Bart and Melissa Grelinger have strong feelings about the Newman University mission and its “purpose of empowering graduates to transform society” — so much so that they are in the process of establishing an endowment to support a scholarship for students who hope to attend Newman University.
But then, the Grelingers have first-hand experience of that empowerment and transformation, at both the professional and personal levels.
Professionally, Bart earned bachelor’s degrees in chemistry and biology from Newman in 1983 before going on to earn a medical degree from the University of Kansas School of Medicine in 1987. He is now senior partner of Neurology Consultants of Kansas, a participant in a multidisciplinary outpatient clinic, an active staff member of several Wichita hospitals, and assistant clinical professor of medicine with the KU School of Medicine-Wichita. He is also a member of the Newman Board of Trustees.
Melissa (Ewald) earned a degree in management from Newman in 1982. She is now an active volunteer or board member in several organizations at the local, state and national level.
On a personal level, Bart’s mother Mary (Winters) Grelinger and Melissa’s mother Ellie (Bieberle) Ewald are both Sacred Heart Academy alums (1951 and 1955, respectively). Bart’s sister Mary (Grelinger) Jones is a 1984 graduate, and a niece, Erin (Fuller) Stewart, earned a radiologic technology degree at Newman in 2004. Last but not least, the Grelingers’ daughter Katie is a 2009 graduate now studying at the KU School of Medicine, while their son Adam will graduate in May with a degree in IT.
Given these experiences and connections, it’s perhaps not surprising that the Grelingers believe it’s important to give back.
“Newman University was instrumental in preparing me to continue higher education, start a family and ultimately join the workforce with the tools needed to be successful,” Bart said. “Our faith asks us to provide time, talent and treasure to help improve the lives of others and society as a whole. This endowment is just one more way to give back to the community and the university that helped me so many years ago.”
“Our hope is that this will allow a student an opportunity they may not have otherwise had,” Melissa added, “and allow Newman to continue what it does best, empowering graduates to transform society.”
Bart added that he would encourage others to create an endowment, even if they don’t have similar ties to Newman.
“It is only through the education of our children that we can hope to achieve the wisdom, personal responsibility, and respect for others that will allow us to plan for a better tomorrow,” he said. “If this endowment allows a leg up to someone’s education and ultimately their career or profession, it will be money very wisely spent, as we believe it will be returned many times over.”