A professor’s office in the Multifunctional Academic Building of Ukrainian Catholic University has been named in memory of Sviatoslav and Gizela Kocybala, the parents of a generous donor to UCU, Dr. Arcadia Kocybala. The ceremonial opening and dedication of the memorial plaque happened on 15 September 2023.

Sviatoslav Kocybala was born in Babice, Ukraine. He received his law degree from the University of Poznan in Poland in 1936 and practiced law in Ukraine until the outbreak of World War II. Subsequently, he was director of personnel at the Polmin Oil Refinery in Ukraine.

In 1945, he married Gizela Stotska in Vienna, Austria. In 1949, the couple emigrated to the United States and settled in Yonkers, New York.

Mr. Kocybala, who also studied law in the U.S., was active in numerous Ukrainian organizations. In 1952, he was one of the founders of the Ukrainian Studies School at St. Michael’s Ukrainian Catholic Church. He was also one of the founders of the SUMA Yonkers Federal Credit Union, chartered in 1964, and served as its treasurer until his retirement. He was also active in the Westchester/Rockland District of the New York State Credit Union League.

Gizela Kocybala was born in Drohobych, Ukraine, where she attended Teacher’s College (Uchytel’skyi Instytut) and, as a young woman, managed a dairy cooperative (Maslo Soyuz). In the U.S., she attended business school, and subsequently was employed by Lord and Burnham and later by Otis Elevator Company in Yonkers.

Sviatoslav and Gizela Kocybala

Sviatoslav and Gizela Kocybala

Plaque dedicated to Sviatoslav and Gizela Kocybala
In order to honor the bright memory of her parents, Dr. Arcadia Kocybala made a generous donation for the development of Ukrainian Catholic University.

“My parents always emphasized the vital importance of education, the need for continual learning, as well as political and civic engagement. Kindness, tolerance, graciousness, hospitality, generosity, and eagerness to help others were their hallmarks. Throughout their lives, they cultivated the balance between assimilation and pride in being Ukrainian along with sharing Ukrainian culture and traditions with those of other ethnic backgrounds,” said Dr. Kocybala.

The dean and professors and staff of the UCU Humanities Faculty gathered for the blessing of the memorial plaque.

Priest performing a ceremony in the hallway.

“Our university’s greatest gift is people who make possible students’ work and study. Today we want to thank Dr. Kocybala, who, honoring the memory of her parents, Sviatoslav and Gizela, donated the costs to us for this professor’s office. With great gratitude we mention these people in our prayers.” So Fr. Nazariy Mysyakovskyi, head of the UCU Dean’s Office for Pastoral Matters, emphasized during the dedication.

Fr. Mysyakovskyi blessing the memorial plaque.

Fr. Mysyakovskyi blesses the memorial plaque.

Arcadia Kocybala received a Ph.D. in classical archaeology from the University of Pennsylvania, and participated in excavations at the ancient sites of Gordion in Turkey, Halieis in Greece, and Cyrene in Libya.  She spent an academic year on an IREX in the Soviet Union conducting research in Leningrad, Moscow, Kyiv, and Odesa for her dissertation, “’Greek Colonization on the North Shore of the Black Sea in the Archaic Period.”  For nearly two decades, she has served on the board of directors of the Ukrainian Museum and Library of Stamford in Connecticut, and she is also a member of the Ukrainian National Women’s League of America.

Please pray for the parents of bright memory of our benefactor!