Campbell Magazine | Spring 2021

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When it opened its doors last year, the Oscar N. Harris Student Union transformed the landscape of Campbell University’s main campus in Buies Creek. The 115,000-square-foot facility — built on the spot where two 60-year-old residence halls once stood — was the finishing piece to Campbell’s Academic Circle. Although the pandemic has prevented usage of its theater and 800-seat ballroom, the student union attracts approximately 12,000 visitors a week. Photo by Ben Brown

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_____________________________________ PRESIDENT


Britt Davis


Haven Hottel ’00 _____________________________________ DIRECTOR OF NEWS & PUBLICATIONS & MAGAZINE EDITOR

Billy Liggett


Kate Stoneburner


Sarah Hardin




26 FAITH IN VOCATION Campbell’s mission is to prepare students, regardless of their faith identity, for purposeful lives and meaningful service. And when a Campbell student leaves campus, they know that Christian vocation is more than the work of pastors, priests and ministers. But how do they (and how do we) translate the mundane tasks of non-clergy workplaces into the holy?


38 ABOUT THE COVER CASE Circle of Excellence awardwinning illustrator Amanda Dockery of Fuquay-Varina returns for the Spring 2021 edition to illustrate the cover of our Faith in Vocation Campbell Magazine feature. Dockery is a freelance illustrator who earned her Master’s in Bible counseling from the Southeast Baptist Theological Seminary.

8 A Tough Swab Cynthia Lee and her colleagues at the Campbell University Health Center have tested thousands of students, faculty, staff and members of the community to keep the campus running during the COVID-19 pandemic. Lee talks about her all-important role and the calling that led her to Campbell.

12 ‘Four’ the Future Campbell University football played only four games during the COVID-shortened 2020 season, but all four were against FBS teams, and each of those teams played in a bowl game by season’s end. Every game reached a national audience, and the season proved Campbell football has come a long way in just 12 years.

38 Sweet Relief Ryan Thompson endured setback after setback after being drafted by the Houston Astros following his record-setting Campbell career. But the young man’s determination paid off in 2020 with a promising rookie season and an appearance in the World Series.

Ben Brown, Amanda Dockery, Isabella Rogers, Bennett Scarborough, Lisa Snedeker _____________________________________ ACCOLADES

Finalist: CASE International Robert Sibley Magazine of the Year (2020) CASE International Circle of Excellence Magazine on Shoestring: 2020 (Grand Gold) Illustrations: 2020 (Gold) Cover Design: 2018 (Silver) Feature Writing: 2017 (Bronze) CASE III Gold Awards Best Magazine: 2013 Editorial Design: 2018, 2021 Cover: 2018, 2021 Feature Writing: 2017, 2019 Illustration: 2018, 2021 Most Improved: 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 Photography Series: 2017 Publications Writing: 2019, 2020 _____________________________________ Founded in 1887, Campbell University is a private, coeducational institution where faith, learning and service excel. Campbell offers programs in the liberal arts, sciences and professions with undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees. The University is comprised of nine colleges and schools and was ranked among the Best National Universities by U.S. News & World Report in its America’s Best Colleges 2021 edition. Campbell University publishes Campbell Magazine three times a year. Campbell University promotes and values diversity in the workforce and provides equal opportunity to all qualified individuals regardless of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, ethnicity or national origin, religion, disability, genetic information, protected veteran status and any other characteristic protected by law.

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our time at Campbell University not only set you on the path to a purposeful life, but it also provided memories and friendships that will last a lifetime. As President J. Bradley Creed puts it, “A Campbell education is not a transaction. It is a transformational learning experience that changes lives.” There are numerous opportunities for Campbell alumni to give back to their alma mater — one of the most important ways to contribute to the future success of the University is by sharing your experiences with prospective students — the young women and men who are considering Campbell for the next step in their educational journeys. Then go a step further and help them schedule a visit to our main campus in Buies Creek. UNDERGRADUATE CAMPUS VISITS are offered weekdays throughout the year, all year long. You know from experience that Campbell is best appreciated in person. From our beautiful campus, new facilities and friendly faculty and staff, visits to Campbell are the best way for prospective students to picture themselves on our campus for the next four years. You can help make that happen by sharing Campbell with others! FOR MORE INFORMATION AND TO REGISTER FOR A VISIT: CAMPBELL.EDU/ADMISSIONS/VISIT-US 800.334.4111 EXT. 1290

Ways to Visit Weekday Campus Visits • Schedule a visit to meet with an admissions counselor. Enjoy a campus tour – often led by a current Campbell student.

Virtual Campus Visits • Meet with an admissions counselor virtually from the comfort of your home. Learn about the admission process and other important details. Then, consider planning a future in-person visit to Buies Creek.

CAMPBELL.EDU/CAMPBELL-READY As we navigate the reality of COVID-19 and make adjustments to community life at Campbell University, we understand you may have feedback, questions or concerns. Visit the Campbell Ready site to learn more about the University’s pandemic guidelines and protocols and to send us your feedback or suggestions.





n a popular song from the past, a wistful cowboy, longing for the freedom and expansiveness of the open range, pleads, “Don’t Fence Me In.”

The poet Robert Frost echoed his yearning in the opening lines of “Mending Wall” — Something there is that doesn’t love a wall. Two landowners walk a boundary line in springtime, surveying the breaches in a stone barrier caused by the ravages of winter: He is all pine and I am apple orchard. My apple trees will never get across And eat the cones under his pines, I tell him. He only says, ‘Good fences make good neighbors.’ COVID-19 cramps our freedom and fences us in, but the boundaries we respect make good neighbors. We restrict ourselves for the greater good to maintain a healthy and safe community. The guidelines have been inconvenient.

Even though face masks are now a staple of wardrobes, they are a necessary nuisance. Life at a distance of six feet and limiting how many people occupy a room disrupt patterns of communication and interaction. Human touch is diminished. I no longer shake hands. I bump fists or graze elbows. This is not the way it is supposed to be. But it has worked! Last fall, the semester

began and ended with on-campus instruction. In January, the testing of all returning residential students resulted in only a 1% positivity rate. Very few universities in our nation can report these kinds of numbers.

regulations. The boundary lines are the real arena within which the game is played and without which there is no contest.

The Campbell Health and Safety Committee on our campus has provided timely and expert guidance for navigating our way through this pandemic, but policies are powerless without people committed to following them. A cooperative community makes all the difference. Faculty, staff, students, the entire community have been good neighbors within the fences.

COVID has laid down additional boundary lines to those that give shape and form to our community. This native Texan wants to sing “Don’t Fence Me In” with the dejected cowboy, but I also recognize the truth of a Yankee poet’s avowal that “good fences make good neighbors.” The Psalmist (16: 5 – 6) affirms confidently: “Lord, you have assigned me my portion and my cup; you have made my lot secure. The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places.”

The imposed limits are constricting, but not limiting. School is in session, and instruction is taking place face-to-face in classrooms. The mind altering, life-transforming learning experiences provided by Campbell University continue unabated and undiminished. This semester, students will go on clinical rotations, complete capstone projects, study for the bar exam and graduate in May.

