Kemper Foundation awards $250,000 to Newman University Facing Forward campaign for renovated and new science facilities

May 03, 2016
Facing Forward - Kemper Foundation

The William T. Kemper Foundation – Commerce Bank, Trustee, of Kansas City, Mo., has awarded a $250,000 grant to Newman University in support of the upcoming Bishop Gerber Science Center and upgrades to existing health sciences and nursing education facilities on the Newman campus.

“We are extremely grateful to the Kemper Foundation for this substantial gift,” said Newman President Noreen M. Carrocci, Ph.D. “This gift, coupled with the many generous gifts we have already received and will receive in the future, will bring benefits to Newman students, Wichita, and the state of Kansas for generations to come.”

“We are grateful that the generosity and planning of William T. Kemper, Jr. have made this grant possible through his foundation,” wrote Elizabeth Radtke, Kemper Foundation Office Director, Charitable Trusts and Foundations, in a letter announcing the award to Newman.

Bishop-Gerber-Science-Center-wfpThe gift supports Facing Forward – A Campaign for Newman University. The campaign is designed to raise $30 million to renovate health sciences facilities in the existing Eck Hall, which houses the university’s nursing and allied health programs, build a new 51,400 square foot science building, grow the university’s endowment and provide for the Newman Fund, which supports student scholarships.

The new science center will be named the Bishop Gerber Science Center in honor of the Most Rev. Eugene J. Gerber, Bishop Emeritus of the Diocese of Wichita. Gerber has long been an advocate for Catholic higher education and a supporter of Newman University.

In requesting the grant, Newman officials noted that the project will benefit the region and state in several ways, including helping to meet the growing demand for highly qualified health care professionals, increasing opportunities for partnerships and collaboration between Newman University and other business, industry and health care institutions, and allowing regional medical centers the opportunity to fully staff critical health care positions. Newman officials also noted that, to date, more than 1,400 Newman graduates with degrees in one of the allied health disciplines, the sciences, or mathematics are living and working in the Kansas City metropolitan area.

The new and renovated facilities on the Newman campus will allow for up-to-date technology and equipment, more research areas and “smart” classrooms, and simulation labs, which are increasingly necessary to properly train clinical skills and to meet industry and accreditation standards.

Renovations to nursing and allied health facilities in Eck Hall will be completed by the Fall 2016 semester. Newman plans to break ground for the Bishop Gerber Science Center on June 10, and have the building completed by August 2017 in time for the beginning of the Fall 2017 semester.

For more information, visit, or contact Clark Schafer at 316-942-4291, ext. 2164, or [email protected].

About Newman University:
Newman University is a Catholic university named for John Henry Cardinal Newman and founded by the Adorers of the Blood of Christ for the purpose of empowering graduates to transform society. The university is highly respected for the quality of its science, nursing and health sciences education programs, and the high quality of its graduates:

  • 95 percent of Newman pre-med graduates who applied were accepted into medical schools over the past 15 years. All Newman University students who applied for medical school admission were accepted in 2014.
  • 100 percent of 2014 Newman Nurse Anesthesia graduates (92 percent on the first attempt) passed accreditation exams. The national average was 87 percent.
  • For the past five years, Newman nursing graduate pass rates have consistently been above state and national averages for the National Council Licensure exam (NCLEX).
  • From 2013 to 2015, 100 percent of the Newman Radiologic Technology graduates passed their licensure exams with an average first time pass rate of 84 percent.
  • A full 100 percent of May 2015 Sonography graduates passed their American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography exams (physics, vascular, obstetrics).
  • 100 percent of the December 2014 Newman Respiratory Care graduates passed their Certified Respiratory Therapist (CRT) licensure exam.
  • 100 percent of 2015 Newman Occupational Therapy Assistant graduates passed the NBCOT licensure exams.
  • Other science graduates are accepted into postgraduate programs in chemistry, biology and other science fields at universities across the nation, including such prestigious schools as Notre Dame, Washington University and Iowa State.

About the William T. Kemper Foundation:
The William T. Kemper Foundation of Kansas City, Mo., was established in 1989. The foundation primarily supports education, health, human services, civic improvements and the arts, with giving focused on the Midwest with an emphasis on Missouri and surrounding areas. Among other things, the foundation supports building and renovation projects as well as capital campaigns.

As of the Year Ended 10-31-13, the Kemper Foundation recorded assets of $279 million and total giving of $11.5 million.