John Moragues leaves lasting legacy at Newman

Jun 30, 2016
John Moragues Newman University

Associate Professor of Social Work John Moragues, MSSW has served as both educator and the distance education coordinator for the Newman University Master of Social Work program in Colorado Springs, Colo., since 2005.

During his time there he has boosted enrollment, expanded the program facilities, and educated more than 300 MSW recipients. Moragues said that he, of course, did not accomplish anything without the help and support of Newman faculty, staff, and administration. But many of those same people say that he deserves more credit than he lets on.

“John Moragues started the Newman University [Colorado Springs] MSW program, practically by himself,” said Associate Professor of Social Work Barry Koch, Ph.D., in his introduction of Moragues at the Spring 2016 Colorado Springs graduation celebration. “I doubt that anyone in Wichita could have ever foreseen that 11 years later, the MSW program in Colorado Springs would be the thriving entity it has become. The vast majority of credit for that growth is directly attributable to John Moragues.”

John Moragues with two MSW graduates at the 2016 graduation party in Colorado Springs.
John Moragues and two MSW graduates celebrate at the 2016 graduation party in Colorado Springs.

The Spring 2016 graduation celebration would be the last for Moragues, who officially retires from Newman University July 1.

Moragues earned his MSW in 1975, worked as an Air Force social worker for over 20 years, and managed behavioral healthcare programs in the private sector. In 2005, he was approached about starting the Colorado MSW program by former Air Force buddy and then director of the Newman Social Work program, Michael Smith. It was Moragues’ first job as an educator.

Moragues’s colleagues often point to his gregarious and engaging nature as the source of his boundless talent for recruitment and, by extension, the growth of the Colorado Springs MSW program.

“He has a relentless approach to recruiting that has resulted in the program growth from a first year enrollment of 22 students to our current enrollment of over 100 students,” Koch said. “Newman University could not have hired a person more suited to the task of growing a program than John.”

Moragues said though he may have come to Colorado Springs alone, he wouldn’t have lasted two weeks without the knowledge of the faculty, the support of the administration, and the trust of those first students.

“We were just out here making promises,” he said. “They were taking a big chance, and so to all those students who took a chance on the new guy in town, I think that’s a tremendous debt of thanks that we owe, that I owe, for the success of the program.”

Read more about John Moragues and the Colorado Springs MSW program in the Fall 2016 issue of Newman University Magazine.