Eck family and auto dealerships pledge $100K to Newman University for new science facility

Bishop Gerber Science Center Newman University
The future Bishop Gerber Science Center

Newman University officials announced that the university has received a $100,000 pledge from Les and Pam Eck and the four auto dealerships owned by the Ecks in support of the new science and healthcare facility on the Newman campus and for student scholarships.

The gift was made to Facing Forward – a Campaign for Newman University to help complete the new Bishop Gerber Science Center, which is already under construction, and to provide for student scholarships. With the gift, the Ecks will be the official sponsors of the 2017 and 2018 Newman Phone-A-Thons, in which students call Newman alumni and friends of the university soliciting gifts to support student scholarships.

Les and Pam Eck are the owners of the Rusty Eck Ford and Midwest Kia auto dealerships in Wichita, the Midwest Toyota dealership in Hutchinson, Kan., and the Rolling Hills Auto Plaza in St. Joseph, Mo.

“We are pleased and honored to receive this very generous gift from Les and Pam Eck,” said Newman President Noreen M. Carrocci, Ph.D. “Les and Pam and other members of their families have been valued friends and supporters of the university for many years. Their support now is instrumental in helping us honor Bishop Gerber by building this new science center in his name. This state-of-the-art facility will support our science programs and our excellent pre-med and health science programs for years to come.”

“The Ecks and their family of employees are proud to be a part of Newman University, and its growth through Eck Hall, Dugan Library and the Bishop Gerber Science Center,” said Les Eck. “Wichita and Kansas have been very good to us, and with community support we are able to give back. We would like to thank all of our customers. You make the difference, and we couldn’t do it without you. Together we become a stronger community.”

About Les and Pam Eck:

Les and Pam Eck are the owners of the Rusty Eck Ford and Midwest Kia auto dealerships in Wichita, the Midwest Toyota dealership in Hutchinson, Kan., and the Rolling Hills Auto Plaza that sells Toyota, Honda and Nissan autos in St. Joseph, Mo.

Les Eck is the son of Rusty Eck, who founded Rusty Eck Ford, and Joan Eck, both longtime supporters of Newman University.

Les Eck has focused many of his dealerships’ charitable activities for schools and other enterprises. For their philanthropy and work the Ecks have received many awards, including:

  • The National Recognition for Community Service and Industry Accomplishments at the 98th annual National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) Convention & Exposition in 2015.
  • The Person of the Year Award by the Wichita Branch NAACP at its 94th annual Freedom Fund Banquet to honor esteemed community leaders.
  • The 2014 Man & Woman of the Year Award to Les and Pam Eck from the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Kansas Chapter.
  • Les Eck was also nominated for the 2015 TIME Dealer of the Year award.

For more information about Les Eck visit http://leseck.org.

For more information about Newman University, go to www.newmanu.edu.

For more information about Facing Forward - A Campaign for Newman University, visit www.newmanff.com, or contact Clark Schafer at 316-942-4291, ext. 2164, or schaferc@newmanu.edu.

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