The May 7 Newman commencement ceremony was extra special for two Newman faculty members, Director of Music Deanne Zogleman and Director of Theatre Mark Mannette, who witnessed their children walk the stage as graduates of the class of 2021.
Deanne’s daughter, Sara Zogleman, received her bachelor’s degree in social work, and Mark’s son, Aidan Mannette, received his degree in applied mathematics.
A Musical Duo
Deanne said it was “amazing” to have her daughter Sara sing in the Newman chorale.
“For the past 16 years, she’s been a part of this choir,” Deanne said. “To have her sing these past four years and to get to share our passion was just wonderful. I am the most blessed woman on the Earth to have gotten to do that.”
Sara was terrified to join her mother’s choir as an incoming freshman, she said.
“At first I just thought, ‘oh my gosh,’” Sara said, smiling. “But seeing her as a professor instead of a mom, and seeing how she’s not only caring to me but also to every other student here was an absolute joy. I wouldn’t have had it any other way.”
Sara started her journey at Newman as a nursing student, but quickly realized that she and the sciences “are not good friends.” Instead, she looked to other fields where caring for others is still prominent. She decided social work would be the perfect fit.
“My first choice would be working in foster care and adoption with children, and my second choice would probably be working in the medical field with patients,” Sara said. “I just want to help people during the hard times.”
During her time as a student, Sara served as a mentor to a Little Sister in the Kansas Big Brothers Big Sisters program. This not only allowed her to make an impact as a role model but also gave her a fulfilling purpose in her little’s life.
Deanne said she is incredibly proud of her daughter Sara as well as the path she has chosen, especially because it takes hard work to be a social worker, she said.
“You see so much injustice in the world, but you are helping so many (as a social worker),” Deanne said. “I have watched Sara since she babysat way back when, and she’s still babysitting. Babies and children love her, and I can’t wait to see the children that she will save.”
Sara’s plans to continue her education at Newman and complete her master’s degree in social work by May 2022.
The Theatrical Two
Mark served as the grand marshal for the morning commencement ceremony on May 7. Donned in traditional academic dress, Mark carried the newly made mace, a ceremonial staff used by universities to lead commencement or convocation processions. In the afternoon ceremony, he also had the honor of reading the names of the graduates, including that of his son, Aidan.
“The interesting thing is my son actually gave me a card with the phonetic spelling of his name just in case I forgot how to pronounce it,” Mark said with a laugh.
Before transferring to Newman, Aidan attended Hendrix College in Arkansas, where he primarily studied physics. Once at Newman, Aidan took on a philosophy and mathematics approach — a perspective that Newman faculty helped him to grow, he said.
“At my last college, the professors would introduce the equation but gloss over the math but I wanted to dive deeper into it,” Aidan said. “That was something I really enjoyed at Newman. I took a Philosophy of Science course this semester and I thought it was amazing because it was all the ideas I’d been thinking about and talking about wrapped up into a class.”
The dedication of the Newman faculty was a big draw for Aidan to attend the university.
“It was a lot of fun to learn from and get to know the professors,” he said. “I got to have conversations with them that I feel like would be harder at other universities.”
There are many memorable moments Aidan shared with his father during his time as a Newman student, he said. Aidan was in two of his father’s classes, performed and created sound design for theater productions directed by his father, and even ate lunch in his dad’s office with Adjunct Professor Ray Wills from time to time.
“I’ll definitely miss having those conversations over lunch on campus,” Aidan added. “I really enjoyed them.”
Like Sara, Aidan was active in the music program, and even took organ lessons for a few semesters. Aidan was also involved in the Gardening Club, Multicultural Leadership Organization, Theatre Club, a few one-act plays as well as the 24-Hour Theatre Project, which his father produced.
Mark noted that both Aidan and Sara participated in chorale last semester, and even shared a short dialogue scene together in one of the productions.
“Deanne’s office and my office are right next to each other, so it was kind of special to see that both of our graduating seniors also performed in the same spring show,” Mark said.
Photos from the 2021 commencement ceremonies can be viewed on the Newman University Flickr page.