Martha and James Newkirk
Martha, '72, M.A. '76, Ph.D. '81, and James Newkirk, Hon. '12
A recent donation by Martha and James Newkirk made it possible for the campus to begin construction on a much-needed center that will allow our alumni to return to campus to reconnect, network and stay involved. The Newkirk family name on the building will be a permanent testament to their generosity.
“I want to ignite alumni passion about reconnecting with the place they received their education, with the meaning their education has had for them, and to develop more of a voice for the campus in their communities,” said Martha Newkirk about the decision to make the donation. “And I want them to be more generous with their support.”
This is not the first time that the Newkirk’s have shared their generosity with the campus. They endowed two fellowships in social ecology, and their name is on the Newkirk Pavilion at the Anteater Ballpark.
The couple also established UC Irvine’s Newkirk Center for Science and Society in 2001 to improve scientific response to community needs.
“Our goal there is to connect the professors and their wonderful research with the outside world,” said Martha Newkirk. “It’s a mechanism to introduce UCI to the community and to bring more people to the campus.”
Martha Newkirk earned her bachelor’s degree in 1972, her master’s degree in 1976 and her Ph.D. in 1981, all in social ecology from UC Irvine. She is a past president of the UC Irvine Alumni Association and a trustee of the UC Irvine Foundation, where she is on the executive committee. She chairs the Alumni and Student Relations Committee, and is a member of the Nomination and Board Development Committee. In 1993, she received the UC Irvine Medal, the campus’ highest distinction. Two years later she was honored with a UC Irvine Alumni Association’s Lauds & Laurels award.
James Newkirk was named an honorary alumni by the UC Irvine Alumni Association during the Lauds & Laurels celebration in May 2012.