The annual Beata Benefactors Banquet to thank and honor those who have supported Newman University throughout the year took place Nov. 8 in the Dugan-Gorges Conference Center.
The evening began with a social hour and a welcome from Vice President for University Advancement J.V. Johnston. Father Tom Welk led a prayer from Saint John Henry Newman before dinner and the ceremony.
The ceremony began with President Noreen M. Carrocci, Ph.D., who offered an explanation for the importance and purpose of the event, which is named after Sister Beata Netemeyer, ASC.
“Beata is Latin for ‘blessing.’ And so we decided five years ago to name this the Beata Benefactors Banquet to honor her memory as well as to say how blessed we are to have the benefactors that we do for Newman University. And so this night is about thanking you for all you’ve done, whether it be for scholarships or capital campaigns or whatever way you’ve supported us,” she said.
Board of Trustees Chair J.T. Klaus followed with a thank you to attendees. He reiterated that he and the board are grateful to Newman’s donors for their generosity.
“What (God) wants from me tonight … is to try and help you understand how important you are and how much we appreciate each and every one of you at Newman University. Right here at this very moment, God has given me the immense need to let you know, and the good Lord wants me to make you try to understand, the immense joy and the absolute thankfulness that we at the Board of Trustees level have for all you have given to our university.”
Junior Elena Cummings offered a thank you speech to the donors who have made education for students like her possible. Cummings was adopted from Russia at a young age and was anxious when leaving her mother for college, she said. Cummings earned three scholarships, joined multiple clubs and organizations and said she has found a family at Newman.
“Everyone here at Newman is a family, whether you guys know it or not, you are all part of our family and I just want to thank you for all of your generous support,” she said. “I wouldn’t be able to be here without it.”
Cummings has dreams of obtaining a master’s degree in the future. She’d like to become a social worker and make a difference for children in elementary schools, she said.
During the ceremony, Senior Development Officer Beth Fatkin along with Manager of the Newman Fund Channing Williams and Carrocci, introduced and thanked the newest members of the various Newman giving societies, presenting them with a gift for their generosity.
Special guest Deacon Harold Burke-Sivers ended the evening with a powerful message. He is known around the world as the “Dynamic Deacon,” a passionate evangelist who travels the world sharing the news of Christ.
His message was about connecting with college students today and learning to become followers of Jesus and not just fans.
“The gospel tells us what Christ expects from each and every one of his followers; to do our duty as faithful servants. Sometimes that means being unpopular. Sometimes that means standing up for the truth where it’s easier to live a lie. Sometimes that means baring hardships for the gospel with the strength that comes from God,” he said.
There are five giving societies in which donors are recognized during the Beata Benefactors Banquet.
The societies are: the 1933 Society, reserved for donors who have cumulatively given $1 million or more in cash gifts; the Sacred Heart Society, reserved for donors who give $25,000 or more in cash gifts during the fiscal year; the Monsignor McNeill Society, reserved for donors who give $10,000 – $24,999 in cash gifts during the fiscal year; the De Mattias Society, reserved for donors who give $1,000 – $9,999 in cash gifts during the fiscal year; and the Newman Society, celebrating donors who have made a commitment to support Newman through a planned, deferred or perpetual gift.
Sacred Heart Society
- Ascension Health Ministry
- Katherine and George Collins Endowed Scholarship
- Dale Withers
- Great Western Dining Service Inc.
Monsignor McNeill Society
- Adorers of the Blood of Christ
- Dondlinger & Sons Construction Inc.
- John and Marilyn Dugan
- Grumpy Old Men
- Tom and Colleen Dondlinger
- The Westerman Foundation
De Mattias Society
- BNSF Railway Foundation
- Axiom Healthcare Services LLC
- Ally Financial Inc.
- KWCH Channel 12
- Mid-America Orthopedics
- Shelden Architecture
- Angela and Brian McCoy
- Dr. Deanna Kline
- Dr. Dennis and Ann Ross
- Dr. Joseph Galichia
- Barbara and Arlin Hill
- Racheal and Bryan Woods
- Laurie and Darrell Stroda
- Trish and Darrell Youngman
- Melissa and David Nelson
- Jocelyne and George Ausseil
- Susan and Michael Pool
- Amy and Jason Beckmann
- Christine and Jason Searl
- Tonya and Justin Garretson
- Patricia and Leroy Thompson
- Cindy and Mark Miles
- Therese and Michael Wescott
- Paulette and Patrick Goebel
- Donna and Robert Schmisseur
- Mary and Robert Schornick
- Suzanne and Steve Peterson
- Robert Jones
- Julie Bergkamp
- Brenda Farha
There were no 1933 Society or Newman Society inductees this year.