Three generations of Sevarts attend Newman

Mar 21, 2023
(From left to right) Paul, Peter (Paul's father), and Dave Sevart (grandfather of Paul) all began their college careers at Newman. (Courtesy photo)
(From left to right) Paul, Peter (Paul's father), and Dave Sevart (grandfather of Paul) all began their college careers at Newman. (Courtesy photo)

Attending Newman University seems to be a family tradition for the Sevarts. 

It all started with Dave Sevart, a two-time Newman graduate and retired Air Force Reserves veteran. Then came his son, Peter, who’s also a Newman graduate currently working in the Air Force Reserves. The tradition continues with Paul Sevart, a freshman at Newman. 

Dave Sevart, Newman graduate of 2000 and 2006

Dave grew up in Walnut, Kansas, and went into the Air Force right after high school. 

“[I wanted] to see the world and, luckily, I did get to travel quite a bit,” he said. “I was an aircraft mechanic and, eventually, I became administration in the Air Force Reserves.”

Later in life, Dave and his wife took turns pursuing higher education. 

“After active-duty military, it was my turn to finish college,” he said. “My wife had become a librarian and was working in the library at Newman, so I went to Newman, knowing they had high-quality degrees.”

Dave graduated with a bachelor’s degree in corporate communication with a minor in marketing in 2000 and his Master of Business Administration (MBA) with an emphasis on entrepreneurship in 2006. He chose these areas of concentration because he had started a job with PBS Kansas and did video work at Kent Audio Visual and wanted to learn more. 

Now that his son and grandson have chosen to follow in his footsteps at Newman, Dave feels he can relate to both their experiences, leading to good discussions. 

“The small classes were extremely beneficial for all three of us,” he added. 

Pete Sevart, 2002 Newman graduate

Pete graduated from Newman in 2002 with a bachelor’s degree in English

“I wanted to major in English because I was always an avid reader as a child, encouraged by my librarian mother,” he shared. “I was a huge fan of science fiction and fantasy novels, as well as comic books. I wanted to become a professional writer. Still working on that dream.”

Pete also entered the Air Force Reserves like his father. He did so in 2008 after his daughter was born and he and his wife couldn’t afford the hospital bills, even with two full-time jobs.

Pete Sevart (Courtesy photo)
Pete Sevart (Courtesy photo)

“My dad encouraged me to join the Reserves as an additional part-time job,” Pete said. “It was the hardest part-time job ever. I joined the 931 Civil Engineer Squadron at McConnell Air Force Base as a heavy equipment operator. Within my first year, I was deployed to Iraq for six months.”

Pete initially disliked being in the military and planned to do his initial enlistment and get out. But he stayed with it, and an opportunity came to work full time for his squadron in an administrative role. 

“I didn’t expect the Air Force to become my career, but now it is,” he said. “Since then, I’ve done a second deployment, this time to Qatar. What keeps me going is the people in my squadron; I know it’s a cliché to say that we’re like a family, but in this case, it’s true.”

Paul Sevart, Newman class of 2026

Since Pete’s dad didn’t return to Newman to get his degree until after Pete graduated, they never crossed paths on campus. Now that his son, Paul, is a student, Pete returns to campus often to watch Paul compete on the men’s cross-country team

Paul Sevart is a first-year student and athlete on the men's cross country team.
Paul Sevart is a first-year student and athlete on the men’s cross-country team.

“For Paul, I’m very proud that he can attend Newman and see him excel there both academically and as a member of the cross-country team,” Pete said. “It’s also a little surreal to come back to the campus again and see how it has grown since I was there. I honestly kind of miss it.”

Although Paul is still in his first year at Newman, he’s already felt the impact of the university on his life as he’s met new people who’ve shown him new perspectives. It’s also neat to have a shared connection with his father and grandfather. 

“They’ll both ask me if I have any professors they’ve had before and they’ll tell me about their experiences going to college,” Paul said. “That’s definitely motivated me to keep at it whenever I’m struggling with classes, knowing they’ve both gone through this and came out on the other side with their degrees and plenty of stories to tell.”

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