Student Emergency Fund

As a young Anglican priest in 1833, John Henry Newman fell dangerously ill while traveling in Italy. He convalesced for weeks. And during this time he would pen his famous poem, “Lead Kindly Light,” which later became popular as a hymn.

Lead Kindly Light, amidst the encircling gloom, Lead Thou me on! The night is dark, and I am far from Home, Lead Thou me on! Keep Thou my feet; I do not ask to see … the distant scene; one step enough for me.”

St. John Henry Newman asked God’s Kindly Light to illuminate one step.

In the unsettling situation we all find ourselves in today, these verses hold great wisdom and meaning for us.

Newman University is facing tremendous challenges right now as we strive to deliver excellence in education while continuing to make our students, faculty and staff’s health and safety a top priority.

As you may have heard, the university has been forced to transition all in-person classes to an online format, which has resulted in the need to purchase additional equipment and technology licenses.

The residence halls will remain open so we can take care of our most vulnerable students. We currently have about 100 students that plan to remain on campus due to various reasons. Many students from families with lower incomes are unable to afford internet access in their homes. Students from rural areas don’t have stable Internet access to allow them to continue their educational pursuits online. Some of our students would be homeless without Newman University. Some of our international students cannot travel home and some fear that they won’t be able to return if they leave. Our dining center remains open to feed these students, regardless of ability to pay.

Some would view our challenges as “encircling gloom,” yet we have hope. We believe we are being led by God’s “Kindly Light.”

The next step is you. All of these changes cost money — money that was not in our budget. As a university community we always depend on you to help us provide the type of education you expect from Newman.

We need your prayers and financial support now more than ever. Please take this opportunity to prayerfully consider a contribution to our Annual Fund.

YOU can make it possible to educate Newman University students who will transform society. May God’s Kindly Light lead us all through this crisis.

Thank you — and please take care of yourself and stay healthy.


Teresa Hall Bartels
Interim President

Beth Fatkin
Director of Philanthropy

Interim President Teresa Hall Bartels and other staff and faculty address the impacts of COVID-19 on Newman University and its students.

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