Manor College to Confer Honorary Degree to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy

Manor’s Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters, is the first honorary degree granted in the college’s 75 year history. Manor is part of a joint effort among 16 institutions granting an honorary degree to Zelenskyy.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. Ukrainian Presidential Press Office via AP

JENKINTOWN, PA – Manor College announced today that it will be conferring an honorary degree on Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy at its upcoming May, 2022 Commencement ceremony. It is the first honorary degree that Manor College has granted in its 75 year history. 

In what appears to be a globally unprecedented move, Manor College and 15 other colleges and universities are in solidarity in collectively granting honorary degrees upon Zelenskyy.  

“Manor’s Board of Trustees, Manor’s colleague institutions and I, along with the rest of the civilized world, have been watching the depth, compassion and courage of President Zelenskyy’s leadership during this needless war by Russian authoritarianism,” Manor College President Dr. Jonathan Peri said, “President Zelenskyy’s humanitarianism and care for Ukraine’s people is unparalleled in the contemporary world.”  The universal support for Zelenskyy stems from Russia’s unprovoked despicable attack on the free and peaceful people of Ukraine.

Dr. Peri and the 15 College and University Presidents are inviting additional colleges and universities to join them in elevating the profile of President Zelenskyy’s heroism and his courageous efforts to protect western civilization.  The current list of institutions and presidents supporting the joint honorary degree movement include:

  • Jonathan Peri – President, Manor College
  • Leon Botstein – President, Bard College
  • Jeff Docking – President, Adrian College
  • John Hurley – President, Canisius College
  • John Loyack – President, Alvernia University
  • Mark Zupan – President, Alfred University
  • Michael Brophy – President, Hilbert College
  • David Finegold – President, Chatham University
  • Joyce Jacobsen – President, Hobart and William Smith Colleges
  • Scott Miller – President, Virginia Wesleyan University
  • Amy Storey – President, Keuka College
  • Laura Casamento – President, Utica University
  • Tracy Fitzsimmons. President, Shenandoah University
  • Linda LeMura – Le Moyne College
  • David Munson – President, RIT
  • Frederick Whitt – President, Lenoir-Rhyne University

During this war in Ukraine, Manor College has continued to honor its Ukrainian roots.  It is the only accredited college in America founded by the Sisters of Saint Basil the Great.  Today, Manor College is a richly diverse campus that proudly educates students from all over the state and world.  Manor released a call for prayer on Mar. 17, a statement denouncing the war on Feb. 24, a statement of concern on Jan, 20, created numerous pathways to humanitarian aid for Ukraine collecting $50,000 to date, started a scholarship line to help Ukrainian refugee students, and it has been holding a weekly support group for students dealing with anxiety over the war in Ukraine.

Due to the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, Honorary Consulate of Ukraine to Philadelphia Iryna Mazur, Esq. will accept the degree on behalf of President Zelenskyy.  

Consul Mazur said, “This is an incredible honor to accept this award on behalf of President Zelenskyy, a world hero who became a symbol of unity against Russian aggression, strength and preservation of democracy.”

Manor College continues to hold its Ukrainian roots close with a Ukrainian Heritage Studies  Museum on campus that continues to preserve, promote and perpetuate Ukrainian culture and traditions through educational and cultural programs.  

The “honorary doctorate of humane letters” degree is typically awarded to those who have distinguished themselves through humanitarian and/or philanthropic contributions to society. Zelenskyy exemplifies leadership through crisis and caring for his people worthy of the conferring of this degree. 

Manor College will hold its annual commencement ceremony on Thursday, May 12, 2022 at 1 p.m. at 700 Fox Chase Road in Jenkintown, Pennsylvania.

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