The Newman University National Alumni Association Board of Directors has announced the recipients of the 2013 Distinguished Alumni Awards. The awards will be presented at the Cardinal Newman Banquet and Awards Ceremony, Feb. 23, 2013 in the Dugan-Gorges Conference Center on the Newman campus.
Fr. Ned Blick ‘86
Beata Netemeyer Alumni Award
Beata Netemeyer, ASC served as the provincial of the Adorers of the Blood of Christ for the former Wichita province from its formation in 1929 until 1938. She was instrumental in establishing Sacred Heart Junior College, now Newman University. This award honors alumni who continue her spirit of service as they minister with others bringing about the mission of Christ.
Blick, a priest in the Diocese of Wichita and longtime admirer of Fr. Emil Kapaun, entered the military and served as a chaplain in two deployments – one in Iraq and one in Afghanistan. He returned to Kansas in May. Now a pastor and chaplain in Hutchinson, Kan., Blick accepted the call of the Most Rev. Michael O. Jackels, Bishop of the Diocese of Wichita, to learn Spanish to better serve the people in Hutchinson, and initiated a door-to-door campaign to evangelize Hutchinson residents. Known for his warmth, joy, and exuberance for life, Blick was a model student and Catholic while at Kansas Newman College, and is considered a model priest today who has risked life and limb to serve Christ and His people.
J.T. Klaus ‘87
St. Maria De Mattias Award
The award, named for the foundress of the Adorers of the Blood of Christ, honors alumni who display a deep loyalty to Newman University and its mission. The award recipient has given meritorious and continuous support and stewardship to Newman University and Catholic life.
Klaus was a Cardinal Newman Scholar and an exceptional student leader who graduated Summa Cum Laude from Kansas Newman College. For the past 25 years he has been a loyal donor and loyal alumnus, attending homecomings, reunions, banquets and other events. Klaus played major roles in the institution’s name change in the late 1990s and on the NU logo design committee, and has been instrumental in supporting various development projects. A former Alumni Association Board member and president, he continues to provide leadership in several capacities. Klaus earned a J.D. from the University of Kansas School of Law and has built an impressive career as an attorney and member of Triplett, Woolfe & Garretson, LLC – but still steps up for Newman every time there is a need.
Gregory Cole Sr. ’95
Leon A. McNeill Distinguished Alumni Award
The Leon A. McNeill Distinguished Alumni Award honors graduates who have achieved outstanding success in their personal lives and careers. They have enriched the church spiritually, made contributions to society, and demonstrated concern for others. The award is named for the first president of Sacred Heart Junior College, now Newman University.
Cole retired after 25 years in the U.S. Army, and has since built a highly successful career in education and training. A high school dropout, Cole discovered in the Army that learning and teaching were important to him, and later earned a bachelor’s degree in education from Newman University and a master’s degree in leadership from Southwestern College. He has served in numerous capacities as a counselor, coach, and teacher, including director of education for the Department of Corrections and director of education and training for several Fortune 500 companies. With his experience and vast knowledge in coaching and leadership development, he has created and implemented training programs in the areas of civic and corporate leadership. He is currently a civic leadership coach for the Kansas Leadership Center, and chairman and CEO of Good Life Company, which sells Little Bits cookies.
Mark Potter ’86
Spirit of Acuto Award
The Spirit of Acuto Award is named in honor of the driving spirit of the Adorers of the Blood of Christ. The conviction, “The charity of Christ urges us” led not only the ASC sisters but also the laity associated with them to respond to the needs of others. This award honors alumni and friends who, as a reflection of their association with Newman University, have been a driving force, using their talent and training at critical junctures to move a vision to reality.
Potter, now in his 15th year as Newman University head men’s basketball coach, has compiled the highest winning percentage in Newman’s basketball history.
A former Newman basketball and baseball player, Potter was chosen in 1998 to resurrect the men’s basketball program after an 11-year hiatus. In only the second year back, Potter led his team to an undefeated conference championship, a National Tournament berth, and a ranking of 13th in the nation. He has since led the Jets to other conference and national tournaments, and received numerous Coach of the Year awards. Despite his success, Potter found himself in a deep depression several years ago, which he ultimately overcame through treatment. He has since spoken widely of his experience so that others who suffer from depression will know there is hope. Potter is being honored for his courage and ability to turn personal adversity into positive action.
For more information or to reserve tickets for the Cardinal Newman Banquet and Awards Ceremony watch your mailbox, check www.newmanu.edu frequently, or contact Kelly Reynolds at 316-942-4291, ext. 2163 or firstname.lastname@example.org.