In a first-of-its-kind gift agreement between the Charlotte W. Newcombe Foundation (CWNF), Dr. Robert M. Adams, and the Thomas Edison State University (TESU) Foundation, Adams has provided a gift of $100,000 to the TESU Foundation to establish the Dr. Robert M. Adams Legacy Award for Student Research fund.

The legacy award will provide endowed funding to support student-led applied research projects aimed at addressing key public policy issues for the city of Trenton and other urban centers in the state.

An esteemed founding trustee of the CWNF, who recently retired after 40 years of service, Adams and the CWNF agreed to establish the gift in his name. Adams is also the Clark Professor of Philosophy Emeritus at Yale University and is widely distinguished for his contributions to scholarship, research and teaching.

“The Newcombe Foundation has supported nontraditional students for over 40 years. However, I wanted to do even more to support student research and see what we can do to raise their sights higher,” noted Adams. “We want to enable these students to immerse themselves in public policy, education and healthcare issues while realizing the direct benefits their focused research projects can have on their local communities.”

Adams’ funding presents the university with the opportunity to assume an increasingly proactive role in identifying challenges and developing enduring solutions for New Jersey’s traditionally underserved communities. In realizing this goal, the university will be able to expand its existing collaborations with local government, hospitals and healthcare organizations, educational institutions, businesses and nonprofit organizations in the state.

“As the anchor institution for higher education in the city of Trenton, we are honored to have been selected by Dr. Adams for a legacy grant to support research projects crucial to New Jersey communities,” said Dr. Merodie A. Hancock, president of Thomas Edison State University. “His legacy award, and the endowed funding created from it, presents us with a unique opportunity to inspire and foster tomorrow’s public service leaders.”

In addition to the legacy award this year, the CWNF provided a $50,000 scholarship grant to Thomas Edison State University Foundation through the Newcombe Scholarship Program for Mature Students directed to undergraduate students, aged 25 years and older, demonstrating financial need.

To learn more about available scholarship programs at TESU, visit