City, county and state legislators received a briefing on Newman University and a guided tour of new nursing and health science facilities at the Legislative Luncheon, held Nov. 30 on the Newman campus.
The luncheon, hosted by Newman President Noreen M. Carrocci, Ph.D. and the University Advancement Department, was held in the Dugan-Gorges Conference Center. The event included a brief overview of the university’s history, and a look at the current state of affairs at Newman.
Carrocci began by pointing out to legislators that, as a private university, Newman receives almost no funding from state or local authorities, yet produces an outsized percentage of Kansas college graduates. She then turned to such areas as the academic programs Newman offers, the unique Newman Studies Program, the focus on community service in the Newman culture, the tradition of academic and employment success among Newman graduates and the new School of Business, which opened this year.
Carrocci also spoke on the university’s highly respected pre-professional, nursing and allied health programs. Carrocci reported on the high pass rates on licensure exams by Newman graduates – including several programs with 100 percent pass rates – and that all Spring 2016 nursing and nurse anesthesia students had jobs prior to graduation, which is often the case for our highly sought after students coming out of these programs. She also told the gathering that 95 percent of pre-med students who applied to medical schools over the past 15 years have been admitted, and that a large majority of doctors and other health care professionals from Newman stay in the Wichita and surrounding area.
Many legislators expressed surprise at some of the information, such as Newman’s unique partnership with the University of Kansas School of Medicine-Wichita, which includes Newman professors teaching anatomy to first-year UKSM-W medical students on the Newman campus. Legislators were also impressed with the new 51,000+ square-feet Bishop Gerber Science Center, which is under construction on the Newman campus.
The luncheon concluded with a short video on the new science center, followed by questions. When asked by Kansas Sen. Oletha Faust-Goudeau what legislators can do to support Newman, Carrocci answered, “Protect the Kansas Comprehensive Grant. That’s the most important thing. It helps our poorest students.”
Following the luncheon, legislators were invited to tour the new nursing and allied health facilities in Eck Hall, which include simulated operating and emergency rooms and interactive medical mannequins.
Legislators and officials who attended the luncheon were:
- Kansas Sen. Ed Berger
- Kansas Rep. Elizabeth Bishop
- Kansas Representative-Elect Steven Crum
- Kansas Representative-Elect Leo Delperdang
- Sedgwick County Commissioner-Elect David Dennis
- Kansas Representative-Elect Roger Elliott
- Kansas Sen. Oletha Faust-Goudeau
- Kansas Rep. Gail Finney
- Sedgwick County Commissioner Jim Howell
- Kansas Sen. Carolyn McGinn
- Wichita City Councilman Pete Meitzner
- Kansas Sen.-Elect Lynn Rogers
- Kansas Rep. Joe Seiwert
- Sedgwick County Commissioner Dave Unruh
Others who attended were Kansas Independent College Association (KICA) President Matt Lindsey, Greater Wichita Development Corp. President Jeff Fluhr, several current and former Newman Board of Trustees members, and several Newman faculty and staff members.