Ablah Award recipients embody the Newman Spirit



Each year, a special $2,500 award is presented to a female and male graduate who exemplify the mission and spirit of Newman University and who show great promise to make a strong and positive contribution to society.

The Ablah Awards were established by Fran and Geri Jabara to honor the memory of Geri’s parents, Harvey J. and Leona J. Ablah, and to perpetuate their vision of entrepreneurism and the American dream.

The 2017 recipient of the Leona J. Ablah Award was Diana Stanley of Goddard, Kansas, and the recipient of the Harvey J. Ablah Award was David Baalmann of Colwich, Kansas.


Diana Stanley receives the Leona J. Ablah Award at the May 13 Commencement Ceremony.

Stanley was a history major with minors in English, international studies and pre-law.

She was surprised and very excited to have won the award. “I have a lot of people to be grateful to … Dr. Cheryl Golden and Dr. Susan Crane-Laracuente as well as Sister Charlotte Rohrbach,” Stanley said. “Newman gave me a lot of different, unusual opportunities that you wouldn’t see at a larger college.”

Stanley said she had a very full college experience at Newman. “I came as a legacy student, but I forged my own path.”


David Baalmann receives the Harvey J. Ablah Award at the May 13 Commencement Ceremony.

Baalmann, a biochemistry major said, “I was very humbled. Newman has really been home for me these past four years, and I think what I’ll take away from my experience is the ability to be involved.”

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