Newman University officials have announced that former employees Herm Bachrodt and Betty Adams, ASC will be awarded Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa degrees during the Spring 2010 Commencement ceremony, beginning at 10 a.m. May 15 at Central Community Church, 6100 W. Maple in Wichita.
The university bestows the honorary degrees at each Fall and Spring Commencement upon notable members of the extended Newman community based on exemplary dedication to one of the university’s four Core Values: Catholic Identity, Culture of Service, Academic Excellence, and Global Perspective. Bachrodt will be honored for his service and professional and philanthropic support of Catholic education and athletics. Adams, a member of Newman’s sponsoring order the Adorers of the Blood of Christ (ASC), will be honored for the work she has done for Newman and the ASC international community.
Newman President Noreen M. Carrocci, Ph.D., said Bachrodt and Adams are natural choices for the degrees because of their dedication to academic, physical and spiritual development at the local and international levels.
“We are proud to honor these individuals for their many contributions to Newman and the greater Catholic community,” Carrocci said. “Both provided services that were crucial in the development of the university. Mr. Bachrodt has continued to be of service to the university and the Catholic community of Wichita, and Sister Betty continues to offer important language services to the Adorers’ international community.”
Herm Bachrodt – Culture of Service
Herman L. Bachrodt came to Sacred Heart College, now Newman University, in 1967 at the request of then-President Sylvia Gorges, ASC, who asked him to launch a men’s basketball program. Bachrodt served as the institution’s first basketball coach for two years, and its first athletics director for five years, during which time the men’s basketball team earned a berth in the NAIA National Tournament.
Before coming to Sacred Heart, Bachrodt served 12 years at Kapaun Mt. Carmel Catholic High School, first as head basketball coach from 1956 to 1961, then as athletics director from 1961 until 1967. Prior to his tenure at Kapaun Mt. Carmel, he served five years as the head basketball coach at St. Mary’s High School in Wichita.
While at Sacred Heart, Bachrodt developed a plan to raise funds for the Athletics Department by creating a college basketball all-star game in Wichita. Pizza Hut sponsored the game, which became the first commercially sponsored event approved by the NCAA. Bachrodt worked as a consultant for the first all-star game, and a year later left Sacred Heart to become full-time director of the contest and Director of Public Relations for Pizza Hut. He later became a Pizza Hut franchisee, and has since been an owner and partner of Rent-A-Center, owner of Zip Convenience Stores, and founder of several other successful businesses in consulting, insurance and leasing.
In tribute to his service as a coach and athletics director, he was among the inaugural inductees to the athletics halls of fame at both Kapaun Mt. Carmel and Newman. He has also been a generous benefactor, and in recognition of his gifts Kapaun Mt. Carmel will name its new athletic facility the Coach Herm and Jackie Bachrodt Athletic Complex.
Betty Adams, ASC – Global Perspective
Sister Betty Adams epitomizes the concept of global perspective. A graduate of Sacred Heart Academy and Sacred Heart College, she taught music and other subjects for 10 years in schools across Kansas, Nebraska and Oklahoma. After earning a master’s degree in music she became a professor of music at Newman and later served as head of the Music Department.
In 1982 the ASC called upon her to be province secretary in Wichita, and in 1986 the congregation asked her to teach English in Bari, Italy, and to learn the Italian language. Sister Betty, who already knew German, soon picked up Italian, and over the next months and years she began to realize that she was a gifted linguist and a master of simultaneous translation in addition to being gifted in music. She has since mastered Spanish and recently improved her abilities with Croatian.
Following a return to Newman during the 1990s as international student coordinator and part-time music teacher, she now lives in Rome, the international home of the ASC. Adams serves as translator for the congregation abroad, facilitating all communications, written and verbal, for her sisters. She is asked to travel extensively in this capacity and to provide translation needs for gatherings of the congregation lasting for just a few hours to those extending over several weeks.