On Saturday, Feb. 27, Newman University presented awards and honors to six outstanding alumni.
Teresa Lovelady MSW '10, was awarded the Spirit of Acuto Award, named for the driving spirit of the Adorers of the Blood of Christ. The award honors alumni who use their talent and education to take a vision and make it a reality.
Lovelady, president and CEO of HealthCore Clinic, formerly The Center for Health and Wellness, represents the Spirit of Acuto in her driving passion to serve the underprivileged.
"I love people so much that I'll do whatever it takes and whatever I have to do to make certain people are taken care of," Lovelady said. "But I could never be who I am today without the strong people who have placed and planted seeds within me."
Lovelady not only thanked her family and instructors at Newman University, but also the people in Wichita working to ensure mental health care is available in the community. Through her work at HealthCore Clinic, Lovelady is truly helping to transform society.
The Leon A. McNeill Distinguished Alumni Award, named for the first president of Sacred Heart Junior College, was awarded to Robert Martin, M.D. '83. The award honors graduates who have achieved outstanding success in their personal lives and careers, having enriched the Church spiritually, made contributions to society and demonstrated concern for others.
Martin, who practices medicine in West Plains and the surrounding communities in the Ozarks Region of Missouri, volunteers with the West Plains Christian Clinic, a facility that serves the medically uninsured.
In addition, Martin and other volunteers travel to Jamaica yearly for medical mission trips to provide health services in Falmouth. In 2016, students Megan Hemel and McKenna Seiler went with the group.
"In future years, I hope we can have many other students coming from this university," Martin said. "I encourage any and all of you who have never been on a mission trip to go on one... I think you'll find that you're moved and rewarded much more than those that you go to serve."
The Beata Netemeyer Service Award, which honors the woman who was provincial of the Adorers of the Blood of Christ former Wichita Province 1929-1938, was awarded to Richard Klinge, J.D. '71. The award honors alumni who continue Beata Netemeyer's spirit of service as they minister with others bringing about the mission of Christ.
During his speech, Klinge talked about leaving his private practice to join Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City to work with undocumented immigrants.
"If you were an undocumented [person] living in Oklahoma, your future, your life, you very livelihood was at risk," he said of a law called HB 1804, which restricted an undocumented immigrant's ability to obtain public assistance and criminalized any private citizen's assistance to them, including work, shelter or transportation.
He works now to help undocumented immigrants find their way to citizenship in the U.S.
"The St. Maria De Mattias Award, named for the foundress of the Adorers of the Blood of Christ, honors alumni who display a deep loyalty to Newman University and its mission. Melissa Grelinger '82 has given such meritorious and continuous support and stewardship to Newman University that she was awarded this honor.
Grelinger has volunteered with several Wichita organizations, including the Medical Alliance of Sedgwick County and the Kansas Medical Alliance, and is active in her parish. She has also served on numerous Newman University committees, most recently as co-chair with her husband, Bart Grelinger '83, on the Facing Forward campaign.
"I find it a bit ironic that I'm receiving an award from a university for something I've done for them, when it's really Newman University who has changed my life to make me the person that I am today," Grelinger said.
Speaking to Vicki Bergkamp, ASC, Grelinger said: "Sister Vicki, I know when you signed up to be my advisor as a student, you had no idea it would be a life-long commitment, but I thank you very much for that."
The highest honor awarded by Newman University is the Cardinal Newman Medal, conferred upon those who demonstrate in their daily lives an appreciation for the spirit and ideals of Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman and who have been instrumental in the growth and development of Newman University. For 2016, Michael G. Ludlow, M.D. '78 and Carm Ludlow '79, received this highest honor.
The Ludlows have a long, rich relationship with the university, spanning four decades, which includes the sharing of their talents and gifts through financial support, leadership and thousands of hours of service.
"Newman was a foundational part of our lives," said Carm Ludlow. "The influence of the sisters was subtle but ever present. Their charism was visible through their actions and would shape the person I would become. Their value of service to others was contagious and became part of who I wanted to be."
Michael Ludlow stated his time at Newman University was only possible because his father approved of Margaret Knoeber, ASC, Ph.D., who started the university's Chemistry Department, and Surendra Singh, Ph.D., who recently received Ingram's "Icon of Education" award -- both of whom impressed Ludlow's father immediately.
"After that I had [my parents] approval," Dr. Ludlow said.
The Ludlows have served and supported Newman University in numerous ways, but it's been Dr. Ludlow's "purpose in life to work on this endowment."
"The life blood of any institution of higher learning is in its endowment," he said. "It's what ensures that the faculty and staff at Newman will continue to educate students who will transform society a hundred years from now. Carm and I won't be here in a hundred years, but our endowment gift will still be helping to transform society through the Newman students it helps to educate."