Fenced-in living is our lot for now, but hopefully not much longer. The boundary lines laid down by a global pandemic are fences for our health and safety, but they have fallen in “pleasant places,” encompassing a community of learning still pursuing its purpose of graduating students with exemplary academic and professional skills who are prepared for purposeful lives and meaningful service.

“Play ball” signals the beginning of baseball season now underway. So are other spring sports and the fall sports that were not able to compete last semester. Wrestling won the conference championship, and the men’s and women’s basketball teams have finished in the top tier of the conference.

No fence, wall or any other kind of barrier can suppress the Campbell Spirit, which is strong, resilient and resourceful.

Athletes know about boundaries, for without them, the game is meaningless and even impossible to play unless there are end zones, bases, fences, foul lines, side lines, rules and

President Campbell University

“No fence, wall or any kind of barrier can suppress the Campbell Spirit, which is strong, resilient and resourceful.” — President J. Bradley Creed 4 SPRING 2021




FALL 202

To the Editor:



The Fall 2020 edition of Campbell Magazine featured the stories of six Campbell Law students who chose to enter the legal profession to fight racial injustices long entrenched in the system. The students shared their experiences in facing racism and struggling to succeed in a system often stacked against them. Read the full story online or email to request a printed copy.

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KEEPING THE CONVERSATION ALIVE Assistant Dean of Student Life and Pro Bono Opportunities and 2016 Campbell Law graduate Evin Grant held a “Continued Conversations” Zoom discussion in March with the students feeatured in the Fall 2020 edition of Campbell Magazine. The event, which included further discussions on systemic racism and the justice system, can be found at


Hats off to your focus on justice in the fall issue of Campbell Magazine. It takes me back to a historical footnote when in the mid-1980s, our law students Civil Rights research council put together a series of symposia that focused on human rights. We hosted speakers including former presidential candidate George McGovern, Nobel Peace Prize winner Betty Perkins, NAACP Director Julius Chambers and many other notable leaders. I am proud to see the tradition being carried on by our current generation of students, as our world is most in need of an influx of tolerance, peace and the compassionate understanding of each other. Keep up the good work! WILLIAM AUMAN (’86 LAW) Asheville, N.C. We want to hear from you! Email to comment on Campbell Magazine stories in this edition.



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Junior Lizzy Betts studies at her desk (masked for the photographer) in her room at Luby Wood Hall on Campbell’s main campus. Betts, like all on-campus residents at Campbell, was provided with a private room this academic year to help curb the spread of COVID-19 in the University community. Despite a two-week pause in September, Campbell has maintained on-campus, in-person learning throughout the year. The University plans to maintain the private room policy for the 2021-2022 academic year. Photo by Ben Brown MA GAZ INE .CAMPBE LL.EDU





A TOUGH SWAB (BUT SOMEONE HAS TO DO IT) Cynthia Lee and the Campbell Health Center team have tested thousands of students and staff to keep the campus running


ynthia Lee is exactly where she needs to be — sitting in a brown and tan oneroom aluminum “shed,” surrounded by personal protective equipment, filing cabinets and testing kits. She’s sitting at her desk, off her feet for the first time in hours after having just conducted COVID-19 tests on an entire basketball team at the convocation center. She points to two stickers on her computer, both reveal Bible verses close to Lee’s heart. Isaiah 6:8. Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send?” And I said, “Here am I, Lord. Send me!” Esther 4:14. Perhaps this is the moment for which you have been created.

“I know I’m supposed to be at Campbell,” says Lee, a nurse practicioner who came to Buies Creek in May 2019, less than a year before a pandemic turned the world upside down. “And I’m supposed to be doing exactly what I’m doing.” What she’s doing is crucial to Campbell’s efforts to conduct in-person classes and on-the-field athletics over the past eight months. From the moment the University learned of its first positive COVID-19 case on March 12, 2020, through the administering of its first vaccines to Harnett County residents nearly a year later, Lee and


the team at the Campbell Health Center have conducted thousands of tests on students, faculty and staff and nearby residents. That means thousands of nose swabs. Thousands of anxious minutes between tests and results. And while the positive rates on campus have been relatively low, Lee has delivered more than her fair share of bad news to those who are found to have the virus. “For those who come showing symptoms, they’re already here with an index of suspicion that they already have it,” Lee says. “But many arrive asymptomatic or test because they have to. It’s a blow to the gut to learn you have it. That’s when we guide them on their next steps — it affects people differently. Some never show symptoms, while for others, it may take weeks to get back to normal.” Campbell benefited greatly from its army of health science professionals on campus when the pandemic hit. Professors and staff from the medical, pharmacy, public health, nursing and research schools and departments stepped in on Day 1 to provide leadership and guidance when little was known about the virus and how to proceed. Campbell, like schools around the world, made the decision to halt all on-campus learning on March 16, 2020, just four days after the first positive test. By then, the University had learned of three cases total. Dr. Nicholas Pennings, chair of family medicine for the Jerry M. Wallace School of Osteopathic Medicine, led the University’s efforts to communicate with the community and provide testing for students that week. Pennings, Lee, registered nurses Amy Allen and Susan Autry,

Cynthia Lee, DNP, earned her bachelor’s and master’s degree in nursing at UNCChapel Hill, and returned to get her Doctor of Nursing Practice in 2016. “I just know that I’m supposed to be looking after people in my career,” she says. “That’s my calling in life.” C A M PB E LL M A G A Z I N E 9


Cynthia Lee, DNP, gives the “grand tour” of the small walk-up COVID-19 testing site across the street for the University Health Center. Lee helped lead two mass testing events at the end of the fall and beginning of the spring semesters and says she’s tested more than 5,000 students, faculty, staff and members of the community total in the past year.

Health Center pharmacy manager Katie Trotta, office manager Tammy Matthews and a bevy of professors and health science graduate students have manned the Health Center and set up a drive-through testing site before those became commonplace in North Carolina. In November, the team set up a site in the Oscar N. Harris Student Union and tested nearly 1,000 students before they left for winter break. In January, they tested every student upon their return. The result? Since August of last year, Campbell has endured just one pause in on-campus learning — in late September — and the athletics program has returned nearly full schedules this spring. With mass vaccinations and the country’s steady climb toward “herd immunity,” Campbell looks to come out on the other side of the pandemic more fortunate than other colleges and universities, many of which had to close their campuses nearly an entire year. Lee says she’s been working her entire career toward this moment. She was a junior at the University of North Carolina when she first took an interest in a career in the medical field. She was asked to help take care of a sick uncle

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the summer after her graduation, and it was that experience that guided her toward the nursing field. She earned her master’s degree in 2001 and returned to UNC 12 years later to work toward her doctorate. Before Campbell, she worked 19 years as a family nurse practitioner at Dunn-Erwin Medical Center. Over the past 12 months, Lee has been the definition of a frontline worker. She’s come into close contact with everybody she’s tested, but she’s trusted her PPE — N95 masks, shields, gloves, protective gowns and more — and says she’s never felt at-risk. She was among the first in Harnett County to receive the COVID-19 vaccine; her first shot on Dec. 29 and the second dose on Jan. 19. The “shed” may be small and quiet, but Lee is comfortable there. She’s less worried about her surroundings and more focused on her job and ensuring the safety and wellbeing of the Campbell community. “I just know that I’m supposed to be looking after people in my career,” she says. “That’s my calling in life.” BILLY LIGGETT


