Christine Mumma ’85, ’98 entered UNC Law School she knew how
hard it was to be a working mother of three young children. She did
not anticipate the challenges of being a student mother.
“I remember going through orientation,
and in my section there wasn’t anybody else who had kids. I
felt a little awkward, a little out of place,” said Mumma,
whose children turned two, five and seven during her first year
Now Mumma has established the Mumma
Scholarship for Single Parents, an endowed fund that will
support single law students with custody of a child or children.
An additional provision of the scholarship is that Mumma will be
available as a mentor to recipients.
Although Mumma was married during the
time she attended law school, her husband, a venture capitalist,
spent a lot of his time traveling.
“I appreciate the difficulties of
being a single parent/student and the scholarship sends a
message that the law school is supportive of people who have
children and who want to come to law school.
“Yes, the scholarship gives some
financial assistance, but I also want to meet the people who
have the scholarship and let them know there are people out
there who have done it. When you start law school you feel like
you’re going to be totally out of place, and I feel like if
single parents can start out with a sense of fellowship it would
be a better experience for them.”
Her reasons for giving the scholarship
stem from her experience at the law school, where the support of
the faculty, staff and her peer group eased Mumma’s transition
from working mother to student mother.
When the babysitter did not show or when
one of the kids was sick Mumma’s friends in the school would
help out with childcare.
When professors found Samantha, Kyle and
Madison in class with coloring books in hand, they were
unruffled and supportive.
“I thought the law school was
great,” Mumma said. “They opened their arms to the kids and
“Anyone who has been around law
schools for a time is thrilled to see a scholarship like
this,” said Gene Nichol, dean of the law school.
“Non-traditional students face hurdles that many of us just
don’t anticipate. I’m really delighted that Chris Mumma has
chosen to support future generations of students in this way.”
Kristina Casto ’01
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