John Vogt, associate professor and chair of the Division of Science and Mathematics, recently celebrated his 35th year with Newman.
His Newman story began when he was fresh out of graduate school. An opportunity arose, and he decided to take it.
“Long ago, I was leaving graduate school — more than a little burned out — and was looking for a job. I didn’t plan to spend my life in academia, but a position at Newman was open, and Wichita was where I wanted to live. Thirty-five years later, here I am.”
Over time, the roles he had and the tasks he was presented with evolved.
“I’ve had the opportunity to do many different things here, and that’s helped me avoid professional ruts. For most of my career, I taught both math and computer courses. I even taught a Civil War history class a few times. In all, I’ve taught 35 different courses. I’ve done some administrative work. I even ran the bookstore for a couple of years. That variety has kept my experience here fresh and my job satisfaction high.”
Change and growth
Developing a rich understanding of Newman, Vogt’s appreciation for the university has grown significantly through the years. He said that his main reason for staying with Newman is because “it’s home. The mission of Newman means a lot to me, particularly when I see it being lived out by the faculty and staff who have dedicated themselves to this institution and the success of its students.”
Vogt has found a lot of value in the academic diversity on campus as well.
“I love that the size of Newman means that my colleagues aren’t just people in my discipline. They are scientists, philosophers, nurses, writers, etc.”
35 years of memories
His fond campus memories stem from several discussions and adventures he has shared with his students.
“There are many terrific ghost stories about Newman University. The long-gone Beatta Hall was reportedly the most haunted place on campus. I remember the students in an evening class talking me into sneaking in and exploring it with them late one night after class.”
He also shared some memories about the renaissance faires Newman used to host.
“For many years, a Renaissance Faire was held on campus each April. Faculty and staff cooking turkey legs over hot coals all day made for a surprisingly fun time. Only a few fires resulted, and they were quickly extinguished for the most part.”
Most of all, Vogt feels socially and vocationally invested in the ongoing success of Newman University.
“I don’t have many personal or professional goals unfulfilled at this point. I would like to see Newman attain the kind of solid financial footing that it needs to endure long into the future. Once again, it’s home. I met my wife here. I’ve made countless friends here. It’s been an integral part of my personal and professional life for decades. It’s a special place.”
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