The Fidelity Bank Foundation of Wichita has awarded a $75,000 grant to Newman University in support of the new Bishop Gerber Science Center and upgrades to existing health sciences and nursing education facilities on the Newman campus.
The grant supports Facing Forward - A Campaign for Newman University. The campaign is designed to raise $30 million to build a 51,400 square foot science center to be named in honor of the Most Rev. Eugene J. Gerber, Bishop Emeritus of the Diocese of Wichita, a longstanding advocate for Catholic higher education and Newman University. Funds raised through the Facing Forward campaign are also being used to renovate facilities in the existing Eck Hall, which houses the university’s nursing and health sciences programs, as well as to grow the university’s endowment and provide for the Newman Fund, which supports student scholarships.
“On behalf of The Fidelity Bank Foundation, I am pleased to pledge $75,000” in support of the new and renovated facilities, wrote Clay Bastian, director of the foundation, in a letter announcing the award to Newman. “We appreciate the work you do and are proud to support your mission.”
“We greatly appreciate this generous gift from the Fidelity Bank Foundation,” said Newman President Noreen M. Carrocci, Ph.D. “The support the foundation and the Bastian family have provided will help Newman continue to produce wellprepared graduates to meet the scientific, educational and health care needs of people throughout the region.”
Newman officials noted that the university is known for its many contributions to the area.
“Newman University has been a vital contributor to Wichita and the region throughout its 80-year history, creating educational opportunities to meet the ever-changing needs of individuals and businesses,” said Newman Board of Trustees Chair Linda Davison. “No contribution has been more vital than the pivotal role Newman University has played in improving the quality of health care in the region.”
“Newman is highly respected for the excellence of our nursing, health sciences and pre-med academic programs” added Professor of Chemistry and Dean of the College of Undergraduate Studies David Shubert, Ph.D. “We now face an important need to replace our current outdated facilities and equipment with up-to-date technology and equipment, more research areas, ‘smart’ classrooms, and simulation labs, which are increasingly needed to properly train clinical skills and to meet industry and accreditation standards. The new and updated facilities will also provide for increased enrollment and promote growth in partnerships with area health care providers and businesses.”
Renovations to nursing and health sciences facilities in Eck Hall are currently underway, and will be completed for the Fall 2016 semester. Newman will break ground for the Bishop Gerber Science Center on June 10, and the building will be completed by August 2017 in time for the beginning of the Fall 2017 semester.
About Newman University:
Newman University is a Catholic university named for John Henry Cardinal Newman and founded by the Adorers of the Blood of Christ for the purpose of empowering graduates to transform society. The university is highly respected for the quality of its science, nursing and health sciences education programs, and the high quality of its graduates:
- 95 percent of Newman pre-med graduates who applied were accepted into medical schools over the past 15 years.
- For the 2015-2016 academic year, all 11 Newman University students who applied for medical school admission were accepted.
- 100 percent of Newman pre-med students who applied for the early admission program at the University of Kansas School of Medicine in 2015 were accepted.
- 100 percent of 2015 Newman Nurse Anesthesia graduates passed their accreditation exams (92 percent on the first attempt). The national average was 87 percent.
- For the past five years, Newman nursing graduate pass rates have consistently been above state and national averages for the National Council Licensure exam (NCLEX).
- From 2013 to 2015, 100 percent of the Newman Radiologic Technology graduates passed their licensure exams with an average first time pass rate of 84 percent.
- 100 percent of May 2015 Sonography graduates passed their American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography exams (physics, vascular, obstetrics).
- 100 percent of December 2014 and 92 percent of December 2015 Newman Respiratory Care graduates passed their Certified Respiratory Therapist (CRT) licensure exams. 100 percent of 2015 graduates had jobs upon graduation.
- 100 percent of 2015, 2014 and 2013 Newman Occupational Therapy Assistant graduates passed their national licensure (NBCOT) exams. The Newman OTA program is the only program of five in Kansas that has a perfect pass-rate record for the past three years.
- Other science graduates are accepted into postgraduate programs in chemistry, biology and other science fields at universities across the nation, including such prestigious schools as Notre Dame, Washington University and Iowa State.
About the Fidelity Bank Foundation:
The Fidelity Bank Foundation is the charitable arm of Wichita-based Fidelity Bank that supports local 501(c)(3) nonprofit and charitable organizations. The foundation was established in 1961 by Homer Bastian and his son Marvin. The foundation is directed by four directors: Clay Bastian, sister Christine Bastian, brother Clark Bastian, and Clark’s son Aaron Bastian. The foundation gives primarily in the areas of arts, education, human services and community betterment.