Partnership with Wake certifies students to administer vaccines


ampbell University College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences has partnered with Wake Technical Community College in Raleigh to certify pharmacy technology students so they can administer vaccines under the supervision of a pharmacist. This spring, Campbell began providing a four-hour Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education training course at Wake Tech’s Perry Health Sciences campus. The Wake Tech Foundation covers the cost of the course for the initial group of students. “Campbell University has been training pharmacists to vaccinate for nearly 20 years, and we look forward to providing the same level of dedication and knowledge to train these future pharmacy technicians,” said Dr. Beth Mills, clinical associate professor of pharmacy practice at Campbell. “Pharmacies are positioned to play a vital role in access and administration of the COVID-19 vaccine during this public health crisis. We are committed to training pharmacists and pharmacy technicians to become certified

vaccinators to get vaccines into the arms of North Carolinians, which will bring us one step closer to putting an end to this pandemic.” Wake Tech and Campbell formed the partnership after the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services expanded the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act in December. Under the revised act, qualified pharmacy technicians are permitted to administer vaccinations under the supervision of a qualified immunizing pharmacist. “This is a huge step in advancing the role of pharmacy technicians,” said Shannon Natale, pharmacy technology department head at Wake Tech. “We are excited that our graduates will be playing a vital role in getting the COVID-19 vaccine out to the citizens of North Carolina.”

North Carolina health officials administered nearly 1 million COVID-19 vaccines between late December and early March, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.

Campbell leads vaccine efforts in the community


he Campbell Community Care Clinic has provided free primary care and specialty referrals to uninsured patients of the Harnett County Community since 2015, and now the Campbell student and faculty volunteers are answering the call to give COVID-19 vaccinations. “When the Harnett County Health Department asked us to host clinics out in the community to help increase access, we were excited and immediately began to contact potential community partners,” said Dr. Joe Cacioppo, chair of community and global health and clinic director. Mt. Pisgah Free Will Baptist Church in Erwin was the first to work with the clinic to host a vaccine event. Pharmacy, physician assistant and medical school faculty and students volunteered at the church on Feb. 6 and gave more than 300 shots. Volunteers and patients came from beyond Harnett County to serve others and to receive the vaccine. “It’s important for me because it will hopefully help me live a little longer and be able to spend time safely with my grandchildren,” said Francis Carter, one of the first to receive a shot. “I want to be there and see everything with them.” The Feb. 6 clinic was the first largescale vaccination event organized and staffed by all Campbell employees and students, according to Dr. Katie Trotta, Community Care Clinic and University Health Center pharmacy manager. “It was an exciting day, and we were happy to bring vaccinations to more than 300 people in Harnett County,” she said. “We look forward to our continued aid with vaccination efforts throughout the community.”


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4 THE F Four games. Four FBS bowl teams. Four nationally televised audiences. Four opportunities to prove they belong. 12 SPRING 2021


C A M PB E L L M A G A Z I N E 13


Sophomore Jalen Kensey (5) celebrates in the end zone with senior Cedric Frazier after a touchdown in the final seconds against Georgia Southern on Sept. 12. The score put the Camels within a point against the heavily favored FBS school. Campbell chose to go for the win with a two-point coversion that ultimately came up short. Photo courtesy of Campbell Athletics


here were many who questioned Campbell University’s decision to go ahead with fall football in 2020 — settling on a COVIDshortened four-game season (all against much larger FBS programs) instead of waiting it out for a bigger, more level playing field in the spring. The Fighting Camels were one of only 15 FCS programs to play in the fall, meaning no shot at a conference title in the spring and no shot at its first-ever playoff berth. But with 15 seconds left on the clock in the fourth quarter of that first September game in Statesboro, Georgia — against a Georgia

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Southern team favored by 28.5 points, in front of a national audience on ESPNU — Campbell Head Coach Mike Minter knew his program had made the right call. “Everybody — outside of us — everybody thought we were crazy,” Minter says. “Until they saw it. Then once they saw it, they said, ‘Ahhhh … I see what you’re doing.’” On that warm fall evening in Paulson Stadium, quarterback Hajj-Malik Williams connected with Jalen Kelsey for a 20-yard touchdown pass with 15 seconds left in the game to pull Campbell to within 27-26 against its much larger FBS opponent, on the road. Minter could have opted to kick

Minter says. “To be able to go on the road at Georgia Southern and have a chance to win that football game, it showed our guys how far we’ve come. “I believe we can win an FCS championship, and our guys have got to know they can do that. That game gave us the opportunity to start living in the reality that we can be a championship organization.” Campbell enjoyed — yes, “enjoyed” — one of the most positive winless seasons in college football history in 2020. All four of its FBS opponents played in bowl games in 2020. Coastal Carolina was ranked No. 12 in the nation at one point and beat nationally ranked BYU in December. Appalachian State was ranked No. 23 in the nation early in the season and beat North Texas in the Myrtle Beach Bowl in December. Georgia Southern — that Week 1 opponent — whipped Louisiana Tech 38-3 in the New Orleans Bowl to end its season. And while the Wake Forest game appeared to be the one true “blowout” loss of the season, it was historic for the fact that it marked Campbell’s first game against an ACC — the “Big 5” — team.

the extra point to tie the game and force overtime. But with his smaller roster spent physically, Minter decided to go for what would have been by far the biggest win in Campbell’s 12th year as a football program. The two-point conversion — and the upset — came up short. But that showing — Campbell led 20-6 at one point — showed Minter and his team that they belonged on the field with anybody. Anybody. And it provided a crucial building block to where this program is heading when it takes the field again next fall. “[Going for two] showed my players that their coach isn’t just talking. When we’re going for the win, we’re going for the win,” MA GAZ INE .CAMPBE LL.EDU

The good news: Hajj-Malik Williams is considered one of the best FCS quarterbacks in the country. The better news: He still has three years of eligibility with the Fighting Camels. The 2019 Big South Conference Freshman of the Year and the 2020 PreSeason Big South Offensive Player of the Year, Williams continued to shine in Campbell’s shortened four-game season, all against FBS schools. He was named the national FCS Player of the Week for his 237 yards passing, 73 yards rushing and 3 touchdowns against Georgia Southern in September, and he caught a touchdown pass against Wake Forest in a play that made several SportsCenter highlight segments in 2020. Williams will enter 2021 as one of the top young QBs in the country and an MVP candidate in the Big South Conference.

The Coastal Carolina game on ESPN drew more than 500,000 television viewers and was the only college football game on TV that Friday night. Campbell social media went “through the roof” during the Georgia Southern game, and the University’s main website (and its admissions page) saw an 863-percent increase in traffic that night. The athletics site saw a similar boost. And all of these games meant a nice payday for the athletics program. The Camels received $150,000 to play in Boone and $325,000 to travel to Georgia.

