Jason and Deborah Newcomb, and their children, Jenna and Sean


Jason and Deborah Newcomb, and their children, Jenna and Sean, are irrepressible Scarlet Knights fans, regularly planning their family vacations around Rutgers football bowl games.

Brokaw Photography

When it comes to cheering for Rutgers sports teams, the Newcomb family goes all out. Jason, Deborah, and their children—Jenna, 13, and Sean, 11—attend Rutgers athletic events together whenever possible. They cheer matside at wrestling matches and from prime floor seats at men’s basketball games. They regularly plan their family vacations around Rutgers football bowl games. They all wear layers of beads and face tattoos, and Jason CC’93 takes it a step further, sporting several custom accessories and pants covered with Block Rs at every home football game.

An avid attendee of away games as well, Jason has noticed for years the disparity between Rutgers’ dated facilities—the last one was built nearly three decades ago—and the modern athletic facilities of many of Rutgers’ opponents, which “look like they could house professional teams,” he says.

In November 2015, athletic director Patrick E. Hobbs identified facilities as the most pressing need for student-athletes, and Jason and Deborah CC’95 saw the right fit for their family to help. Within weeks, they made a significant pledge to R Big Ten Build—a targeted campaign to raise $100 million for new or upgraded athletic facilities that will benefit all 24 Division I programs at Rutgers University–New Brunswick. The funds, which Hobbs aims to raise over five years, will give Rutgers student-athletes training and playing facilities that are more on par with their Big Ten peers.

“One of the things we’ve come to appreciate in life is the importance of giving back—a value we try to instill in our children every day,” says Jason. “What a great opportunity for us to  go all in!”

The Newcombs’ gift will help fund construction of the high­-priority Multisport Training Complex, which will house  basketball, wrestling, gymnastics, and volleyball facilities, as well as training space for all student-athletes. “These kids work extremely hard,” says Deborah, “and they deserve better facilities.”