In October 2023, longtime Sampson County residents, Dr. and Mrs. John Thomas Newton, established a new scholarship for healthcare students at Sampson Community College (SCC) through the SCC Foundation: The Whitfield-Newton Healthcare Scholarship Fund.

Created in memory of their parents, Purington William Whitfield, Pattie Stancil Whitfield, John Bunyan Newton, and Ruth Doughtie Newton, Dr. Newton explained that he and his wife wanted to establish the award in their honor because, “they gave us the opportunity to be educated and have successful careers.”

Over the years, the Newtons have worked with in both the education and healthcare fields. Dr. Newton practiced medicine from 1984-2021 at Clinton Medical Clinic (CMC) as a family physician, while Mrs. Newton worked as a hearing impaired and special education teacher.

Throughout his time at CMC, Dr. Newton, specifically, had the opportunity to work with graduates of SCC’s nursing program and current SCC nursing students. He recalled one graduate in particular, Judy Hall, who worked alongside him faithfully as a nurse throughout his thirty-eight-year career.

With experience in both the education and healthcare fields, the Newtons have a desire to assist students in their educational goals at SCC. (Courtesy photo)

When establishing the scholarship, Newton mentioned how he thought of Hall and the other nurses he’s had the pleasure of working with in Sampson County, and how he wanted to assist others like them in their pursuits at the College.

He explained, “In my work at the clinic we had a lot of nurses that were educated at SCC in the nursing program. I have had the opportunity to employ and be involved with nurses or nursing students who came from all backgrounds, some of whom are struggling to make ‘ends meat’ in order to meet their educational or life goals. We wanted to be able to help others financial who may not be able to pursue those goals.”

Recently retiring in 2021, Newton remarked that his family has always wanted to give back to the College, as well as Sampson County, and are truly blessed that they are now able to do so through an endowment to assist students.

“We are definitely partial to Sampson,” he voiced. “It has been good to us, especially to me during my career. The majority of my patients were Sampson County residents, so this is our way of giving back to Sampson County as well as the College.”

Speaking on behalf of the College and its students, Lisa Turlington, Dean of Advancement & Executive Director of the Foundation, expressed her gratitude to the Newton family for their dedication to both education, healthcare, and student success at SCC.

“The Newtons have been longtime supporters of Sampson Community College, so it is especially meaningful that they would establish this scholarship to support students seeking education to pursue careers in healthcare,” Turlington thanked. “They have chosen an impactful way to honor the memory of their parents. We are grateful for their support of student success.”

For more information about the SCC Foundation or how to give, visit To apply for scholarships for 2024-2025, visit

About Sampson Community College:  Sampson Community College is a member of the North Carolina Community College System, located in Clinton, NC in Sampson County. The college offers many programs to include two-year degrees, college transfer, continuing education and workforce