For two-time alumnus David Borho (’01, ’11) and his wife, Glenna, Newman University’s Party on the Plaza is the ultimate opportunity to make a positive difference in the lives of students.
“These students are receiving a liberal arts education that is actually educating the whole student, not only in classroom learning but in cultural opportunities as well,” Glenna said. “It’s heartwarming to hear the students’ stories and to see the young people taking advantage of all the opportunities they have at Newman.”
This Sept. 17, alumni and supporters will gather to celebrate the final year of Party on the Plaza’s Return to the Renaissance theme. Each ticket sold raises money for student financial aid, and guests can enjoy dinner, games, silent and live auction items, Golden Tickets, fireworks and more.
This will mark the eighth year in a row that David and Glenna have served as VIP sponsors for the event.
An early affinity for Newman
David, a first-generation college student and North Dakota native, earned his bachelor’s degree in soil science and agronomy from North Dakota State University in 1974. In 1975 he became involved with Kincheloe’s Inc., a farm equipment business in Pratt, Kansas, where he continues to serve as the president and co-owner.
David first met Glenna through mutual friends at a birthday party. Glenna said she knew the night they met that they would later marry, although “it took David a while to catch on.” The couple will celebrate 40 years of marriage this November.
The couple were first introduced to what is now known as Newman University through their friend, Carol Henderson. Henderson served on the Newman Alumni Board and invited the Borhos to attend The Art of Food and Wine, which was the precursor to what became Party on the Plaza.
When David considered returning to school for a second degree, Newman immediately came to mind. In the midst of juggling his job and leadership work with his parish of Sacred Heart Church in Pratt, David graduated with a degree in pastoral ministry through Newman’s Interactive Television (ITV) program in 2001.
Ten years later, David once more became a student of Newman through the online Master of Theological Studies program. The first cohort of 44 students only met in person twice each semester, but this did not take away from the “marvelous experience” David had as a student.
“I bugged Sister Margaret Knoeber, ASC, for years to get a master’s program started, and she was instrumental in all of this,” David said. “That’s how I became familiar with Newman, became a supporter and in some ways in love with Newman University — because I was treated so well as an online student.”
Educating the whole person at Newman
David was immediately impressed as a student of Rev. Father Joseph Gile, John McCormick and Joshua Papsdorf among others.
“These professors were all very involved and seemed to care about all of their students,” he said.
“I found that not only fascinating but something that I think should be trumpeted from the rooftops,” David said. “People need to know this. And going even further, the mission of the university is that students will earn a degree of difference. There is an opportunity for young people to be educated in a very holistic manner, not just in books, but life in general.”
Although Glenna is not a Newman graduate, the university still holds a special place in her heart. Glenna, a former mayor, city and county commissioner of Pratt, graduated from Susquehanna University in Pennsylvania with a bachelor’s degree in English at age 20. Her experience at the small, liberal arts college inspired her to support students in a similar setting.
“To me, that was up my alley, rather than a 20,000, 40,000 student body,” Glenna said. “It transformed me.”
Each time Glenna reads her alumni magazine, she is reminded just how much it costs to attend a private college. She and David don’t believe anyone should miss out on the benefits of a liberal arts education because they cannot afford it. Being Catholic, the Borhos also felt that Newman University served as a “natural transition” for their giving.
“We often think about just how many Newman students we can help when we extend money to Newman, not only for Party on the Plaza but also additional money for scholarships,” Glenna said. “We love to help and we have an affinity to help. Not only while we’re here, but once we’re gone.”
The reason for giving
The Borhos have supported Party on the Plaza as VIP sponsors for the past several years, but their support of Newman began even earlier. The couple gave a deferred gift of $1 million to Newman in 2013. That gift, which was to be used for the university’s highest priority need, does not include the additional $10,000 the pair donated for Party on the Plaza that same year.
David believes education can be a game changer and an opportunity for success. At Newman, he has witnessed proof of this statement straight from the source.
“As a member of the Newman Board of Trustees, I’ve had some interaction with the Student Government Association presidents, for instance, like Emily Larkin, Courtney Klaus and Gabrielle Altenor,” David said. “Watching their abilities and how they grasp and use their education is just fascinating. They’re going places.”
Glenna and David make an effort to encourage family and friends to attend Newman, knowing that they will receive a holistic education, and have successfully “ignited the flame” with multiple individuals they know. Some are now alumni of Newman, and some choose to generously support events like Party on the Plaza.
“The friends we invite to Party on the Plaza are bidders; they all buy something,” Glenna said. “One girlfriend always sends a very nice check annually for the university’s use, not receiving anything in return as far as goods she’s purchasing at Party on the Plaza. And she does this because she believes in the history of Newman and the value of the education the students receive here.”
The generosity continues to have a domino effect, Glenna said. She and David start by inviting friends to experience life at Newman through the annual fundraiser, and the generosity takes off from there.
“Let’s take Bob and Donna, for instance,” she continued. “The first year they came, they bid on some silent auction items and bought a few things. Then the next year, they bid on more things. Now, Bob’s saying, ‘What can we put together as a package to donate for people to bid on?’”
She continued, “I think there’s a natural impression left when they come to the Party on the Plaza and they see the interaction with the students. It’s such a fun evening.”
The opportunity to make an impact
Party on the Plaza: Return to the Renaissance is now less than a month away, and the Borhos look forward to reconnecting with friends and Newman community members while raising money for student scholarships.
“I know Laura (Hartley) has some new things planned this year and I look forward to seeing them,” David said. “It’s always exciting to come and have the interaction with the students, and the banter I have with J.T. Klaus and Charlie Moon is just a great time.”
Klaus serves as the master of ceremonies and Moon oversees the live auction.
Reservations are required for Party on the Plaza: Return to the Renaissance, and the final day to reserve tickets is Friday, Sept. 16. Renaissance-style costumes are encouraged, but not required. Tickets may be purchased at wichitapop.com or by contacting Laura Hartley at 316-942-4291 ext. 2161.
Those unable to attend in person can still support the event by donating or bidding on silent auction items. Every dollar donated directly benefits student financial aid.
Along with the Borhos, special thanks goes to Dale Withers for being this year’s VIP Sponsors of Party on the Plaza. View the full list of presenting, event and community sponsors, as well as the schedule of events at wichitapop.com.
Reserve your tickets to 2022 Party on the Plaza
This September, join the Wichita community at Newman University’s Party on the Plaza and discover a unique fundraising event right here in the heart of our city.