Twenty-three high school seniors visited campus Friday, Dec. 7, for Cardinal Newman scholarship interviews.
The Cardinal Newman scholarship is Newman’s most exclusive award, given to a limited number of high-achieving students each year.
To be considered for the scholarship, incoming freshmen must have at least a 3.9 cumulative high school GPA and official test scores on file with a 29 composite ACT super-score (or SAT equivalent) to apply. Applicants must additionally submit an online application, a supplemental résumé and an essay in response to a specific prompt.
The Newman admissions department hosted a free luncheon for the students and their families. The Dugan-Gorges Conference Center also had a selfie booth, complete with a Newman backdrop, decorated gift boxes and a festive snowman.
Presley Williams, a high school senior from Augusta, Kansas, said that she first heard about Newman through the Investigative Summer STEM Program (ISSP).
“I spent two weeks here, met some of the professors and got to live on campus,” said Williams. “I thought it was really cool and when it came time to actually apply for college, Newman was one of my first choices. I’m interested in the medical field and I’ve heard from different people at Newman that it’s a really good place to start.”
Faith Whited is a senior from Garden City High School who is interested in studying chemistry in her undergraduate career.
“The general chemistry class that I took my sophomore year really got me interested,” she said. “My teacher was amazing and I really enjoyed the general content of the class. Most of the classes I’ve taken in high school have more to do with biology and I enjoy science in general. I’d like to pursue something in chemistry like biochemistry so that I’m still in the medical field, but not necessarily patient-interaction.”
Faith’s father, Ron Whited, is a magna cum laude Newman graduate of 2010. He studied secondary education social studies and became a teacher.
“I love this place,” he said. “When I graduated, that was the year when there were no teaching jobs to be had, so that’s how I ended up out in Garden City and was blessed enough to go out there.”
Whited teaches fifth through 12th grades and is now a special education teacher. Whited said he felt very prepared entering his profession, and it’s all thanks to his time at Newman.
“They stretched me and pushed me, and bear in mind, I was a seasoned adult when I came back to school. They challenged me on every level and I think it’s a great school for that reason. They really made me think.
“I would be thrilled if my daughter ends up going here,” he added. “I think she’s going to regardless of what happens today.”
Kari Coster of Wichita North High School said her interest in Newman also began with her father, who played soccer and attended school at Newman.
“I think I’m going to be a nurse like my mom,” she said.
Coster said she is involved with the National Honors Society and student leadership at her school, so she would like to be a student ambassador when she attends Newman in the future.
Going into the interview, Coster said, “I’m nervous, but excited to show them what I have and hopefully be a good candidate for the scholarship. Hopefully we get the scholarship, come here to get a good education and pursue all the opportunities that Newman offers.”
Before departing for tours and the long-awaited scholarship interviews, a handful of professors, alumni and students spoke to the group about their Newman experiences.
Among these speakers was Emily Larkin — a junior with a double-major in communication and theatre with a minor in journalism.
“Newman has been like coming home,” she said. “I never thought I would be able to meet some of the people I have. I’ve had roommates and friends from Italy, Malaysia, from Venezuela to Oklahoma. The personal interaction I get to have with professors is helping set me up for a degree of difference. But it’s not just the academics. It’s about how I found myself here at Newman.”