Making assists for team KU
Summer 2019 Edition
Kevin and Adrian Newell are no strangers to philanthropy.
Kevin (j’79) has served on numerous non-profit boards, including being a founding member of the Ronald McDonald House near Loyola University Medical Center in Chicago. Adrian (c’80) is working with 11 past members of the Women’s Professional Basketball League (WBL), serving as secretary of a non-profit organization, Legends of the Ball Inc., which showcases the role the league it played in the advancement of women’s professional basketball.
In 2014, the Newells honored Kevin’s mother by creating the Delores A. Newell Scholarship for KU journalism students.
This year, the Newells decided to give back to KU again by providing scholarship opportunities for high school students to attend the Jayhawk Media Workshop, a five-day summer camp that was held at the William Allen White School of Journalism and Mass Communications in June.
Through hands-on activities, high school students have fun learning to produce all types of media: news publications, video, photography, website and yearbook – all taught by experienced J-School and high school journalism instructors. Teens stay in the KU residence halls and participate in evening social activities.Workshop topics include in-depth writing, photojournalism, leadership, publication design and multimedia.
Previous Jayhawk Media Workshop attendees said what they enjoyed most about the camp was learning from professionals, getting the chance to be real reporters, having the freedom to be creative, and meeting new people. The Newells’ support, given during the One Day One KU campaign on Feb. 20, helped students who have an interest in media forge their path to a journalism career and attend the camp when they might not otherwise have been able to do so.
While at KU, Kevin and Adrian (Mitchell) Newell were star athletes. Kevin was an All-American track athlete and team captain who was a member of the 1977 NCAA Men’s Indoor National Champion Mile Relay Team. Adrian played basketball, breaking records side by side with Lynette Woodard. Second all-time in the record books in both scoring and rebounds, Adrian is only the fourth woman in KU basketball history to have her jersey retired (2018).
They were successful after KU as well. Kevin rose to become the executive vice president and global chief brand and strategy officer for McDonald’s before retiring a few years ago. Adrian was drafted by the Chicago Hustle of the WBL in 1979 and named an All-Star in 1980.
The Newells give back to open doors for young people to get a top-quality education.
“It’s all about exposure,” Kevin said. “My experience at KU opened my eyes to a world of possibilities. I just want to do my small part to help create opportunities for other wide-eyed kids to have that same KU experience.”