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The stage keeps getting bigger for Campbell football, and few in the sport are as big as the University of Florida. The Camels will travel to Gainesville, Florida, on Sept. 12, 2026, to face its first SEC opponent, winners of three national titles. A sellout crowd at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium means playing in front of nearly 92,000 people on that Saturday. Add them to the growing list of established FBS programs the Camels will face in the coming years: Liberty (2021 and 2024), ECU (2022), UNC (2023) and NC State (2025 and 2028). They’ll also take on perennial FCS powerhouse James Madison this fall on Nov. 6.

According to Ricky Ray, associate athletics director for external affairs, the decision to break from the pack and play in the fall may have been considered by some to be a gamble, but the payoff has been extraordinary for a program just entering its lucky 13th year since relaunching in 2008. “When we were told we could do four games or wait to see what happens in the spring, we decided to do these four games,” Ray says. “Not only are we going to do these four games, but we’re going to go after the biggest, baddest schools that we can find to play. It turned out to be an incredible decision.” That decision will help lay the groundwork for what Minter hopes is a perennial contender at the FCS level for a program that began scholarship play just three years ago. “It’s all about recruiting,” Minter says. “People have to know who you are before they come to your house to talk about playing football for your program. Our exposure by playing four bowl-eligible teams this year —no other FCS school

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Senior linebacker Ray Miller takes on a Wake Forest blocker in Campbell’s final game of its shortened 2020 season. Photo: Campbell Athletics

in the country can say they did that. Now Campbell is becoming a name everybody knows.” And he says the players who return in 2021 —the four-game season won’t count toward their eligibility — will be ready for anything. “The confidence is there. We know how good we can be, and we know how we stack up against some of the best in the country.” Ray agrees these four games will mean a ton to the football program, but he says they’ll be huge for the University as a whole as well. “And what’s great is there are so many cool things happening at this University, and if it takes a football game for somebody to log onto our website and say, ‘Oh, they have an engineering school,’ or, ‘Oh, they’ve got a new medical school and this great location ... then perfect. That’s why we do it. There’s a reason many say athletics is the front porch of the University.” BILLY LIGGETT


Cape Fear Valley education center coming in 2022


ape Fear Valley Health broke ground in January on a stateof-the-art education and research center for medical residency programs that will benefit Campbell University medical students for generations to come. The Center for Medical Education & Research and Neuroscience Institute will span five floors and 120,000 square feet. It will include lecture halls, classrooms and simulations labs to provide resident medical students with hands-on, applied learning with sophisticated technology. The facility is expected to open in 2022. Cape Fear Valley is one of the six hospitals partnered with Campbell’s Jerry M. Wallace School of Osteopathic Medicine’s post-graduate residency programs. President J. Bradley Creed said CFVH holds a special place with Campbell as the two have been partners since the launch of medical school in 2014. “The collaboration between our institutions is Campbell’s largest for thirdand fourth-year medical student clinical rotations, as well as the central hub for the Campbell residency program,” Creed said. “[This facility] will be transformative in the way our medical students and residents are trained to serve patients in the Cape Fear Valley system.”


Sophomore’s ‘Chatterbox’ mask wins global design competition


inding a quiet space for Zoom calls or online presentations can prove to be a challenge when you’re sharing a dorm room or working from home with a house full of family members during a global pandemic. Sophomore mechanical engineering student Joshua Murray’s solution? Wear the silence.

A team of international engineering students led by Murray designed a clear, portable, sound-proof mask that not only blocks out surrounding sound while working from home, but contains the speaker’s voice as well so as not to distract others. The design was one of three prize winners in a global student competition “Innovate for Sustainability Challenge” organized by Dassault Systèmes, recognized as the most “Sustainable Company in the World.” MA GAZ INE .CAMPBE LL.EDU

Murray’s team included students from the University of Tokyo and United Arab Emirates. Working solely online, Murray and his team named their entry The Chatterbox, a 3D semi-elliptical “masktype device” that catches and redirects the user’s sound waves into their microphone instead of allowing those waves to escape and “propagate into the room.” The mask is made from clear plastic in order to allow the user to be seen on video, and it’s held onto the user’s face with two plastic ear straps (much like COVID-19 masks). Murray said the idea for The Chatterbox was born from the pandemic and trying to solve problems people have working from home. The mask serves a dual purpose during the pandemic for people forced to work around others. In addition to now being a global design award-winning engineer, Murray is also part of the Grand Challenge Scholars Program, which focuses on challenges for the 21st Century. BILLY LIGGETT

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THE INTEGRAL Trailblazing math professor Janis Todd retires after 54 years teaching a subject few women pursued professionally at the time


nly five presidents have led Campbell University in its 134-year history, and Janis Todd worked for four of them.

Hired in the fall of 1966 by President Leslie Campbell — son of 1887 Buies Creek Academy founder J.A. Campbell — Todd was three years into her first job teaching math at a high school in Fayetteville when she learned of the opening in Campbell’s math department. Her three-tier interview started with math department chairman Harold Bain, then on to the dean Alexander Roman (A.R.) Burkot and finally to Campbell, who was entering his final year as president after 32 years in office. Todd was more worried about breaking her contract in Fayetteville than she was about becoming Campbell’s first female math professor. The school’s superintendent was surprisingly generous, she recalls. “He said, ‘I’ll release you on one condition,’” Todd says. “‘Send us back good math teachers.’ I said I’d do that, and the rest was history.” Janis Todd would spend the next 54 ½ years in Buies Creek, teaching generations of students both the basics and the complexities of math, a subject few women taught at the college level in the 1960s (it would be another five years before the nation’s first organization supporting women in the field — the Association for Women in Mathematics — was formed). She insists she had at least another year in her, but retired in December after shoulder surgery made the rigors of full-time teaching even more rigorous.

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She leaves Campbell as not only one of its longest-serving professors, but as a trailblazer in the math department and a role model for young women — students and co-workers — who have since shattered glass ceilings in their respective STEM fields.

Janis Todd, shown above in a Pine Burr Yearbook from 1977, joined Campbell Junior College as a math professor in 1966. Todd retired from teaching in December after 54-plus years, one of the longest careers in Campbell’s history.

