Back Row, Left to Right: Christian, Paul, Karys, Seth, Maureen, Ally, Anne Marie, and Charlotte

Front Row, Left to Right: McKenzie and Jack

Our Core Team came together this spring to give forward to students by hosting an April Fool’s Day Fair, complete with bounce houses, swing dancing, and a whole lot of foolishness! Remembering their first impressions of Newman, Core Team President Karys Whitehead explains that the group wanted to create an event where regular members at Newman and new faces all felt welcome “to see the love that Christ has instilled in all of us.”

Newman’s Core Team, established in the spring of 2021, is a group of leaders that have joined together to “help foster our student community at Newman through putting on events for the community and reaching out on campus to invite students into our community,” as Christian Schuetter, Vice President, explains. For the spring semester of 2022, Core Team members split into two groups in order to achieve these goals: a “home” team to focus on events here at Newman, and a “campus” team that focuses on campus-wide outreach. Both teams meet every Sunday during the school year to plan their semester project and other great events. “Home” team doesn’t just focus on setting up and organizing events, Charlotte Lavenhagen explains, their main goal being to “make sure that every person that comes to a Newman Center event is greeted and welcomed in with open arms.”

“As soon as I stepped on the Newman Center’s campus, I was immediately welcomed into the community. Honestly, that’s what made me come back. Through being in the community, I have grown deeper in my faith and come to know the face of Jesus.”

Karys Whitehead, Core Team president

For the Fool’s Day Fair, “home” team worked together to decorate the space, schedule rentals, organize food, invite students, and run stations on the night of the fair. Maureen Mullally shared that, “the biggest challenge for our semester project was turning our vision into a reality. We knew early on that we wanted to invite more people into the community we love so passionately but determining how to do that was a significant obstacle.”

Luckily, by brainstorming together the team was able to overcome these obstacles! Seth John remembers the fair fondly, commenting that “putting on the fool’s day fair was an amazing testimony of the love and desire for Christ to be made known on the campus.” He goes on to point out the powerful experience of working together to bring their vision to reality, saying “I have been blessed to be able to participate and be a member of this group of Christians that are striving to bring Christ’s love to this place.”

While the “home” team worked at Newman to bring the festival together, the “campus” team went out in the community to spread the news!

Each week, the “campus” team set up a table somewhere on campus to personally invite students to our events. For the fair, the “campus” team used a combination of tabling, flyers, posters, and inviting other student organizations. Ally Grieshop explains that “at its core, being on ‘campus’ team is simply the wonderful opportunity to share the special community we are so blessed to have at Newman with those around us.” After all their hard work promoting the event, the “campus” team supported the rest of our Core Team by decorating and setting up stations on the day of the festival.

April Fools Day Festival 4.1.2022
April Fools Day Festival 4.1.2022
April Fools Day Festival 4.1.2022
April Fools Day Festival 4.1.2022

There were still some big challenges that the “campus” team ran across, Anne Marie Lucy Gieske points out. The unpredictable April weather coupled with packed schedules meant that organizing tabling across campus could be challenging. They also had to work together to overcome time constraints to prepare promotional material in time and invite all the students they could.

But even through all the stress, Paul Allison testified that “seeing this whole project come together was honestly a beautiful experience—not only in being able to see the physical result of our planning come to fruition, but seeing so many different people and new faces show up. Whether it was racing the obstacle course bouncy house, learning to swing dance, or enjoying carnival food, we got to meet so many new people and just have a great time that was an incredible picture of what our community entails.” Paul hopes that this fair is more than just an event, but also “the beginning of more and more souls encountering Christ through the beautiful community we have here!”

We are so proud of all the work that Core Team has done to reach out and welcome more students to join us at the Newman Center! It’s always inspiring to see young adults eagerly embrace their leadership potential and use their time and talent to bring others joy. Thank you to all our Core Team members for supporting our mission here at Newman to lead others to Jesus, and keep up the good work!

If you or someone you know is interested in taking the next step and joining this talented team, we would love for you to join us! Please contact Catholic Wildcat Missionary Leah Tepe at for more information. Keep scrolling for more event photos!