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GCU Offers Lunchtime Learning with Viewing of "Chaucer at The Mansion"

Retired GCU Professor's Literary Passion, Expertise Focus of New Video

Lakewood, N.J., Feb. 22, 2013—Longtime Georgian Court University English professor Maria Cordis Richey '50, RSM, Ph.D., recently retired after more than 50 years teaching. Now her love of literature and passion for "The Canterbury Tales" lives on in "Chaucer at The Mansion," a new DVD featuring Sister Maria Cordis inside Georgian Court's historic Mansion as she discusses Geoffrey Chaucer's famed collection of stories. On Saturday, March 16, the university opens its doors for a viewing of the DVD with "Lunch and Learn: Chaucer at the Mansion" in the McAuley Heritage Center on the Lakewood campus.

The event, which begins at 11:00 a.m. and runs until 1:00 p.m., will include a light lunch, the DVD viewing, and a question-and-answer session with executive producer and entrepreneur Elaine Warga-Murray, a Georgian Court alumna, and Sister Maria Cordis.

Ms. Warga-Murray conceived and sponsored the project in hopes of sharing Sister Maria Cordis' extraordinary expertise with future generations. For GCU alumnae like Ms. Warga-Murray, the soft-spoken nun's uncanny ability to connect with students is grounded in her perfect prose and unparalleled command of historical, literary, and cultural knowledge. In the video, Sister Maria Cordis-who also served as president of Georgian Court from 1974 to 1980-reads aloud in the Mansion and guides viewers through GCU's famous frieze of "The Canterbury Tales." The multi-wall painting by muralist Robert Van Vorst Sewell in the Mansion's Great Hall depicts pilgrims from the 14th-century book.

"This DVD represents a significant example of the brilliance, startling charm, and outstanding academic excellence that Sister Maria Cordis has demonstrated throughout her career," said Ms. Warga-Murray. "This presentation is one that is unique to Georgian Court University and has been provided to thousands of past students and scholars. Throughout the video, Sister Maria Cordis reads from her own copy of the text, which is marked with handwritten citations, complex notes, and literary details that she has drawn from for decades."

The event is $10, which includes the viewing and luncheon. Reservations are required and can be made by contacting the GCU Office of Alumni Relations at 732.987.2267 or online at The DVD will be available at the event for $80.00, which partially benefits the Maria Cordis Richey Scholarship '50 Fund and the GCU Annual Fund. For those unable to attend, the DVD can also be purchased at for the same price.

About Elaine Warga-Murray
Elaine Warga-Murray '70, a GCU Court of Honor member, founded E. W. Murray Associates with her late husband. She is also the co-founder of the Regency Management Group. Initially, the fledgling company provided residential property management services to a few hundred units. Today, E. W. Murray Associates Inc. manages 20,000 residential units located in more than 50 different residential communities, along with 300,000 square feet of commercial space throughout the state of New Jersey.

About Georgian Court University
Founded in 1908 and sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy, Georgian Court University is a comprehensive university with a strong liberal arts core and a special concern for women. A forward-thinking university that supports diversity and academic excellence, Georgian Court announced in May 2012 its transition to a fully coeducational university in 2013. Today, the university serves nearly 2,500 students of all faiths and backgrounds in both undergraduate and graduate programs. Georgian Court's main campus is located at 900 Lakewood Avenue, Lakewood, N.J., on the picturesque former George Jay Gould estate, a National Historic Landmark. Georgian Court also offers classes at the New Jersey Coastal Communiversity in Wall.

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