Party on the Plaza has been a Newman University staple for many years. Donors and participants return year after year to enjoy a fun night with friends and peers while dining on delicious cuisine. But they are really there for a greater purpose — to make it possible for the next generation of professionals to earn a college degree.
Supporters of the Party on the Plaza know that 100 percent of the event’s proceeds will help fund student scholarships. Throughout the years the fundraiser has been taking place, millions of dollars have been raised to support the Newman Fund, which is strictly reserved for scholarships.
Beth Fatkin, senior development officer at Newman, said, “Student scholarships are truly the greatest gift that someone can give to help individuals break the cycle of poverty. Lack of funds shouldn’t prevent bright youth from receiving a collegiate education.”
Fatkin explained that about 40 percent of the 2018-19 freshman class are Pell Grant eligible, and approximately 19 percent of those students are first-generation college students.
“Many of these students come from low-income households,” said Fatkin, “and this gift of scholarship can break intergenerational poverty. This gives them a chance in life. It’s really more of an investment that will last a lifetime.”
Rebecca Tyndall, a dual science major at Newman who graduated May 2018, was a Cardinal Newman Scholarship recipient. The scholarship, which is the largest the university has to offer, is a full-tuition award that is renewable for eight consecutive semesters.
Tyndall said the scholarship she received was crucial to her earning an education at Newman. She said she is excited about her future and Newman played a huge role in that.
“I plan to use my passion of science to bring justice to victims of crimes. The criminal justice program here (at Newman) is phenomenal. We have great professors who bring energy and passion to what they do.
First-generation college student Angela De Souza, a senior this year, said she looked at every college in Kansas that offered a nursing program before choosing Newman. She said she selected Newman because of the financial support she would receive, but also because Newman is committed to service and volunteerism.
De Souza is especially thankful for donors “giving me the opportunity to grow in all ways as a person.”
Senior Khoi Nguyen said, “We, as students, are grateful for the donors’ contributions. Thanks to my scholarships, I am able to go to college.”
Nguyen is in the nursing program at Newman, involved in the Honors Program and has traveled to New York City and Liberia with funds from grants as well. Her experience, she said, is one she’ll never forget.
Corby Redington, an English major with a minor in choral music, said his generous scholarship made affording college a lot easier.
“The scholarship money, for me, is incredibly important. Both my twin sister and I are here on scholarship. It makes the possibility of going on to graduate school better (and) it creates the possibility for us to study here in this environment and not worry about finances, allowing for a rich college experience.”
Fatkin added, “Donors and supporters can end the evening knowing that they are helping to create our future educators, doctors, scientists, lawyers, police officers, social workers — the list goes on and on.”
For more information about Party on the Plaza, contact Beth Fatkin at (316) 942-4291, ext. 2165 or [email protected].