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Founders Plaza

Introduction to second edition

I conceived this project in September, 2006 as Newman University was completing the capital campaign, Threshold to Tomorrow. As Director of Mission and Archives I oversaw the completion of these biographies.  The formal research and the writing of the biographies began in September, 2007 when Emilie Kristek accepted an internship in the University Archives. She completed about eighty-five of these biographies by June, 2008. Allison Fox and Jenna Streit joined in the effort in February, 2008; although their contributions were limited, they assisted in the completion of the project. I began my efforts in mid-May, 2008, and I wrote the majority of the biographies. During the 2011-12 academic year, I edited the First Edition and added additional information when appropriate. Bridget Boyum, an ASC Community Leader Scholar, located photos of several of the Adorers and worked with Anthony D'Alessio, Newman’s Digital Communications Specialist, to provide the online edition.

These stories relate the contributions of over two hundred women, who as members of the Adorers of the Blood of Christ [ASC], served God’s people on this campus. The original property, purchased from the Diocese of Wichita in 1902, once belonged to Henry Dugan; Mr. Dugan gifted the diocese with this land enabling a dream of Bishop Hennessy to become reality – a Catholic College. Sister Beata Netemeyer, the first provincial of the Wichita province of the Adorers, in collaboration with Reverend Leon A. McNeill, Diocesan Superintendent of Schools, gave birth to Sacred Heart Junior College in 1933. In addition to the college, this campus housed educational institutions beginning in 1902; these included a grade school known as St. John’s Institute and a high school called St. John’s Academy. In 1945 the latter was renamed Sacred Heart Academy.

These brief biographies tell the stories of many courageous women, all of them members of the religious congregation known today as the Adorers of the Blood of Christ. Some of these women made the decision to leave the Adorers and are no longer members, yet their contributions cannot be forgotten for their stories are part of the larger story of these confident, committed, and courageous women who have molded our mission and provided an example of a deep faith along with a vibrant hope in the providence of God.

Because September 12, 2008 was the 75th Anniversary of the founding of the college, it seemed very appropriate that Founders Plaza be dedicated on this date and these accompanying biographies be made available. As other Adorers join the Newman University community, a new brick is added in Founders Plaza and their online biographies will be added.

Special thanks are given to Sister Margaret Knoeber, ASC, archivist for the U.S. Region of Adorers, for providing the materials needed for the research in the First Edition. Sister Edwina Pope, ASC, archivist for the U.S. Region, assisted with documentation for the Second Edition. Several loyal alumni helped fund Founders Plaza; they are listed on the next page.

Charlotte Rohrbach, ASC ‘62
Director of Mission/Archives and Professor Emerita of History
September 12, 2008, First Edition

April, 2012, Second Edition