“She was the first person to introduce me to what would become my career — calculus,” says Lee Ann Eldridge Sparh (’77), who would go on to earn a master’s degree in the field from N.C. State and teach for over 30 years. “Her influence on me showed me that young women can be effective calculus teachers. Her influence has led to approximately 6,000 of my students learning calculus as well.” “For years, she was the only example to Campbell students of a woman with a graduate degree in mathematics,” says Meredith Williams, current chair of Campbell’s math/ITS department. “Working with Mrs. Todd for the last 15plus years has been a joy. She made me feel welcome from the very beginning and was especially helpful in my first few years adjusting to a new place. “When I need to talk through a classroom issue, she is still one of the first people I go to. She has been a wonderful colleague and friend.” She was in ninth grade when Todd first developed an interest in math beyond daily schoolwork. She had an uncle who use to bring her math books when he’d visit, and when she’d finish a book on geometry, he’d bring her one on algebra. And calculus. Her high school algebra teacher earned his master’s degree in math before heading off to World War II, and when he returned, he taught. And he played a big part in molding Todd’s fascination and passion for the subject. While math was thought of for a long time as a “boy’s subject,” Todd says she was never treated differently or ridiculed by classmates for doing well in it. In fact, she was only teased when she made 100s on her tests, but that was because she was one of the few to do so.

reputation as one of Campbell’s toughest professors. In fact, she was grouped into a trio of math professors known as the Three T’s — along with longtime professors Wayne Thomas and Jerry Taylor. “I guess it was because I was tough,” she says. “Or because I didn’t take any nonsense in class. I did get a lot of laughs out of [the nickname]. I had a cousin in Lillington who was an X-ray technician, and his co-worker had a son that I taught. He said the son referred to me as one of the Three T’s and asked me what that meant. I said, ‘I think it means ‘terrific.’” Much of Todd’s last year as a professor was spent teaching online, because of the pandemic. While she says the experience was tough, she was more concerned with her students, many of whom struggled without face-to-face instruction for more difficult problems. It’s that one-on-one interaction with her students Todd says she’ll miss the most, as well interacting with her colleagues in the math department. “I’ll miss it,” she says. “I’ll miss it a lot. Just being a part of the University — I’m happy to have been at Campbell for so long. After surgery, perhaps Meredith [Williams] will let me teach a course occasionally. Otherwise, maybe I’ll get back to sewing and making clothes. I did that in high school … I was pretty decent at it.” BILLY LIGGETT


First female VP inspires student to follow dreams


he election of the first female vice president (and first vice president of color) was a watershed moment in American history — serving as an inspiration for young women like third-year Campbell Law student Robyn Sanders. Sanders had the opportunity to meet Kamala Harris while she was on the campaign trail in Raleigh in September. Sanders and her twin sister Ashlyn got the chance to speak with the vice president, who offered them advice on entering the world of politics. “She said there are going to be many places and spaces that we’re going to enter into that there’s not going to be anyone like the two of us,” Sanders told ABC News in November, after the historic election. “But she said to always remember our power as strong, intelligent Black women. “The words that she spoke were not just words, but they actually have an impact and a meaning because they keep me going on the hard days; they keep me grounded and they help to remind me of what is possible and what my potential is.”

Todd preferred teaching in college over high school, because she says her students came in with more of a purpose. Many in those early years were at Campbell to improve themselves or escape from life on the family farm. “After my classes, though, I think many probably wanted to go back to the farm,” she jokes. It wasn’t long before Todd earned a MA GAZ INE .CAMPBE LL.EDU

Third-year Campbell Law student Robyn Sanders and her twin sister Ashlyn met the nation’s first female vice president and first vice president of color on the campaign trail in Raleigh two months before the historic election. Photo: ABC News C A M PB E L L M A G A Z I N E 19



ASEE elects Carpenter as president


he founding dean of Campbell’s School of Engineering will be the next leader of the American Society for Engineering Education. Dr. Jenna Carpenter was elected ASEE president, the national organization announced in February. Carpenter will serve a one-year term as presidentelect beginning in June and will serve another full year as president. ASEE is a global society of individual, institutional and corporate members whose vision is “excellent and broadly accessible education empowering students and engineering professionals to create a better world.” “It is such an honor to be able to work with ASEE’s great board, members and staff to continue the work of advancing engineering and engineering technology education,” Carpenter said. “ASEE offers its members a wide range of opportunities to share best practices, develop new programs and ideas, learn new skills, and explore new avenues of research.”


Student launches family-inspired clothing line

while balancing school and running a business


braem “A.R. Mauriella” Rose is a Campbell business administration senior and the design mind behind Arturo Rose Clothing Co. His inspirations for his clothing brand intertwine with the inspiration behind his unusual name. Professionally, he goes by A.R. Mauriella — A.R. for his own name and the initials he shares with his father, Arturo Rose, and Mauriella after his uncle, a man known for his fashion sense and eccentric personality. Rose’s brand combines that family influence into a unique brand that emphasizes selfexpression and family legacies. Rose earned an associate’s degree at Wake Tech before coming to Campbell on the recommendation of a professor who knew of his interest in entrepreneurship. His father was a businessman, and Rose knew that best practices for management and

20 SPRING 2021

economics would trickle down into any industry he chose to focus on. That industry was fashion, and the idea for his brand was born from sketches that helped Rose through his father’s death when he was a teenager. As a sophomore in high school, he spent two months in a psychiatric hospital dealing with severe depression and complications with his bipolar disorder. Sketching abstracts helped him express himself in the hospital, and he continued the practice once he resumed his schooling. Rose quickly became infatuated with design. He explored graphic design as a possible college major, wanting to use clothing as his canvas, and the idea stuck with him from high school to Wake Tech, through his mother’s cancer diagnosis and his own journey to business school. Those years were spent refining his skills and learning new ones, such as screen

printing and embroidery, and in 2018, he had settled on a brand: Arturo Rose Clothing Co. “Balancing my workload with school and running a business was sometimes an obstacle,” Rose told Spark blog this year, “but I take on obstacles with a full head of steam.” Despite the challenges of building a company while studying, Rose says his business studies have positively influenced his start-up company experience. “I have a particular advantage to receive the knowledge I do as a business major and be able to apply it directly after I leave class or finish a lesson. As an entrepreneur, I see real-time results and outcomes of those practices. I highly urge other entrepreneurs to study business while refining their specific craft/passion, because it’s essential information for surviving within the economy, progressing your start-up and understanding which direction to take your brand.” Rose released his first collection, “the Alpha Collection” on April 14, 2019 — on his father’s birthday. His spring 2020 “Impetus Collection” continued celebrating his father’s life and exploring the inspiration behind his art — particularly the influence of his parents. “My mother was a funk singer and dancer in the 1970s, and she definitely inspired my love of and passion for fashion,” Rose says. “My father was the coolest guy I ever met. He wasn’t into fashion like I am, but he made his personality his outfit and his own fashion. And it could light up a room.” Up next for the brand is the “Reawakening Collection,” coming this spring as Mauriella begins marketing his company on a global scale. “We are showing that we can be consistent with our work and continually progress. But most importantly, this collection shows that we are now longer just the new kids on the block, we’re here to stay, and we’re here to be the best we can possibly be as a brand.” KATE STONEBURNER



Alumni make immediate impact on students in mentor program


hat does a finance pro living in Michigan have in common with a sports management major seeking a career in the world of soccer? In the case of Campbell alumnus Richard Carden (‘18) and senior Matthew Downing, shared ambition and love of sports, travel and people have been enough to make for a lasting friendship. Carden and Downing connected on CamelLink, the digital alumnistudent networking platform launched by the Alumni Association last fall. CamelLink was built to foster meaningful connections between members of the Campbell community across the globe. It asks users to create a profile including Carden their vocation, location, area of study and activities outside of work and the classroom. Users can then easily connect with other students and alumni with similar interests, career paths and goals. Focused around career exploration and readiness, CamelLink also creates mentoring relationships between students and alumni who click. While their majors and career goals are different, Downing and Carden’s drive and love of sports made for a fast friendship. He can’t always speak to the sports industry, but Carden’s experience allows him to counsel Downing on leadership characteristics, good interview performance and time management skills. “He’s helped me with professional development in a personal way,” Downing says. “Since we are in different fields and I

