Newman University news

Rod and Mary Pat Jones, left, pose for a photo Saturday, Sept. 26, with Buffalo Bill Cody, also known as Randy Edens, at the “Party on the Ponderosa.” The event drew more than 400 people to the ranch of Mid-America Ag Network owner Larry Steckline and Carla Stovall Steckline to raise funds for student scholarships at Newman University, Wichita.

‘Party on the Ponderosa’ raises $102,000 for student scholarships
WICHITA – Newman University’s “Party on the Ponderosa” drew more than 600 people to the ranch of Mid-America Ag Network owner Larry Steckline and his wife Carla Stovall Steckline for an evening of western-style food, fun – and fundraising.
The Sept. 26 event, which capped the university’s year-long 75th anniversary celebration, raised more than $102,000 for student scholarships at Newman.
“The Party on the Ponderosa was the perfect ending to our 75th anniversary celebration,” said Newman President Noreen M. Carrocci, Ph.D. “It was a wonderful time for the 400-plus participants and 200-plus volunteers who enjoyed fabulous food, gunfight re-enactments, music, auctions, fireworks and more.”
The event featured a western steak and pork chop dinner buffet, refreshments, and strolling entertainers in period costumes including “Buffalo Bill Cody,” the Dixie Lee Dance Troupe, fiddlers Chelley Graves and Sarah Baxter, and cowboy poet and western singer Dave Zerf. Two comical historic gunfight re-enactments by Bigger Than Life Productions and Newman staff members were also staged, as were several activities with a western ?air including prairie golf, “cowpoke caricatures,” and a shooting and gaming gallery.
Other highlights of the evening included a performance by The Bucky Fowler Band, an impressive fireworks display over the prairie courtesy of Menges Rental, and a live and silent auction that raised close to $50,000 to support student scholarships. In addition, a drawing was held for a 2009 Chevy Aveo5 compliments of Joe Self Chevrolet. The car was won by Cindy Hand.
Carrocci expressed gratitude to everyone who played a role in the fundraiser’s success.
“We are very grateful to Larry and Carla Steckline for hosting this event, and to Mark and Shirley Dugan for acting as co-chairs for the Party on the Ponderosa Committee,” she said.

Newman U. extends Carrocci’s contract
WICHITA – The Newman University Board of Trustees recently awarded a three-year extension to the contract of university President Noreen M. Carrocci, Ph.D. The extension is in addition to the one year Carrocci has remaining on her current contract.
“The Board has been extremely pleased with President Carrocci’s performance since coming to Newman,” said Chairman of the Board J.V. Johnston, a 1982 Newman graduate.
“She has led the university to tremendous gains in enrollment, sharpened the focus on our mission, and created an environment of trust and transparency throughout the Newman community. She has also made some tough decisions to ensure the university’s financial stability during the recent economic downturn, led the way in creating a five-year Strategic Plan for future stability and growth, and played a leading role in strengthening the university’s relationship with its founders and sponsoring order the Adorers of the Blood of Christ.”
“I am very pleased and grateful to the Board for their expression of confidence in my work and the direction of the university,” President Carrocci said. “It is an honor to serve as president of Newman, and to have been given the opportunity to launch several initiatives under the Board’s guidance and support. I look forward to these next four years and am confident that we will grow still stronger in our efforts to engage, to educate, and to empower our graduates to transform society.”
Carrocci began her duties as president of Newman on July 1, 2007 and was formally installed in office on Nov. 9, 2007. She is the fourth female president and first lay woman to hold the office of president at Newman. Carrocci came to Newman from Spring Hill College in Mobile, Ala., where she had served as provost and vice president for Academic Affairs.

Newman University continues high acceptance rate into medical school
WICHITA – A full 100 percent of Newman University senior students who applied for early admission to medical school this year were recently notified that they have been accepted.
The five students Amanda Engels, Isaac Johnston, Phong Le, Kyle Miller and Barbara Nguyen will begin their studies at the University of Kansas School of Medicine next fall as early admit students, an all-time record for Newman.
These students are the latest example of a long-standing tradition of excellence for the Newman pre-medical program. Over the past 10 years, more than 96 percent of Newman students who successfully completed the university’s pre-med program and received a positive recommendation from Newman’s Pre-medical Committee have been accepted into medical schools. Newman Professor of Chemistry and Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences David Shubert, Ph.D. attributes the high success rate to several factors.
The students come here very motivated to learn, Shubert said. Much of their success has to be attributed to their dedication and commitment. Complementing that is the faculty, who are very dedicated to student learning with the mantra of We will do everything we can except lower the standards. There’s a synergy between our students and our fine faculty, who care about and work with students both inside and outside of the classroom.
Shubert added that the Newman Pre-medical Committee attends the conference of pre-medical advisors at the University of Kansas School of Medicine each year to stay abreast of current trends and developments in medical schools. The committee also invites KU’s assistant dean of admissions to Newman to meet with pre-med students. Shubert added that all Newman pre-med students shadow a physician or receive hands-on time with a physician or hospital to get an accurate look at what the profession entails.

Newman announces record fall enrollment
WICHITA – Newman University officials announced today that enrollment for the fall 2009 semester has increased significantly in comparison to previous semesters, setting a record high for total headcount.
According to the official federal enrollment report following the 20th day of fall classes 2009, the total headcount at Newman is 2,557 students, an increase of 5 percent over fall 2008 and the highest in the university’s history. Credit hours grew more than 7.4 percent to 23,158 compared to 21,549 in fall 2008, while full-time equivalency (FTE) also increased by 7.4 percent to 1,746 compared to 1,626 in fall 2008.
Newman attracted students from Kansas and 26 other states, and from 24 countries outside the United States. The figures also showed an increase in the number of students who continued their education at Newman from the previous fall.
“We could not be more happy to see these increases in the number of students at Newman,” said Dean of Admissions John Clayton. “It was a team effort. Everyone in the Admissions and Financial Aid offices, athletics coaches and all our faculty and staff members across the university worked very hard to help make this happen, and we are grateful for all their efforts.”
“I think this shows that greater numbers of students are recognizing the value of our high-quality programs that provide excellent outcomes,” added Newman President Noreen M. Carrocci, Ph.D.