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Student Spotlight: Grace Newcombe

SGA President-Elect Grace Newcombe pictured at the SGA election party.

SGA President-Elect Grace Newcombe pictured at the SGA election party.

Briana Cunningham

Briana Cunningham

SGA President-Elect Grace Newcombe pictured at the SGA election party.

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Grace Newcombe is living by her family’s motto of doing more as she prepares to lead USA’s student body as SGA president next year.

Newcombe said her inspiration to lead stems from her father.

“He has motivated me my entire life,” Newcombe said. “No matter what it is, he told me to ‘go for it.’”

She recounted how her dad wanted to help when tornadoes had damaged her hometown, Huntsville, and the community’s power went out.

“Ever since I was young my dad and I have always thought ‘what more can we do,’” Newcombe said. “My dad has always pushed me to have that mentality and when I left home it carried on and stayed with me.”

Newcombe said her father was very proud of her successful SGA presidential campaign and told her, “the tears have not stopped pouring down my face.”

“My dad is my best friend in the whole world,” Newcombe said. “What he says means the most to me.”

Founded on her father’s principle of doing more, Newcombe’s journey to SGA president is one filled with just that. Whether it is organizing and coordinating events for Phi Mu or leading the charge to create a new student organization, Newcombe has continually placed herself in positions to do more.

Newcombe became a panhellenic delegate in her first semester on campus and helped organize a Greek Swap at USA. She then followed up by serving as the Phi Mu alumni relations chair, where she acted as a liaison between the sorority and its alumni in the spring and fall of 2016. Newcombe organized Phi Mu’s first alumni egg hunt. She then served as Phi Mu’s secretary in her sophomore year.

Newcombe’s SGA career started when she filled a vacant senate seat for the College of Arts and Science. Newcombe then moved into the Attorney General position durinf her junior year after an incumbent AG stepped down.

As AG, Newcombe attended a conference in Destin, Florida where she learned how to better advocate for Higher Education Day and how to educate people on the importance of a college degree.

Also, as AG, Newcombe was mentored by William J. “Happy” Fulford III and Nick Lawkis, executive and associate directors of governmental relations at USA.

Newcombe had orginally planned to run for AG this spring before stepping into the postion early. said she was already preparing to run for AG her senior year before she stepped into the position. She said the after attending the conference and serving as AG she knew she wanted more.

“When the opportunity rose for me to be AG I thought this was perfect timing and I was thrilled and now I am here, presidentelect,” Newcombe said.

Newcombe said before deciding to run as SGA president, she had thoughts of running for president if Phi Mu. Ultimately, Newcombe chose the position she thought she could do the most in.

“I love them both equally, but I had been involved with Phi Mu for so long and I wanted more,” Newcombe said. “I don’t want to be just representing my sisters, I want to be representing everyone. I want to be able to be that liaison between students and our administration and the rest of our universities.”

Newcombe held leadership positions throughout her college career and around campus. She was a driving force behind the creation of USA’s student organization College Republicans and served as president. Newcombe fielded questions about her personal political views on the campaign trails.

“I am working to address that divide and how we can strengthen relations within SGA externally and internally because I know it’s gonna be an issue,” Newcombe said. “I’ve been working with executives officers, consisting of the president, vice-president and treasurer, and I have begun creating that conversation about how to decrease that divide.”

Newcombe was also recently tapped to serve as the alumni relations chair for USA’s Mortar Board.

Newcombe is a member of the political science club, a member of the pre-law society Phi eta sigma and a leadership scholar.

Newcombe also served as an intern to Alabama Senator Luther Strange. Newcombe said she gained valuable experience from this internship and it piqued her interest in unexpected areas, such as agriculture.

Newcombe said she is looking at several different paths in the future such as serving as a senator or working in higher education.

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Student Spotlight: Grace Newcombe