Matthew Downing is a senior sports management major at Campbell.

had internship experience already, the ‘goal’ of our mentorship wasn’t career networking. We talk about speaking skills and resume tips, but also the experience of being a person of color in the workforce and understanding different perspectives.” Carden and Downing meet for an hour every other week, and their conversations cover much more than the transition from student to young professional. The video chat feature of CamelLink has helped them stay in touch even after Carden’s move to Michigan. “Mentorship is also a reciprocal relationship,” says Carden. “Matt has great energy; he is ambitious and is an innovator. I learn something from him every time that we meet. I'm grateful CamelLink brought us this friendship.” KATE STONEBURNER CamelLink, a new digital mentoring platform hosted by the Alumni Association, serves both students and alumni by creating meaningful connections focused around career exploration and readiness, mentoring, networking and much more. Learn more at

C A M PB E L L M A G A Z I N E 21




HOMECOMING Former administrator and professor who helped launch the med school in 2013 will return to become dean this summer


fter five years away as a vice president and dean in Tennessee, Dr. Brian Kessler is returning home to become the next dean of the Jerry M. Wallace School of Osteopathic Medicine.

Kessler was associate dean of clinical affairs for the medical school in 2011, two years before it opened its doors to students in 2013, and has spent the past five years as the vice president, dean and chief academic officer for Lincoln Memorial University’s DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine in Tennessee. Kessler will be Campbell’s second medical school dean in its eight-year history. Kessler said returning to Campbell is like coming home for him. “It’s as if I never left,” he said. “It’s very similar to when you grow up, move away and return to your childhood home — the houses in your neighborhood might look different, and the shrubbery and landscaping might not be the same, but there’s still that warmth and familiarity. I may have left Campbell in body, but never in mind and spirit.” Kessler was instrumental in launching the med school in 2013 and guiding it through its first three years. The school’s inaugural class earned their doctor of osteopathic medicine degrees in 2017, and many of them have, very recently, wrapped up their residency programs and have begun practicing in their respective fields (many in rural regions of the state and Southeast). As associate dean of clinical affairs, Kessler helped develop the curriculum at Campbell’s new med MA GAZ INE .CAMPBE LL.EDU

school and oversaw mission stewardship, clinical education and graduate medical education. He was also a professor of family medicine. At Lincoln Memorial, he helped launch a branch campus in Knoxville, as vice president and dean, and he helped develop the school’s occupational therapy and physical therapy programs and expand its physician assistant program. Kessler’s experience — along with his familiarity with Campbell and its mission and his overall personality and leadership qualities — made him the perfect choice to lead Campbell’s med school into its second decade, according to Hammond. “He’s left his indelible fingerprints all over our medical school’s policies, its culture and even its connections with hospitals in our region,” Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Mark Hammond said. “He is someone who understands Campbell’s mission and exemplifies it.” Hammond also touted Kessler’s experience in family medicine, one of the key focuses at Campbell. “The med school’s mission is to educate medical professionals to serve the rural and underserved, especially in North Carolina and especially in family medicine,” Hammond said. “Dr. Kessler models that very well. He continued to grow, thrive and develop at Lincoln Memorial, and he’s coming back to Campbell to develop what he helped build here and flourish.” President Dr. J. Bradley Creed said he was pleased to welcome Kessler back to Buies Creek, touting his experience and knowledge of osteopathic medical education in the 21st Century.

Dr. Brian Kessler will begin his role as dean of the Jerry M. Wallace School of Osteopathic Medicine on May 1. His wife, Ioanna, is a family physician for WakeMed Primary Care and is also a clinical faculty member for Campbell’s med school.

C A M PB E L L M A G A Z I N E 23


Dr. Brian Kessler goes over medical procedures in the second floor lab of the Leon Levine Hall of Medical Sciences in 2015. Photo by Bill Parish.

“He brings back with him valuable experience and capabilities,” Creed said. “He’s been a sitting dean, he’s very knowledgeable of the opportunities for medical school education today, and he’s very involved in several professional organizations. I think he’s poised to come back and make new contributions to Campbell, and I look forward to working with him as we continue our mission of graduating women and men who can serve humanity through their gifts and skills as doctors of osteopathic medicine.” A native of Delaware who moved to central Pennsylvania during his teens, Kessler earned a degree in biology from St. Vincent College in Latrobe, Pennsylvania. After graduation, he chose to attend the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine in Erie, Pennsylvania. He was among the second class to enroll into the new school, and he looks back on his decision as a leap of faith. “I received tremendous criticism from friends in college for choosing a developing school with no reputation,” Kessler said. “Today, Lake Erie is considered one of the top-tier osteopathic schools in the country and one of the largest medical schools in the nation.” It was there that he met his wife, Ioanna, who was in the following year’s class. In 24 SPRING 2021

his first year of residency, Kessler moved to Cleveland to be near Ioanna’s family and became a resident with South Pointe Hospital, a multi-speciality academic medical center affiliated with the Cleveland Clinic. Upon graduation, he started a clinical practice with the Cleveland Clinic and eventually transferred to University Hospitals in Cleveland. His decision to join Campbell in 2011 was another leap of faith. But his experience as a student at Lake Erie prepared him for his administrative role at the first new medical school in North Carolina in over 35 years. “It’s easier to go to an established school. It takes courage to be part of something new … to set the tone for classes to come,” he said back in 2013. “I think the experiences I learned going to a new school … they gave me the ability to take on challenges I normally wouldn’t have taken on.” He sees a more mature Campbell University in 2021. No longer the “new institution,” the school has graduated four classes — nearly 1,000 doctors in all — and its faculty and programs have grown. Kessler said its footprint in North Carolina has grown as well, with more hospitals and clinics partnering to educate Campbell students. “The residency programs have come to fruition since I’ve left,” he said. “It was

just in its infancy in 2016. Our master’s program has flourished, and one of the more remarkable things the school has done is grow its interprofessional education initiatives. I am extremely impressed by all of it.” Over the next five to 10 years, Kessler said he sees himself building those connections and partnerships and engaging with the young and growing alumni base. “Connecting with our alumni is paramount in terms of our success moving forward,” he said. “We need those alumni to champion the mission of Campbell. I’m hoping to engage them and encourage them to remain an important part of our community.” Kessler said medical education has changed significantly in the past five years, and the COVID-19 pandemic has amplified and accelerated that change. “We’re using technology to educate doctors in ways we’ve never used before,” he said. “We’ve adapted to educating doctors online, and if we can get through this, they’ll be much better physicians for it.” He said the pandemic has opened the eyes of med students and has shown many just how vital their roles are in a functioning society. He said students have also learned empathy, adaptability and perseverance over the past year.





