The Value of Serving

Father John Fogliasso (right) and students help pack food for Numana during a campus ministry service trip.

At Newman University, service work is inherent

Throughout the year, the Newman University community takes part in multiple service projects that better the campus, the community and even the world. 

Service is an integral part of an education at Newman and in the past, students have worked more than 260,400 collective service hours in one year.

Many students need volunteer hours to meet scholarship requirements, and others volunteer simply because of their desire to help. However, students aren’t the only Newman community members who are service-minded — staff and faculty get in on the action, too. And with an option to use up to 48 hours each year for service work, they are able to volunteer without taking vacation days. 

At Newman, students, staff and faculty are genuinely encouraged to get involved in service with the hope that it will become intrinsic. They have the option of spending their service hours working for any organization they are passionate about. Service opportunities provided through Newman can range in commitment from six-week long service trips abroad to volunteering for a local event once a year.

Newman University Chaplain Father John Fogliasso said, “Utilizing our God-given talents to aid others by building homes, feeding the hungry and supporting those in need has a transformative effect. Serving others helps to open our eyes and recognize how incredibly blessed we are.”

Newman has been named to the national President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll six times in a total of eight years for outstanding focus on the importance and implementation of service in the university community.

The Corporation for National & Community Service, which administers the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll “recognizes institutions of higher education that support exemplary community service programs and raise the visibility of effective practices in campus community partnerships.” 

“Culture of Service” is one of four core values at Newman. The core value states, “The passion to serve others is integral to the missions of both Newman University and the Adorers of the Blood of Christ. We actualize this mandate by fostering a distinctive culture of service in which each member of the community is encouraged to find personally fulfilling ways of growing through giving.”

Community service opportunities are abundant at Newman University and in the Wichita community and students are eager to get involved. 

Campus Ministry holds an annual fall service retreat and a winter service trip that combines service and fellowship. Between the two, 26 students took part in activities such as a Habitat for Humanity build, a food-packing event for the Food Bank of the Rockies, serving at a soup kitchen and more. Students say they enjoy the service trips and the learning opportunities they provide.

Campus Ministry also provides other service projects throughout the year such as the cleaning of the Marian Grotto on campus or helping at the Lord’s Diner. 

In the fall, students, staff and faculty took part in the Pope Francis Build 2017, an annual event and a collaborative effort of the Catholic Diocese of Wichita and Habitat for Humanity.

Campus Ministry Assistant Monica Borger has been part of five Habitat for Humanity builds. She said, “There are so many wonderful volunteer opportunities around this community, but Habitat is one where you can actually see the impact that you are making. At the end of your shift, something very tangible is always completed. That is an amazing feeling!”

Newman Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs Rosemary Niedens said having students heavily involved in giving back to the community is “so integrated into the students’ lives that it will hopefully become a habit for the rest of their life.”

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