, a couple from Swarthmore, PA, were the honorees for this year’s Evening with Manor, Virtual Gala. On Thursday, November 12 at 7 p.m., over 275 viewers from two countries and 15 states tuned in via livestream to honor this very special couple. Former President, Jimmy Carter, even had a message for the Nevels. The Nevels have been unbelievably generous to the Manor College Veterinary Technology Program, and it is because of their love of animals and nature. They have spent much time at their home in Spruce Creek, Pennsylvania, fly fishing and enjoying the outdoors. Lourene has written a book about one of their dogs and for over two decades has been a docent at the Philadelphia Zoo. “It’s no wonder these two have been such a transformative power for our Veterinary Technology program,” said Stephanie Marks, DVM, director of the program. “They have helped to completely create a new space for our program, which was the vision for Dr. Joanna Bassert, Manor’s former director of the Vet Tech program. She envisioned a dedicated and modern space for our students, and the Nevels helped make that a reality.” Jim Nevels is the Chairman of the Swarthmore Group, a Philadelphia-based investment advisory firm, which he founded in 1991. Mr. Nevels serves on the Board of Directors of two public companies — Alcoa Corporation and WestRock (Lead Independent Director from 2017-2019). He is also a member of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, Presidential Advisory Committee, OFR Financial Research Advisory Committee and the Council on Foreign Relations. In addition, Mr. Nevels serves on the Board of Trustees at Manor College.  Dr. Lourene Nevels has spent her professional career as a licensed psychologist in private practice, as Director and Staff Psychologist at the Counseling and Personal Development Center at St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia and as Adjunct Faculty in Graduate Education and Psychology also at St. Joe’s. Dr. Nevels also spends time volunteering as the President, Docent Council, at the Philadelphia Zoo.  “We could not have honored a more humble and authentically committed, influential couple for this year’s gala program,” says Jonathan Peri, Ph.D., President at Manor College. “The Nevels have been such a force for good not only in the Philadelphia region, but around our country! And we are blessed to have Jim on our Board of Trustees. Their generosity, their commitment to fair access to higher education, their resolve to stand with underrepresented and underserved young people who truly need a chance to succeed–this is what makes them great. It is why we honored them. And what did they do? They honored us in return. Their compassion and grace are a blessing to Manor’s students and mission.” As the college’s first virtual gala event, the buzz of excitement was felt from all. Attendees were able to express their messages of gratitude to the beloved couple in the chat section. The Chris Stevens Band provided some excellent music throughout the night. Attendees were able to bid on raffle baskets including a basket from Iron Hill Brewery in Huntingdon Valley, a bicycle from Keswick Cycle, a grill and so much more. Attendees also had the option to purchase a gala gourmet box, provided by Glenside’s own Trevi BYOB.  “Wow. Wow. Wow!” Jim and Lourene had responded to the evening. “We were overwhelmed by this honor. But we insist that this gala is in honor of all the wonderful work Manor College does for first-generation college students, like we were. Somebody had to help us get our chance, and we challenge all of you to do like we have and give another person their shot.” A record amount of money was raised from the evening. 100% of these proceeds from the raffle will support the Lourene and Jim Nevels Family and Friends Scholarship fund. This is a new fund at Manor College that focuses on supporting first-generation college students. Did you miss the event? Watch the entire program here or watch all the amazing tributes to this most endearing couple here. 

Manor College Ranked #3 on List of Safest Colleges in USA

Manor College has recently been ranked #3 on the list of safest colleges in the country by 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, robert, non-forcible rape and more. Other colleges included on the list are Kent State University, Gordon College, Foothill College and Massachusetts School of Law. With over 4,500 institutions nationwide, being listed as the top 3 for safety is truly something remarkable for Manor College. Dr. Jonathan Peri, President of Manor College, stated “Manor College has a long-standing reputation as one of the safest colleges in Pennsylvania.“ said Manor College President, Jonathan Peri, JD, PhD. “ This new acknowledgment recognizes Manor’s rightful place in national safety rankings. It is fitting, as we are also the best priced private college in Pennsylvania, we are local, and our faculty are hands-on. Really, anyone who is thinking about college in these times should have Manor College at the top of their list.” Allison Mootz, Dean of Students and Vice President of Student Affairs stated, “All of us at Manor pride ourselves on the safety of our campus community and our ranking of 3rd on the list of Safest College shows that the hard work of our Public Safety staff, our Compliance Manager, and all staff, faculty, and students continues to pay off. We are blessed to have a community that cares so deeply about each other and we are proud of this distinction.” The college community is excited about this ranking and gives credit to the diligent Public Safety team who work tirelessly to keep Manor College safe. Learn more about Public Safety at Manor College here. 

Manor College Holds Virtual Ukrainian Dialogue about Political Philosophies of Ukrainian President Zelenskyy

Manor College held a Virtual Ukrainian Dialogue on October 15 at 6 p.m via Zoom webinar. Panelists included Ambassador of Ukraine, Volodymyr Yelchenko, Member of Parliament of Ukraine, Honorary Solomiia Bobrovska and Chief Editor of the Kyiv Post, Brian Bonner regarding the political philosophies of President Zelenskyy. President of Manor College, Jonathan Peri facilitated the discussion.  Manor College holds dialogues focused on Ukrainian-American affairs twice a year, this being it’s ninth dialogue in the college’s history. The discussions always create meaningful and important conversation and are well-attended by various members of the Ukrainian community. Previous topics of conversation included women in politics in Ukraine, Kyiv patriarchy and hacking in New Russia. This year, the topic was centered on the political philosophies of President Zelenskyy. Ukraine’s Ambassador to the United States, Volodymyr Yelchenko stated, “I am confident that regardless of who wins this year’s US election, our friendship and strategic partnership will continue to grow, as both Ukraine and the United States are committed to strengthening these relations.” Topics of discussion included the United States partnership with Ukraine, the upcoming elections and President Zelenskyy.  View the entire dialogue here. 

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!