A TIME CAPSULE representing modern-day Campbell was commemorated with a plaque on a red brick walkway near the Kivett Hall during the 2021 Founders Week. The capsule — to be opened in the year 2071 — was filled with memorabilia representing student life in Buies Creek. Among the items:

Clockwise, from the top: School of Engineering robot (not the actual robot), fidget spinner, orange message bands, USB flash drive, Gaylord bobble head, Campbell Magazines, eclipse glasses and orange Campbellbranded COVID-19 facemask.
















E 1



C A M PB E L L M A G A Z I N E 25


I FAITH IN VOCATION The stories of five Campbell University alumni who bring their faith to their respective professions and have carved out space to serve and show God’s love to those around them. By Kate Stoneburner


ll Christians are called to a priestly work; to consecrate their taxicabs and office desks to God. Those are the words of Oscar Romero, archbishop of San Salvador, but the often-perplexing question of how an office desk can be holy is asked by cultures around the world — and by students, faculty and staff in Buies Creek.

Campbell’s mission is to prepare students, regardless of their faith identity, for purposeful lives and meaningful service. Campbell students gain perspectives informed by a Christian worldview, and opportunities abound for study of the Bible and servant leadership in underserved communities. When a Campbell student leaves campus, they know that Christian vocation is more than the work of pastors, priests and ministers. But how do they (and how do we) translate the mundane tasks of non-clergy workplaces into the holy?

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“I think life’s journey is all about searching for who God wants me to be — not what I’m supposed to be.”

In scripture, the concept of calling goes deeper than any one aspect of life, such as work and career. The calling to follow Christ lies at the root of every other calling, and envelops all members of the church: young or old, staff member or entrepreneur, un- or underemployed, student or retiree.

Stafford took the first step toward discovering herself by enrolling as an English major hoping to eventually become a child advocacy lawyer. She soon discovered, however, that the emotions accompanying such a high-conflict and involved career were too draining to pursue.

It goes beyond our careers or economic status and reaches into our personal and family commitments, social and community commitments, and, for some Campbell alumni, our work as well.

After a brief stint in children’s psychology courses with the same results, she considered youth ministry before landing on teaching — something she had always enjoyed but that educators in her family had warned her was a trying and often underappreciated profession.

Honoring God, whether it’s by healing, listening or teaching, is not necessarily built into their careers, but these five alumni brought their faith to work and carved out space to serve and show God’s love to those around them. Their paths weren’t always clear, and they did not always feel a strong sense of “calling,” but between the lines of their resumes are stories of purpose and meaningful service.

THE TRUEST VERSION OF ME Christie Stafford (’06)


hristie Stafford’s favorite part of driving to Campbell is coming up the hill on NC 27 from the east, the view of the water tower on the horizon and the familiar feeling coming over her that says, “I’m home.”

When she was a freshman, that view was a symbol of independence from her beloved but familiar community of Nahunta (a community near Goldsboro best known for its pork production), and Campbell was a place where she could just be “Christie” — instead of being “Curtis and Joan’s daughter.” She couldn’t wait to develop an identity of her own. 28 SPRING 2021

Stafford knew that the emotional investment in a class of students that would only be in her care for a short time would rival the difficulties of a career in child advocacy, but she fell in love with the field in her Educational Studies classes. Those classes combined her passions for reading and learning, encouraging others and caring for children perfectly, and Stafford eventually convinced her parents that education was where she belonged. Now in her 15th year of teaching, Stafford believes teaching is a form of ministry, even though “faith” can be a taboo subject in public schools. This year, above all others, she has worked to intentionally be Christie Stafford, Follower of Jesus first and Christie Stafford, Teacher of English second. Stafford came to Campbell with strong faith bolstered by her family’s regular church attendance, but her time in Buies Creek helped her take ownership of it like never before. “I knew what people believed in my Sunday school classes,” she says, “but Campbell opened up an opportunity for me to see how other people thought in Sunday school classes around the world.” This revelation was surprising, inspiring to her study of the Bible, and crucial to her understanding of what it meant to be a teacher. “In a classroom of 30 students, kids are bringing plenty of different viewpoints — even as young as elementary, but especially in a middle school setting,” says the seventh-grade teacher. “It’s a



MASTERS IN FAITH AND LEADERSHIP In 2020, Campbell University Divinity School commissioned its first students of Master of Arts in Faith and Leadership Formation, a new degree program for those who are looking to integrate their faith into secular careers. The program equips students to think deeply, live faithfully and lead with purpose. The 18-month program is designed to help recent college graduates entering the workforce and those with established careers discover a meaningful mission in their work. Graduates will leave with practical knowledge of what a life of deep faith and serviceoriented leadership looks like in their fields. Taught with both online and face-to-face instruction, students with careers or other commitments are able to pursue their degree on a flexible schedule without sacrificing the valuable community that comes from learning together in a classroom. Cameron H. J. Jorgenson, associate professor of Christian Theology and Ethics, serves as the program’s director. “Leadership is not just about doing, it is about becoming a person worthy of following,” Jorgenson said. “Our work is to support students in this transformation, helping them to gain the skills, knowledge and character required to love God and neighbor through their work in the world.”


huge lifeskill for them to be able to acknowledge and consider others’ perspectives without compromising their own. And that’s what I learned at Campbell.” Amid the confusion and uncertainty of teaching in pandemic conditions, Stafford spent time in serious self-reflection on her career, and decided on a new motto for the school year: Souls over standards. The question is the same one she asked when she left her hometown for Campbell — Who will I be when I leave here? Stafford began asking herself, Who will my students be when they leave my classroom? and, How am I going to help them grow, not just academically, but as a person? “There were a couple of years where my motto as a teacher was ‘standards over everything,’” Stafford recalls. “I didn’t see it happening, but pressure from leadership and personal desire to excel as a teacher convinced me that if I didn’t focus on scores and get perfect results, I had failed.” The pandemic changed all of that for Stafford. As she looked around at her classroom (thankfully still hers after safety measures led to room changes for some of her coworkers) she considered the obstacles her students would face coming to school in the midst of COVID and made a decision. “I just thought, ‘next year, I don’t want who I am in my faith to be on the sidelines in this classroom.’ I see now that I had been compartmentalizing my career and my faith, and I had to stop focusing on the standards to focus on the individuals.” Stafford began incorporating a quote for her class to focus on each week. Her students spend time reflecting on the ways the quote applies to their pasts, their class reading and their current circumstances and share their thoughts through writing prompts and discussion periods. Regardless of their test scores, she hopes it will lead them to consider what it means to live

intentionally, take ownership for choices and be true to themselves. Souls over standards. “Of course scores are important, but in the long run, no one asks about your seventh grade test score average. What is really important in seventh grade is the ethic you develop and the way you treat people. I had lost sight of that. I prayed for my students, sure— often about their scores, and often it sounded more like a complaint than a prayer. This year I’ve stopped attaching numbers to them. God has shifted my perspective and priorities. And I feel like my classroom is better for it. Outside of the classroom, Stafford continues to be involved at Campbell on the Alumni Board of Directors and CamelLink, the student-alumni mentor program. At her first board meeting, she says she felt out of place. Surrounded by doctors, lawyers and community representatives, she didn’t know what she was doing on the board as a “small town teacher.” “But when I said it out loud, they told me ‘Christie, you are so much more than that.’ And that’s how it always is at Campbell, from my first day in Buies Creek. I wouldn’t be the teacher I am today without it. I saw how to love like Jesus because I was loved like Jesus.” Despite her love of the classroom, Stafford says she has always found more joy in learning more about God in teaching. She loves her English background because it gives her a literary lens for reading the Bible. She also loves to research, study theology and write and share her findings. With that in mind, in the spring she’ll be starting as a student at Campbell again in the Master of Arts in Faith and Leadership Formation program. “I think life’s journey is all about searching for who God wants me to be — not what I’m supposed to be because it's what I want, but finding what He created me to be. That’s the truest version of Christie there is.”



