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Donor Challenge Supports Law School

Benefactors are creating new opportunities for students as part of the Scholarship Challenge for Today and Tomorrow.

law donors jon and kathy newcomb
Emelia Carroll, center, is the recipient of a scholarship created by Jon and Kathy Newcomb.

Summer 2019

“My family taught me that the purpose of life is service to others,” says Emelia Carroll ’19 JD, who recently graduated from Northwestern Pritzker School of Law and will soon start her career at the Office of the Colorado State Public Defender. Carroll chose Northwestern Law for its outstanding reputation, journals and clinics, and a scholarship endowed by Kathy and Jon Newcomb ’79, ’82 JD helped make it possible for her to attend.

The Kathy and Jon Newcomb Scholarship was established through the Scholarship Challenge for Today and Tomorrow, part of Northwestern Law’s Motion to Lead campaign. The challenge, supported by the Pritzker Family Foundation, offers a one-to-two match to inspire benefactors to create scholarship funds. The campaign has funded nearly 40 scholarships so far.

Grateful for the support that previous generations of alumni provided for his undergraduate education at the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences and at the Law School, Jon Newcomb made his first gift of $5 to Northwestern in 1979. He now volunteers for both schools and serves on the Law Board. Currently he is a member of his 40th undergraduate reunion committee as well. Jon Newcomb is vice president, deputy general counsel and chief information counsel in the law department at Comcast Cable Communications. He and his wife are the parents of Jonathan Brooks Newcomb ’15, who graduated from the McCormick School of Engineering, and Ann Newcomb Covey.


“Before the campaign, we were thinking about what we could do beyond our annual contribution. The challenge made the scholarship attractive because our family could leave a legacy, and I could also honor my yearly philanthropic commitments to the Law Board and the Law School Fund.” — Jon Newcomb

The Newcombs first met Carroll, who received their scholarship in each of her three years as a student, at Northwestern Law’s inaugural Celebration of Scholarships in 2017. This year’s event took place in the school’s Lanny and Sharon Martin Atrium. Nnenna Onyema ’20 JD, president of the Black Law Students Association and recipient of the Kruse Family Scholarship, addressed donors, thanking them for using their resources to make Northwestern Law even better for current students. “Your contributions allow students to come here and truly thrive at this institution,” Onyema said. “They are grateful for that. And I am grateful for that.”

northwestern law students nnenna onyema

Scholarship recipient Nnenna Onyema spoke at Northwestern Law’s 2019 Celebration of Scholarships.

Like Onyema, Carroll is thankful for her scholarship. She has also appreciated the chance to get to know her benefactors. Carroll attended the Newcombs’ tailgate before a Northwestern football game, and when she won an award for best speaker at a moot court competition, Jon Newcomb wrote her a congratulatory note. “The Newcombs gave this money on faith, and I want them to be proud of me,” Carroll says. 

For Newcomb, creating a scholarship has been an incredible experience. “If you’re thinking about endowing a fund,” he says, “I can tell you that the emotional reward has far exceeded what we could have imagined when we made the gift.”

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