Dr. Noreen M. Carrocci became the fourth female and first lay woman to hold the presidential office at Newman University when she was inaugurated in 2007. Since arriving in Wichita, Dr. Carrocci has been an active, visible face on Newman’s campus, within the Wichita community, and throughout the region while actively promoting the benefits of a private Catholic education at Newman University.
Dr. Carrocci came to Newman from Spring Hill College in Mobile, Alabama, where she served as Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs and Professor of Communication from 1998 until 2007. Prior to her tenure at Spring Hill, Dr. Carrocci was Dean of the Undergraduate College at the University of St. Thomas (MN), and faculty member, department chair, and Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Saint Louis University. During the 1991-92 academic year, Dr. Carrocci was an American Council on Education Fellow at Tulane University. She earned her Ph.D. (1979) and M.A. (1977) degrees at the University of Kansas in Speech Communication & Human Relations, and her A.B. degree (1975) at Miami University (OH) in Speech Communication and Psychology.
During her tenure, numerous campus improvements and additions have been completed, including the construction of two residence halls, one of which was named Carrocci Hall in 2016 at the request of a major donor. Another project completed during her tenure was the Dugan Library and Campus Center, as well as outdoor gathering spaces like Founders Plaza, a beautiful outdoor monument which honors Newman’s sponsoring order the Adorers of the Blood of Christ, and their foundress St. Maria De Mattias. Dr. Carrocci also led a $30 million capital campaign to build a new 51,400 square foot science center named the Bishop Gerber Science Center in honor of the Most Rev. Eugene J. Gerber, Bishop Emeritus of the Diocese of Wichita, and to upgrade facilities in Eck Hall, which houses the university’s nursing and health sciences programs. The campaign was also designed to grow the university’s endowment, and provide for the Newman Fund, which supports student scholarships.
In addition to making physical changes on the Newman campus, Dr. Carrocci oversaw the implementation of a nationally-recognized core curriculum called the Newman Studies Program, with the help of top academic administrators and numerous faculty.
A professor at heart, Dr. Carrocci greatly enjoys connecting with students, alumni, donors and anyone who loves Newman University. She is married to Robert (Bob) Benson, a principal with The Beta Group, a consulting firm specializing in strategic and financial management of information technology. He also serves as an adjunct professor with Tilburg University in the Netherlands.
President Carrocci is an active member of the Kansas Independent Colleges Association (KICA), the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities (ACCU), and the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU), as well numerous community committees.
Sample Speaking Engagements
- Rotary Club of Wichita Downtown
- Eastside Rotary Club Meeting (Wichita Country Club)
- KNSS Radio Interview with Steve McIntosh
- Wichita Independent Business Association
- West Wichita Rotary Club Meeting (Rolling Hills Country Club)
- Spangles Corporate Leadership, Quarterly Meeting
Community AND PROFESSIONAL ENGAGEMENT
- Member, Board of Directors, Association of Catholic Colleges & Universities
- Chair, Presidents' Conversations Task Force
- Member, Nominating Committee
- Member, Board of Directors, Kansas Independent College Association
- Member (Ex-Officio), Board of Directors, Wichita Chamber of Commerce
- Member, Executive Committee, Greater Wichita Partnership
- Co-Chair, Business & Education Alliance
- Member, Leadership Council
- Member, Wichita Rotary Club
- Member, Board of Directors, Wichita Community Foundation
- Member, Governance Committee
- Member, 4-Wichita KU School of Medicine – Wichita Advancement Board
- Honorary Member
- Member, Community Affairs Committee
- Member, Board of Directors, Wichita Grand Opera
- Member, Executive Committee
- Member, Nominations Committee
- Member, Via Christi Health Systems, Mission Committee
- Member, Board, Wichita Eagle, “Together Wichita"
- Member, Legatus (with Bob Benson)
- Member, "Women of Wichita" group providing funding for community non-profits