Sunderland Foundation makes $200K gift to Newman University campaign for new science facilities

Jul 14, 2016
Bishop Gerber Science Center Newman University

Newman University has received a $200,000 gift from the Sunderland Foundation of Overland Park, Kan., to support the building of new, technologically advanced science and health sciences educational facilities and the renovation and upgrading of existing nursing educational facilities on the Newman campus in Wichita.

The gift will help Newman in its ongoing commitment to produce well-educated graduates to fill critical health care positions in Wichita, Kansas City, and the surrounding regions, said Newman President Noreen M. Carrocci, Ph.D.

“We are extremely grateful to the Sunderland Foundation for this generous gift, which will help support our efforts to create highly qualified nurses, pre-med graduates and other healthcare workers who will serve throughout Kansas and the region,” Carrocci said. “While some of our health care graduates build their careers in other states or other countries, the majority remain in Kansas, where they help people across the state live better, longer and healthier lives. The Sunderland Foundation’s gift will support that in a big way for many years to come.”

The Sunderland Foundation has supported Newman initiatives in the past. In 2008, the foundation provided valuable support to complete the Campus Mall Plaza project on the Newman campus, which is now called Founders Plaza in honor of Newman founders and sponsoring order the Adorers of the Blood of Christ.

“We like Newman University and have a history of working with them,” said Sunderland Foundation President Kent Sunderland. “We support higher education and know that Newman has high quality science and health care programs, particularly the nursing program. That played a large role in our Board of Trustees awarding the grant. We also know that Newman sends a lot of students to the University of Kansas Medical Center here for medical school and other health care programs. The foundation strongly supports the medical center, so that was important in our decision, as well.”

Professor of Chemistry David Shubert, Ph.D. speaks at the June 10 groundbreaking for the new Bishop Gerber Science Center. The new center will replace the Heimerman Science Center in the background.
Professor of Chemistry David Shubert, Ph.D. speaks at the June 10 groundbreaking for the new Bishop Gerber Science Center. The new center will replace the Heimerman Science Center in the background.

Currently, more than 1,400 Newman graduates with degrees in the sciences, one of the allied health disciplines, or mathematics are living and working in the Kansas City metropolitan area. Many work as nurses or doctors, while others work in allied health fields such as nurse anesthesia, radiologic technology, sonography, respiratory care, and occupational therapy assistant. Newman is the only educational institution in the area that offers these five allied health care degrees.

Newman also has a unique partnership with the University of Kansas School of Medicine-Wichita, part of the University of Kansas School of Medicine system based in Kansas City, Kan. Newman provides anatomy lab facilities and faculty to teach human anatomy to first-year KU medical students studying in Wichita. Newman faculty also facilitate small group sessions on the Newman campus for KU med students about the basic sciences.

The Sunderland gift was made to support the $30 million Facing Forward – A Campaign for Newman University. The campaign is designed to raise funds to build the 51,400 square foot science center to be named in honor of the Most Rev. Eugene J. Gerber, Bishop Emeritus of the Diocese of Wichita, a longstanding advocate for Catholic higher education and Newman University. Funds raised through the Facing Forward campaign are also being used to renovate facilities in the existing Eck Hall, which houses the university’s nursing and health sciences programs, as well as to grow the university’s endowment and provide for the Newman Fund, which supports student scholarships.

The new and renovated facilities on the Newman campus will allow for up-to-date technology and equipment, more research areas for students and faculty, and “smart” classrooms. The facilities will also include simulation labs, which are increasingly necessary to properly train clinical skills and to meet industry and accreditation standards.

Renovations to Eck Hall are currently underway and will be completed for the Fall 2016 semester. Newman recently broke ground for the Bishop Gerber Science Center, and expects to have the building completed by August 2017 in time for the beginning of the Fall 2017 semester.

About Newman University:

  • Newman University is a Catholic university named for John Henry Cardinal Newman and founded by the Adorers of the Blood of Christ for the purpose of empowering graduates to transform society. The university is highly respected for the quality of its science, nursing and health sciences education programs, and the high quality of its graduates:
  • 96 percent of Newman pre-med graduates who applied were accepted into medical schools over the past 15 years. For the 2015-2016 academic year, 11 Newman University students who applied for medical school admission were accepted.
  • 100 percent of 2015 Newman Nurse Anesthesia graduates (92 percent on the first attempt) passed accreditation exams. The national average first-time pass rate was 87 percent.
  • 100 percent of Newman 2015 nursing program graduates passed the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX). Graduates of the Newman program have a 99.57 percent pass rate over the past five years.
  • 100 percent of Newman Occupational Therapy Assistant graduates passed the NBCOT licensing exam in 2013, 2014 and 2015. Newman is the only OTA program of the five programs in the state of Kansas that can make that claim.
  • 100 percent of Newman Radiologic Technology graduates from 2013 to 2015 passed their licensure exams, with an average first-time pass rate of 84 percent.
  • 100 percent of 2015 Sonography graduates passed their American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography exams (physics, vascular, obstetrics).
  • 92 percent of December 2015 Newman Respiratory Care graduates passed their Certified Respiratory Therapist (CRT) licensure exam.
  • Other science graduates are accepted into postgraduate programs in chemistry, biology and other science fields at universities across the nation, including such prestigious schools as Notre Dame, Washington University and Iowa State.

For more information about Newman University, go to

About The Sunderland Foundation:

  • The Sunderland Foundation was established in 1945 by Lester T. Sunderland, who served as president of the Ash Grove Cement Company for 33 years and was a highly respected leader in the cement industry.
  • For more than six decades, the Foundation – which is still managed by Lester T. Sunderland’s descendents – has focused on supporting bricks and mortar projects, awarding grants to nonprofits in the Kansas City region and other areas where the Ash Grove Cement Company does business.
  • Grants are awarded in Western Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Arkansas, and Western Iowa, and, to a lesser extent, in Idaho, Oregon, Washington, Utah and Montana.
  • The Sunderland Foundation makes grants annually to publicly supported charitable organizations with tax exempt status under section 501 [c] 3 of the Internal Revenue Code. The Foundation prefers to make grants for capital and special projects rather than for annual operating expenses.
  • Grants for building construction, renovation, repairs and restoration of facilities are considered. Areas of interest include higher education, youth serving agencies, health facilities, community buildings, museums, civic projects, and low maintenance, energy efficient housing projects sponsored by qualified tax-exempt organizations.

For more information about the foundation visit

For more information about Facing Forward – A Campaign for Newman University, visit, or contact Clark Schafer at 316-942-4291, ext. 2164, or [email protected].