Newman University receives $1 million ‘challenge’ grant from the Mabee Foundation

Mar 31, 2016

Newman University has been issued a $1 million challenge grant from the J.E. and L.E. Mabee Foundation of Tulsa, Okla., to support Facing Forward, a capital campaign to renovate existing facilities and create a new building for the university’s science, nursing, and health sciences programs.

“We are very grateful to receive this generous challenge grant from the Mabee Foundation,” said Newman University President Noreen M. Carrocci, Ph.D. “The Mabee Foundation has been a key supporter of Newman capital campaigns for many years. We greatly appreciate the opportunity the Foundation has once again presented to promote the growth of Newman University.”

“We are very pleased that the Mabee Foundation has again stepped up to support Newman University in this important endeavor,” added Newman Vice President for University Advancement J.V. Johnston. “This will provide great momentum as we approach individuals, corporations and other foundations for their support of this campaign in the coming months.”

Facing Forward – A Campaign for Newman University is designed to raise $24.5 million to build a new 51,400 square foot science building, and renovate the existing Eck Hall on the Newman campus, which houses Newman’s nursing and allied health programs.

At the time the challenge grant was issued, Newman had raised about $20.3 million during the “silent” phase of the campaign. The public phase was officially announced Feb. 6. Newman will receive the $1 million from the Mabee Foundation if the remaining amount of about $3.2 million necessary for the building and renovation of facilities on the Newman campus is met by the deadline of Jan. 12, 2017.

According to Newman officials, the existing science facilities are outdated and inadequate to meet the current needs of students and educators, and do not allow for the future growth of the university and its science, nursing and health sciences programs. The proposed renovated and new facilities will allow for up-to-date technology and equipment, more research areas, “smart” classrooms, and simulation labs, which are increasingly necessary to properly train clinical skills and to meet industry and accreditation standards.

Eugene J. Gerber, Bishop Emeritus of the Catholic Diocese of Wichita, speaks at a Feb. 6 event announcing the campaign and the name of the building.

The new science building will be named the Bishop Gerber Science Center in honor of the Most Rev. Eugene J. Gerber, Bishop Emeritus of the Diocese of Wichita. Bishop Gerber has long been an advocate for Catholic higher education and a supporter of Newman University.

Bishop Gerber also serves as spiritual co-chair of the Facing Forward campaign, along with the university’s founding and sponsoring order, the Adorers of the Blood of Christ. The Most Rev. Carl A. Kemme, Bishop of the Wichita Diocese, serves as honorary co-chair with Kathy and Patrick O’Shaughnessy. Campaign co-chairs are Dana and Larry Fugate, and Newman graduates Melissa (1982) and Bart (1983) Grelinger, M.D.

Renovations to Eck Hall will commence in May. Newman plans to break ground for the Bishop Gerber Science Center on June 10 and have the building completed by August 2017 in time for the beginning of the fall semester.

For more information, visit, or contact Clark Schafer at 316-942-4291, ext. 2164.

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. Newman University meets the needs of traditional freshmen, transfers, returning adult students and graduate students through more than 40 undergraduate and graduate programs.

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. All Newman University students who applied for medical school admission were accepted in 2014.
  • 100 percent of 2014 Newman Nurse Anesthesia graduates (92 percent on the first attempt) passed accreditation exams. 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.
  • A full 100 percent of May 2015 Sonography graduates passed their American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography exams (physics, vascular, obstetrics).
  • 100 percent of the December 2014 Newman Respiratory Care graduates passed their Certified Respiratory Therapist (CRT) licensure exam.
  • 100 percent of 2015 Newman Occupational Therapy Assistant graduates passed the NBCOT licensure exams.

About the J. E. and L. E. Mabee Foundation:
The J. E. and L. E. Mabee Foundation, Inc., a non-profit corporation, was formed in 1948 by Mr. John E. Mabee and his wife, Lottie E. Mabee. Today, the Foundation headquarters in Tulsa, Okla. As stated in its charter, the Foundation exists to aid Christian religious organizations, charitable organizations, and institutions of higher learning, hospitals and other organizations of a general charitable nature. The geographical area of interest of the Foundation includes the states of Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas.

The Mabee Foundation has provided generous support for past Newman University campaigns, including those for Eck Hall, the De Mattias Fine Arts Center and the O’Shaughnessy Hall athletic complex, the Mabee Dining Center, and the Dugan Library and Campus Center.