Newman University campaign for new science facilities receives $140K from local companies

Jun 29, 2016
Facing Forward - Kemper Foundation

Newman University has received a total of $140,000 in gifts from three Wichita-area businesses in support of upgrades and new construction for the university’s science, nursing and health sciences programs.

The gifts received come from BKD, LLP – Wichita, Commercial Mechanical Inc. (CMI), and Simpson Construction Services, Inc.

“We so appreciate the support from the local business community in our efforts to renovate and create new facilities for science, nursing and health sciences education at Newman University,” said Newman President Noreen M. Carrocci, Ph.D. “Over the years Newman has built strong partnerships with these and other businesses, and we thank them all for their generous gifts. The facilities these gifts make possible will help create a stronger community, because they will make Newman better-equipped to educate the nurses, doctors, therapists and other healthcare workers of Wichita and the surrounding region for many years to come.”

The gifts were made to support the $30 million Facing Forward – A Campaign for Newman University. The campaign is designed to raise funds to build the 51,400 square foot science center to be named in honor of the Most Rev. Eugene J. Gerber, Bishop Emeritus of the Diocese of Wichita, a longstanding advocate for Catholic higher education and Newman University. Funds raised through the Facing Forward campaign are also being used to renovate facilities in the existing Eck Hall, which houses the university’s nursing and health sciences programs, as well as to grow the university’s endowment and provide for the Newman Fund, which supports student scholarships.

“BKD is pleased to support Newman University in their mission of providing academic excellence in the realm of higher education,” said BKD Managing Partner Bill Pickert, CPA. “Their understanding and acceptance of diverse perspectives, serving their students and others with integrity and their culture of service, mirrors BKD’s philosophy and core values, making support of Newman University an easy choice.”

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

Renovations to Eck Hall are currently underway and will be completed for the Fall 2016 semester. Newman recently broke ground for the Bishop Gerber Science Center, and expects to have the building completed by August 2017 in time for the beginning of the Fall 2017 semester.

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. For the 2015-2016 academic year, 11 Newman University students who applied for medical school admission were accepted.
  • 100 percent of 2015 Newman Nurse Anesthesia graduates (92 percent on the first attempt) passed accreditation exams. The national average first-time pass rate 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).
  • 100 percent of Newman Occupational Therapy Assistant graduates passed the NBCOT licensing exam in 2013, 2014 and 2015. Newman is the only OTA program of the five programs in the state of Kansas that can make that claim.
  • 100 percent of Newman Radiologic Technology graduates from 2013 to 2015 passed their licensure exams, with an average first-time pass rate of 84 percent.
  • 100 percent of May 2015 Sonography graduates passed their American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography exams (physics, vascular, obstetrics).
  • 92 percent of December 2015 Newman Respiratory Care graduates passed their Certified Respiratory Therapist (CRT) licensure exam.
  • 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 BKD, LLP – Wichita:

BKD, LLP – Wichita is the local office of the national CPA and advisory firm BKD, LLP. BKD offers tax, accounting, auditing and other financial services to companies and organizations in a broad range of fields. For more information about BKD visit

About Commercial Mechanical Inc.:

Commercial Mechanical Inc. provides plumbing, heating and air conditioning for commercial, institutional and industrial projects in Wichita and surrounding areas. For more information about Commercial Mechanical visit

About Simpson Construction Services, Inc.:

Simpson Construction Services, Inc. is a commercial building contractor with expertise in healthcare, religious, education, business, multi-family, and senior living facilities. Simpson Construction Services, Inc. is owned by Bob and Anne Simpson. For more information about Simpson Construction visit

For more information about Facing Forward – A Campaign for Newman University, visit, or contact Clark Schafer at 316-942-4291, ext. 2164, or [email protected].