With more than 25 years of experience in higher education, Bob Beumer, Newman University’s new vice president of institutional advancement, brings a wealth of knowledge to the university.
Beumer arrived on campus on Monday, June 7, eager to learn more about Newman and how he can apply his expertise to help it prosper.
He started his career working in collegiate athletics for a number of southern universities — including as coordinator of external activities for West Texas A&M University’s athletics department and as assistant athletics director for development for the University of Arkansas’s women’s athletics department — before moving to the academic side of fundraising. Before coming to Newman, Beumer was at St. Cloud State University in Minnesota for 14 years, most recently serving as the executive director of development.
Beumer decided to apply for Newman’s vice president of institutional advancement position because it was the right time in his life for a career and location change, he said, and the opportunity excited him. While he’s spent the majority of his career working for public institutions, he’s eager to expand into working for a private Catholic university.
“Being a lifelong Catholic, it was important for me to have the opportunity to work in higher education and university fundraising but really give back to something that I truly believe in, which is my Catholic faith,” Beumer says.
He’s especially looking forward to working with President Kathleen Jagger.
“I learned her vision for the university, and the excitement and passion that she’s bringing really sold me on [the role],” Beumer says. “The opportunity to help Newman elevate to the next level is exciting for me.”
As he settles into his new position, Beumer’s first priority is to learn about the history of Newman and its alumni community, as well as Wichita in general. He also plans to “get out and listen” to the Board of Trustees, faculty, staff, students and more.
“I’ve got some ideas about what makes Newman special, but I really need to hear that first-hand from the alumni,” he says.
Beumer hopes to learn as much as he can as quickly as he can so that he can apply that knowledge to help raise money for Newman, allowing it to thrive.
With a long career in advancement, it’s evident Beumer enjoys fundraising. He says his passion is driven by being able to help universities move forward and to provide opportunities to faculty, staff and students they may not have otherwise.
“It’s really building relationships, meshing the university’s priorities with donors’ philanthropic priorities and finding common ground,” he says of what he loves about his role.
Getting to know Beumer
Beumer received his bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock in 1992, and he says his innate curiosity helps him learn about people and what makes them tick — a great asset for someone whose job is to form relationships with donors.
He also holds a Master of Public Administration from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and a certificate of nonprofit executive leadership from Indiana University’s Lilly School of Philanthropy.
He says he feels like Wichita is a vibrant, progressive community and that there’s lots to do both culturally and sports-wise.
Beumer loves to be outdoors, going camping or for walks, gardening and more. His family —he and his wife have three adult children and another son who’s in sixth grade — has taken annual trips to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness except for last year during the pandemic. Beumer also enjoys cooking and watching sports.
He’s a self-professed “history nut,” as well.
“I enjoy reading anything that has to do with history, whether it be the Civil War, World War II, the settling of the West — anything that has to do with American history, I usually find interesting,” Beumer says.
And he’ll apply that trait to learn the history of Newman and come up with ideas of how best to help it thrive in the future.
“I really believe in President Jagger’s leadership,” Beumer says. “Newman is moving forward, and I’m looking forward to being part of that positive momentum.”