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Blakeview: Josephine Louise Lemmonier Newcomb 

click to enlarge Newcomb Hall at Tulane University is an homage to H. Sophie Newcomb Memorial College, a women’s college founded in 1886.

Photo by Kandace Power Graves

Newcomb Hall at Tulane University is an homage to H. Sophie Newcomb Memorial College, a women’s college founded in 1886.

This week we remember philanthropist Josephine Louise LeMonnier Newcomb, on the 200th anniversary of her birth. Born in Baltimore on Oct. 31, 1816, Josephine moved to New Orleans as a young girl to live with her sister after the death of their mother. She married Warren Newcomb, a partner in a prosperous wholesale grocery business. When he died in 1866, he left his fortune to his wife and their daughter, Harriott Sophie. Sophie's death four years later at the age of 15 devastated Josephine. To honor her daughter, she donated funds (more than $3 million over her lifetime) to establish a women's college at Tulane University. Newcomb College opened in 1887 as the first degree-granting coordinate college for women in the United States. The college's art school became known for its pottery, which is highly collectible. As part of a restructuring plan by Tulane after Hurricane Katrina, Newcomb College was closed in July 2016. After a five-year legal battle, the college exists as the Newcomb College Institute, which coordinates women's studies programs on campus.

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