Newman starts fundraising for athletic field improvements

By Gabriel Nunez, Guest Writer

Newman has talked about turfing and lighting the soccer, softball and baseball fields for years. But recently Newman University has been making tangible moves toward these renovations. University Advancement has recently hired 2018 Newman graduate Sam Hersh as its Senior Director of Development- Athletics. His job is to boost fundraising efforts for the project, which is expected to cost $3 million.

Construction will start when the fundraising goal is met, said Bob Beumer, Newman’s Vice President of Institutional Advancement. And although he could not offer an exact timeline, Beumer said it shouldn’t take long. 

“In (a) year or two, I’d hope we're well on the way to completing that project,” he said. 

The hiring of Hersh, a former Newman baseball player who graduated in 2018, is expected to boost the fundraising effort, as will a task force created by Beumer and Newman Athletic Director Joanna Pryor. It consists of seven to eight alumni, some staff members and some coaches, and its members are being asked to spread the word about the Newman projects to potential donors.  

The group will be “reaching out to make contacts with people to try to get individual and, if appropriate, foundation donations,” said Newman President Kathleen Jagger.

Newman is also working toward a $10 million renovation of Sacred Heart Hall, but the fundraising and construction of one project will not take precedence over the other, Beumer said. They are two separate fundraising pools, and donors will ultimately decide which project they will support. The first project to meet its goal will be the first to start construction.

Back in 2019, Newman’s baseball field received some free recycled turf from Wichita State University, which was disposing of its old turf. But it was only enough to cover a small portion of the field.

PHOTO: Courtesy