What’s in a Name


Newman University began as Sacred Heart College in 1933 with only one building — Sacred Heart Hall. Today the campus has grown to 12 buildings and countless spaces have been specially named.

Many of Newman’s buildings and spaces are named for sisters of its founding order, the Adorers of the Blood of Christ (ASC), and some are named for influential individuals in the Newman community or donors who have provided support for the university.

The Dugan Library and Campus Center was built in 2007 and serves as a hub for student life and campus events. Housed inside is the library, bookstore, coffee shop and student life center, along with multiple gathering spaces such as the Dugan-Gorges Conference Center and the Sister Tarcisia Roths, ASC, Alumni Center.

The Dugan Library & Campus Center is named after John and Marilyn Dugan, who were major donors for the campaign that funded the construction of the center. The Dugans were honored with the Cardinal Newman Medal in 2010.

Eck Hall is named for Joan and Rusty Eck. The building, which houses a variety of academic courses and serves as the Center for Allied Health, was named and built in 1995.

During the recent Facing Forward campaign, which ended in 2018, parts of the building were renovated. The renovation included the construction of high-tech radiologic technology labs, nursing labs and respiratory care labs.

The goal of the Facing Forward campaign, publicly launched in 2016 and completed in 2018, was to create a state- of-the-art science center on campus to replace the outdated Heimerman Science Center.

The Bishop Gerber Science Center was named for beloved Bishop Emeritus Eugene J. Gerber of the Wichita Diocese. Gerber fully believed in the mission of Newman University and, reluctantly, allowed the university to name the important structure after him.

Dana Fugate, longtime supporter and a building namesake herself, said, “Bishop Gerber has done a lot for the university and for the Catholic Diocese, so it’s very fitting that the science center should be named after him.”

De Mattias Hall is named for ASC founder St. Maria De Mattias, a champion for the poor and teacher of women and children. She founded the ASC as an active teaching order in 1834 while living in Vallecorsa, Italy.

The ASC play an important role as the university’s first and only sponsor for the university.

Mother Clementine Zerr and three other ASC sisters opened a house on the land where Newman University currently sits with the goal of ministering in education and health care.

O’Shaughnessey Hall houses Newman University athletics, the Fugate Gymnasium and shares a structure with the De Mattias Hall. It was named for donors Patrick and Kathy O’Shaughnessey when the building was built in 1999.

The O’Shaughnesseys have strong ties to Newman and were honored with an honorary degree at the 2014 commencement ceremony for their Catholic identity. Patrick served as a member and chairman of the Kansas Newman College board.

The Sister Tarcisia Roths, ASC, Alumni Center, named in 2007, can be found inside the Dugan Library and Campus Center and is host to many events for students, staff, faculty, alumni and Newman community members.

Roths was the ninth president of Newman University and is still an avid supporter of Newman University. She has been an ASC member for more than 70 years and has been recognized by multiple organizations for her community service, humanitarian efforts, educational drive and her caring spirit.

The Macias Gathering Space can be found in the Dugan Library and Campus Center between the bookstore and the library.

The space was named in 2007 for Archie and Jean Macias, who were substantial donors to the Dugan Library and this space in particular. Archie has significant ties to Newman and was honored with the Cardinal Newman Medal in 2018.

The Fugate Gymnasium is named for Larry and Dana Fugate, longtime supporters of Newman University. They received an honorary degree at the 2017 commencement ceremony for their strong examples of Catholic faith and support of Catholic higher education.

The Fugates have been generous donors for multiple capital campaigns and are known in the community for the charitable work they do for children.

The Jabara Flexible Theatre is located inside De Mattias Hall. The performance space was established by Leesa Jabara, Lori Simmons and Harvey Jabara in honor of their parents, Fran and Geri Jabara, for their commitment to lasting values and relationships and their entrepreneurial example, influence and inspiration.

The Jabaras received honorary degrees from Newman University in 2009.

Newman University’s Steckline Gallery is named for Larry and Wah-Leeta Steckline. The gallery’s mission is to encourage appreciation and understanding of art and its role in society through direct engagement with original works of art and the artists who create them.