Attention all Alumni: Nominate fellow alumni to be honored at the 2016 Cardinal Newman Awards Banquet by clicking the button below:
Dear Fellow Newman Alumni,
Eighty years ago this September, the Adorers of the Blood of Christ (ASC) officially opened what is today Newman University. They did this at the height of the Great Depression with the objective to develop students of “a true and finished Christian character” that are honorable and useful citizens of the world. The first graduating class of 1935 numbered 17.
Today, we have more than 11,000 living alumni and thousands more friends, family members, and “fans of the University.” People who have participated in the Newman experience and/or supported our institution. We have expanded that mission beyond graduating students that “are honorable and useful,” to empowering our graduates to transform the world. And, our graduates are fulfilling that mission each and every day through their careers, service to the community, and by living and sharing the values of our Catholic identity.
As Newman has transformed the lives of our students, and as our students have transformed the communities around us, the University has also been transformed. With more than 3,000 students this semester, we are no longer the “little Catholic university on the West-side.” We are a major institution of higher education in the Midwest. It is evident in the number of doctors, lawyers, teachers, nurses, social workers, business leaders, communicators, religious leaders, etc., that we have sent into the community and who are transforming the world around them. It is evident in the expansion we see on campus in new programs, academic disciplines, and buildings. It is clear in the success our student/athletes have had as we made the jump to compete at the NCAA level. That transformation increases the value of a Newman degree and the allure and brand of our institution.
I think we are starting another very important transformation for the University –transitioning “ownership” of Newman University and her future from the ASC to the alumni and community as a whole. In addition to giving their time, talent, and unceasing prayer for our students, graduates, and the University, the Sisters have provided more than $1 billion to fulfill the mission of this great institution during its 80 year history. While that commitment remains, the reality is that WE, as alumni need to step up and commit to the future of this institution. We need to expand our role in ensuring her mission is fulfilled and that thousands more students benefit, as we did, from the value of a Newman education.
To support the transition, your alumni board has articulated our mission, key principles for engaging with our alumni and friends, and areas of strategic focus that will help us better engage alumni in the life of the University and its students, encourage lifelong connections, and support you in your career and spiritual life as you work to transform society in your own way. The mission, principles, and areas of focus are posted on the alumni webpages at http://www.newmanu.edu/administration/alumni-relations/alumni-strategic-plan. We encourage you to read our mission and plans and provide us your feedback. You can also see a complete list of, and learn more about, your alumni board. Without these dedicated volunteers, we would not be in a position to take on a greater responsibility in the future of NU.
Take the time to visit campus, come to alumni events in your area or host one, share your successes–personal and professional–with the alumni relations office so we can share with others. . Give your time and talent to help support current students or engage as a volunteer at one of the many campus events, or on one of the alumni board committees–events, recruiting, advisory, or awards. Pray for the success and health of our students, alumni, friends, and the ASC.
We also need your financial support–the amount is not as important as the commitment to the institution. While our graduates are leading the transformation of society, we lag behind other institutions in the percentage of alumni that provide financial support for the University.
We know that the economy is not what we would like it to be, but as the Great Depression didn’t deter the Sisters from creating a lasting, transformative institution 80 years ago, as alumni we can also support the institution with our financial commitment. With the love, commitment, and caring of the alumni and friends of Newman University, the next 80 years of this institution can and will be better than the first 80.
I am honored and humbled to serve as your president this year. Don’t be a stranger. Let me know how we can better serve you, your fellow alumni, and the University. And, don’t be afraid to join us in this transformative period. We need you.
Tad Druart, ‘87