Newman University’s newest campus renovation transformed an old space in Dugan into a bright, collaborative home to countless student resources.
Visitors can take advantage of several functions including the Jets Welcome Center, a soundproof testing center, two conference rooms (one of which is reservable) and the newly opened Sacred Grounds Coffee & Café. Adaptive spaces can be customized to suit the needs of users and facilitate peer collaboration with movable chairs, tables and whiteboards.
With 72% of Newman’s student body living off campus, the Student Success Center provides an ideal place for commuter students to study, socialize or grab a bite to eat between classes. The center also gives students an even more efficient way to take advantage of makeup exams, academic accommodations, F1 international student services, workshops, career coaches, counseling sessions or tutoring services, which are offered in-person by appointment or virtually 24/7.
“We are here for the students, and our hope when it comes to the Student Success Center is that they utilize all the services we offer,” said Sarah Rupp, director of career services. “We want to see everybody succeed.”
Rupp and her fellow team members, Student Support Specialist Madeline Vardell and Mental Health Project Coordinator Anna Waggoner, are eager to continue providing critical services for student success, now in a centralized location.
“Even if a student is stuck and not sure what they need or what to do, the Student Success Center is a great place to start,” Rupp said. “Our doors are typically open and appointments can be scheduled through our Student Success Center assistants at the front desk.”
A campus collaboration center
At the Jan. 19 grand opening ceremony, Vice President of Academic Affairs Alden Stout emphasized what this space represents for Newman University as a whole.
“When you go into a classroom, that’s a space for learning,” Stout said. “There are sacred spaces, and those are spaces for worship and reflection. This is a space for student success. And one of the exciting things is we’re going to expand this open concept and level of engagement throughout the rest of the first floor of the learning center to make it a hub for students.”
Several Newman students have already taken advantage of the new center’s resources. Senior Hope Strickbine is particularly excited to see new life given to the campus space.
“The other day I saw people using the space to study and hang out,” Strickbine said. “I love that the tutoring center moved over here and that people will be in a space where they can come by more regularly and enjoy it.”
Stout shared that, for the Newman community to “empower graduates to transform society” as stated in the university mission, the students “must first be transformed.”
“Having a location for that transformative work — a hub and energy to permeate through the rest of campus — symbolizes what we do every day,” he said.
Many thanks for a grand support system
The $1.5 million project to renovate the Student Success Center was made possible with the help of $150,000 from a Title III grant from the U.S. Department of Education, gifts from individual alumni, friends of Newman University and a $350,000 grant from the Sunderland Foundation.
Newman President Kathleen Jagger, Ph.D., MPH, shared her gratitude to every person who supported the renovation of the Student Success Center from its inception.
“We need to create spaces where students can work with other students, peer tutors and faculty, where they can dream, imagine and prepare joint presentations,” Jagger said. “All that is possible in this new space.”
Newman University would like to thank the following for supporting the Student Success Center project: Dondlinger and Alloy Construction, the Dwane L. and Velma Lunt Wallace Charitable Foundation, Jagger, Vice President for Finance and Administration Tony Beata, Vice President of Institutional Advancement Bob Beumer, Stout, Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs Jill Fort, Rupp, Vardell, former Director of Student Success Kate Bussell, the university’s generous donors, the Board of Trustees and the Adorers of the Blood of Christ.
View all Student Success Center resources at Newman
The mission of the Student Success Center is to support all Newman University students on their academic journey.