Remembering OSU alumnus, breakthrough innovator and leading supporter Bernie Newcomb

February 24, 2023

OSU alumnus Bernard A. Newcomb, ’65, created a pioneering legacy of technological ingenuity and philanthropic impact at Oregon State and beyond. He died on Jan. 29 at age 79. 


Photo portrait of Bernie Newcomb

Legally blind since birth, Newcomb attended Oregon School for the Blind before entering public school in Scio in the third grade. The boy there known as “Bing” graduated as high school valedictorian. He became the first in his family to attend college, earning his business administration degree with honors and graduating third in his class at OSU.

In 1982 Newcomb co-founded E*Trade, one of the nation’s first internet stock trading companies. It revolutionized the way in which millions buy and sell securities and made the stock market more accessible to people everywhere. 

Newcomb frequently returned to OSU, meeting with business students and serving in various volunteer leadership positions. His wife Gerry Marshall, not an Oregon State alumna herself, became so connected that she joined the College of Business Council of Excellence.

Honored at the $10 million+ level of the Harris Society, Newcomb and Marshall established several endowed funds supporting College of Business faculty, high-achieving students, internships, academic support staff, facilities and more. His $6.1 million gift in 1997 was the largest stock gift the university had ever received at that time.

Newcomb received honors including recognition as an Alumni Fellow by the OSU Alumni Association (1998), the E.B. Lemon Distinguished Alumni Award (2006), the OSU Distinguished Service Award (2006), the College of Business Top Ten Alumni Award (2008) and the Helen Keller Achievement Award from the American Foundation for the Blind (2006). Bing’s Café in Weatherford Hall and Trader Bing’s in Austin Hall honor his legacy.

“Bernie was one of the OSU greats, among our most successful alumni of all time. Yet, he never forgot his Oregon roots and remained humble, kind and approachable,” said Shawn L. Scoville, president and CEO of the OSU Foundation. “He loved to visit campus, and for many years, he and Gerry would hop in their motor coach, making the twisty drive up the coast from Palo Alto to Corvallis.

“As with E*Trade, Bernie was bold with his philanthropy, making big gifts to OSU in the ’90s when leadership-level giving was still in its early days here. This is a great loss for our community.”