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UPDATED: 3/31/20 - 11:28 a.m.

Mooresville Couple Establishes New Scholarship at Catawba College

January 12, 2006

Category: Academics, Business & Economics, Students


A 1998 Catawba College alumnus and his wife have established a scholarship at the institution.   Preference for the J. Trent and Ruth K. Newell Endowed Scholarship will be given to a member of the football team who is majoring in business and is involved in volunteerism.

"We are so proud that Trent and Ruth have taken the initiative to create a new scholarship here at the college," said Catawba College Senior Vice President Tom Childress.   "This sets a new standard of giving back that is likely to encourage other young couples."

Trent, a member of the College Alumni Board, and wife Ruth are owners of Newmor Printing LLC, a printing brokerage company.   They make their home in Mooresville and are parents of Trenton, age 4, and Emma, age 1.

The couple actually met at Catawba during a summer when both were employed in the Catawba Conferences Office.   Trent, an offensive lineman on the Catawba football squad, was working for that office and met Ruth, employed for the summer while earning her bachelor's degree from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.   Although Ruth is not a Catawba College alumna, she is the great-niece of Mary Emma Knox, a 1940 Catawba alumna who later served until her retirement as the college's dietician; Lois Knox, a 1955 alumna who is a retired education administrator with the Rowan Salisbury Schools; Catherine Knox Beam, a 1949 alumna and a retired N.C. school teacher; and Sue Haskins Knox, a 1955 alumna who is a retired children's librarian with Rowan Salisbury Schools.   Ruth, a native of Cleveland, is the daughter of Robert and Karen Knox.    

"We wanted to do something as a tribute to what Catawba has meant to both of us and to our family," explained Trent.   "We thought that a scholarship would be the perfect way to positively impact future generations of Catawba students."

Trent, a native of Charlotte and the son of the Donna Smith and the late Jimmie Newell, was very active on campus during his undergraduate years at Catawba.   He was student coordinator for Volunteer Catawba and held leadership positions in the Dead Athenian Society and the Order of the Blue and White.   He also served as senior class president, attorney general of the college honor court, and was an active member of the Catawba Political Science Association.   Perhaps most significant to Trent during his college years was his involvement in Friends for Youth, a state Big Brother/Big Sister program that matches an older person with a young person.

Since Trent's graduation, the Newells have been active members of the Catawba Chiefs Club and provided financial support for the Shuford Stadium construction project.   Trent is a past president of the Catawba Alumni Board and was tapped in 2004 to serve on a 15-member athletics task force which examined and made recommendations about Catawba's current athletic program.   He serves as a member of Catawba's Hall of Fame selection committee.

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