The Newman University Advancement Department organized the annual Beata Benefactors Banquet to thank and honor those who have supported Newman University throughout the year. The event took place on Saturday, Nov. 5 in the Dugan-Gorges Conference Center.
A social hour and dinner preceded the ceremony, during which two Newman students gave personal thanks and a special guest speaker, Vice Rector-Dean of Students at Conception Abbey and Conception Seminary College, Rev. Pat York, talked to guests about faith, giving and leaving a legacy.
Vice President for University Advancement J.V. Johnston introduced the speakers, adding his own thanks to them as well as the attending guests.
Daniella (Dani) Buedden, a junior at Newman, told the attendees how grateful she is for the opportunity to attend the university.
"Being a Newman Jet means that you have a whole community that is willing and able to help you succeed. I've seen people act in amazing Christian ways with their gifts of time, talent and in a spirit of service. I wouldn't be able to stand here as a Newman Jet if it weren't for people like you who donate to my scholarships," said Buedden.
She thanked everyone for their generosity and "for enabling me to follow God's will for my life and to follow my path...and to hopefully one day, be in a position in the community where I can give back."
Sophomore Kevin Clack comes from a small family and thanked banquet attendees for supporting him and helping him get to where he is today. He also thanked the donors who give so generously toward scholarships, adding that he wouldn't be here without their help. He told the audience, "My experience has been very special and very unique to me. One of the most important things to me is getting involved on campus. Newman University offers so many different organizations and clubs that whatever you're interested in, you can be a part of it and put yourself out there and connect with people from all over the world."
Clack also talked about the caring nature of the faculty at Newman.
"It's amazing what this school offers," he said. "The best thing is to go to class every morning and to be stopped by a teacher you had last year, and they ask you how you are. They really care. They'll go the extra mile to connect you with the people you need to be connected to in order to have a successful future."
York also offered special thanks to those who have helped fund scholarships and university campaigns. "Our goal is to do whatever we can to make the kingdom of God just a little bit better. Our goal is what you all have done throughout this past year [...] and by doing so, building up the kingdom of God and making a difference throughout the world today," said York.
He added, "By your generosity, by you responding positively to the invitation to be generous, you have kept your eye on the goal and you're allowing Newman University to do the same thing. Thank you so very much. Because it is truly a blessing for each and every one of us."
During the ceremony, Johnston, along with Senior Development Officer David Alexander, President Noreen M. Carrocci Ph.D. and Director of Development for Sciences and Health Sciences Therese Wetta, ASC, introduced and thanked the newest members of the various Newman Giving Societies, presenting them with a gift for their generosity.
There are five giving societies in which donors are recognized. These societies are: the 1933 Society, reserved for donors who have accumulatively given $1 million or more in cash gifts over many years; the Sacred Heart Society, reserved for donors who give $25,000 or more in cash gifts during the fiscal year; the Monsignor McNeill Society, reserved for donors who give $10,000 - $24,999 in cash gifts during the fiscal year; the De Mattias Society, reserved for donors who give $1,000 - $9,999 in cash gifts during the fiscal year; and the Newman Society, celebrating donors who have made a commitment to support Newman through a planned, deferred, or perpetual gift.
There were no new members to the 1933 Society this year. The list below names the newest members of the Newman societies.
Sacred Heart Society
- Barry Foundation
- Bob Bergkamp Construction
- Yolanda and Gene Camerena
- Myra and Tom Devlin
- Sarah and Nick Dondlinger
- Les Donovan
- Rosalie and Bob Goebel for the Goebel Family Star Lumber Foundation
- Lisa and Dr. Donald Johnston
- Kansas Health Foundation
- Terri and Stanley Smeltzer
- Carla and Larry Steckline
- Sunderland Foundation
- Velma Lunt and Dwane L. Wallace Foundation
- Alice and Dale Wiggins
Monsignor McNeill Society
- Black Hills Foundation
- Susie and Dr. William Braun
- Dr. Diana and Randall Crook
- Katherine and Frank DeBacker
- Nick Dondlinger for the Dondlinger Foundation
- Bettie and Paul Eck
- Pam and Les Eck for Rusty Eck Ford
- Veronica and J.V. Johnston
- Doug Pringle - K.T. Wiedemann Foundation
- Vera and Steve Robl
- Ann and Dr. Dennis Ross
- RDG Schuette Wilscam Birge Inc.
- Rebecca and Sunny Smith
- Laura and Frank Suellentrop for Legacy Bank
De Mattias Society
- Peggy and Tom Church
- Dr. Susan Giovanni and Bryson Butts
- J.R. Custom Metals - Patty Koehler
- Carol and Dr. James Loeffler
- Pam and Bill Meitl
- Kathy and Paul Robben
- Diane and Stephen Scuka
- JoAnn and Ves Temaat
- Helenruth and Ralph Welsby
- Harry Hynes Memorial Hospice - Father Tom Welk
- Teresa and Chuck Bartell
- Sarah and Nick Dondlinger
- Melissa and Dr. Bart Grelinger
- A.C., Margaret Miller Trust
- Diane and Stephen Scuka