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Hubert "Hap" J. Moran '67: The (Jesuit) Seed of Fate

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When Hubert "Hap" J. Moran '67 explains why he enrolled at Saint Peter's, he calls it an "accident." Yet, it was an incident that turned into a happy occurrence as Hap not only gained a valuable Jesuit education, but also learned analytical skills and spiritual enlightenment—abilities he eventually utilized in his profession as a social worker for individuals with mental health, drug and alcohol issues.

Hap's story with Saint Peter's began when he was a senior at Teaneck High School. He was a member of the track team when former classmate, friend and track captain the late Mike Davis '66 returned to the high school and spoke enthusiastically about his new school—Saint Peter's College.

"At that time, I had only applied to Seton Hall," Hap says. "But Mike sold me on Saint Peter's. He said it was a smaller school that showed their students more attention."

Mike left an application for Saint Peter's in Hap's mailbox and he applied. Within two weeks, he was accepted, and his education as a history major in New Jersey's only Jesuit institution for higher education began in 1963.

Hap received approval from former Athletic Director Don Kennedy and the late Rev. Victor Yanitelli, S.J., former president of Saint Peter's, to receive an athletic scholarship for the track team. He took full advantage of the Jesuit principle of Magis during his time at Saint Peter's, as he was involved in many school activities. He was a work-study student at the dean's office for the late Rev. Edmund G. Ryan, S.J.—who was also Hap's mentor—during the school year and for the maintenance department during the summer. In addition, he played the trumpet for Saint Peter's ROTC band.

Hap enjoyed all aspects of his time at Saint Peter's, but he clearly remembers his favorite professors and courses, including the late Hermann K. Platt, Ph.D., who taught "The American Republic Since 1919" and the late Donald Cannon, Ph.D., and his class "Advance of the American Frontier."

"I was exposed at Saint Peter's to something I have used many times in my career: dealing with people and problem solving," Hap says. "One of the things I learned at Saint Peter's was not what to think, but how to think."

After receiving his Bachelor of Arts in 1967, Hap enlisted in the U.S. Navy. He served for four years of shore duty and traveled to Alaska before being deployed to Vietnam. He was honorably discharged in 1972.

Once back in the U.S., Hap passed a New Jersey civil service exam and was accepted and trained to work as a social worker in an outpatient drug rehabilitation clinic. He worked in addictive behavioral health care until his retirement in 2011. While employed as a drug counselor, Hap was a cofounding member of the Addiction Professionals Certification Board of New Jersey, an organization that provides testing, evaluation and certification for those employed in the field of addictive behavioral counseling.

In his spare time, Hap participates in a hobby he's enjoyed since childhood—running. He ran the Boston Marathon 10 times, competed in all 38 Ridgewood Memorial Day 10K races for the North Jersey Masters Track and Field Club, and has participated in more than 250 races overall.
Running helps him to find peace, especially after Vietnam.

"I feel closer to God when I'm running," Hap says. "I feel His presence."

In addition, Hap has been an active Eucharistic minister since 1977 in his lifelong parish, Holy Trinity of Hackensack and also handles the pastoral care needs of patients in Hackensack University Medical Center.

He decided to include a bequest to Saint Peter's in his will because he "believes in Saint Peter's mission and wanted to show love to an institution that provided me with many life lessons."

"Individuals who come from Saint Peter's believe in the dignity of the human circumstance: treating people with respect and appreciating people's differences," he says.

Hap also contributes to other charities, such as the Sisters of Charity of Saint Elizabeth, who taught at St. Michael's High School in Union City, where his aunt and father attended school.

He encourages other alumni to give back as well.

"My tendency is not to let it go to the last minute," he says. "Don't hesitate and wait until tomorrow. The older you get, the faster you get slower, so you don't want to have any regrets."

Giving back to Saint Peter's also ensures you leave your own legacy to alma mater, just as Hap has done with his gift.

"I want to be remembered for doing the best I could with what I had," he says. "There are ways to improve on that as man searches for meaning and a place in life."

Ensuring other students have access to the same quality Jesuit education that Hap did at Saint Peter's lets him do just that.

We would love to have a conversation with you about how you can establish your own legacy at Saint Peter's. Please contact Sharon T. Morrissey, MBA, M.Ed.'13 at (201) 761-6126 (office) and (201) 618-4230 (cell) or smorrissey@saintpeters.edu today.

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