oone pharmacist Corey Furman did not pick Campbell University because of its up-and-coming pharmacy program. In fact, when he entered the class of 1995, he was sure that he did not want to become a pharmacist. Working for his dad at the family pharmacy practice from the time he was old enough to take out the trash through high school was enough to tell him that. He was not enthusiastic about following in his father’s professional footsteps. But in the back of his mind, Furman knew that taking over the practice someday would be a good Plan B if his career didn’t work out. He just wasn’t sure what that Plan A career might be. Furman’s decision to attend Campbell was also not based on a gut feeling, a professional passion or a call from God to move to Buies Creek. But he’s firm in his belief that God can work in someone’s life to guide them without an unmistakable sense of calling. “I had so many mentors at Campbell,” he says. “There were people who helped me and molded me into a better student. But what they were really showing me was more like discipleship. And I realize this now looking back. They were showing me how Christians behave— taking an interest, talking to you, loving you and helping you out before you get up the nerve to ask.” So while Furman can’t point to an exact feeling that led him to Buies Creek, he can point to a mission trip that strengthened his faith and made it clear that pharmacy school was exactly where he needed to be.


During a clinical rotation at a hospital in Kenya, Furman learned the hospital’s pharmacist had been praying for someone to help him while he took a break to be with his newborn. After giving Furman three days of training, the pharmacist left for home, leaving the fourth-year pharmacy student to run the operation. “On that trip is when I started diving more into scripture and asking what my role is as a servant,” Furman recalls. “Taking care of others is something we are all told to do. But from a Christian perspective, that takes on a more total, more sacrificial meaning.”

“Taking care of others is something we are all told to do. But from a Christian perspective, that takes on a more total, more sacrificial meaning.”

In 1994, the Rwanda genocide began. Still just a student, Furman was technically a representative of World Medical Missions and certainly the closest thing to a pharmacist in the area. He was sent to help with relief efforts in Rwanda, an experience that changed how Furman related to the world and one that strengthened his relationship with God. He went on to do mission work in Uganda, Sudan, Afghanistan, Peru, Haiti and Southern Lebanon. Today, Furman is the president of Boone Drugs Inc., a family business — with stores across the Carolinas — that he and his wife Ashley Furman C A MP B E L L M AG AZ I N E 31

“The law may be black and white, but I wanted deeper advocacy ... to bring a more loving connection into it.”

(PharmD ’96) run with his father. He helped celebrate the original Boone Drug’s 100-year anniversary last year, reading the company mission statement: “We honor God by providing the pharmaceutical and healthcare needs for our community.” Furman and his family have expanded their pharmacy’s services to include a drive-through COVID-19 test site. While Corey runs the business side, Ashley can often be seen outside in her bright yellow suit, mask and shield on, running to and fro and swabbing as safely as possible. On numerous occasions, she has paused to pray with people as they go through that line. “Everyone being tested is experiencing such vulnerability,” Furman says. “They’re hoping fervently that they don’t have it because if they do they can’t see their new grandbaby, or their dad in the hospital, or their wife who has a respirator. We find opportunities to share the truth of the gospel with those people when they come through that line.” The Furmans decided early on that faith would be at the center of their business model. “We are fortunate to live in an area that embraces the way we promote our values. Perhaps there are customers we have lost because they heard our Christian-based radio commercial. But what’s more important — to make the sale or to stand up for the ideals and truths that we believe in?” It was determination to be open about their beliefs that led the Furmans to partner with Campbell’s College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences in 2007. They helped create an elective course specifically designed to equip health science students for mission work and send them into communities facing need.


“There are few schools today that provide both outstanding academic education and a solid Christian atmosphere,” Furman says. “So many people are raised in a Christian environment only to arrive at college to find that the academic community does not endorse what they have been told is truth all their life. Students are told they cannot be Christian and believe in sciences

and truths of higher education. Campbell is a rare exception to this trend in education, and we wanted to make sure its students continue to have opportunities to see and serve the world, using both their faith and their intellect.”

A DEEPER FORM OF ADVOCACY Shaquasha Williams (’17)


haquasha Williams felt at home at Campbell from the start.

“I know everyone says that about Campbell,” she says, “but it rang true for me. It felt like home. I cried when I got that acceptance letter, because I just knew that’s where I was supposed to be.” Growing up in a small town, Williams’ faith was more of a tradition and a family activity than a worldview that belonged to her. Being Christian was the norm, and Williams believed strongly in her family’s values. But gaining independence at Campbell showed her how important it would be to make her faith her own, practice it independently, make bible-based choices and think for herself. She liked being around like-minded people, walking past the chapel daily and having easy access to Bible studies. She joined Sigma Alpha Omega, a Christian sorority, and saw a spiritual side to every aspect of the campus community. It was never difficult to align her belief in serving others with her social work major. But Williams’ original goal was not to be a therapist, but a family attorney. “I knew I wanted to help families, and it seemed to me that many attorneys lacked or overlooked the importance of individual emotional connection. The law may be black and white, but I



COHORTS IN FAITH, VOCATION With support from a grant from NetVUE (Network for Vocation in Theological Education) Campbell facilitated two cohorts of faculty and staff who meet biweekly throughout the school year to explore themes of faith in vocation and calling. Campbell received a $10,000 grant to engage staff in the process of vocational discernment through reading and discussion groups. Cohort discussion encouraged personal spiritual formation, interdisciplinary exploration of the meaning of “calling” and new ideas and practices toward engaging students in career discernment. In the Fall 2020, half of the cohort participants read “Let Your Life Speak” by Parker Palmer and discussed their faith journeys and the integration of their spiritual lives at Campbell. Their investment requires weekly reading and openness with one another. The participants will also put together a video this spring sharing their testimonials. “The cohorts have created a space for staff to examine their purpose, their own spiritual growth and the ways they can talk about that in meaningful ways with students they interact with,” said Associate Vice President for Spiritual Life and Campus Minister Faithe Beam. “It invites us to examine what we believe and how that guides how we live, and it’s been an honor to walk this path with our staff over the past year.”


wanted deeper advocacy. I wanted to bring a more loving connection into it.” Williams saw a need for family attorneys with empathy, who are committed to following the law and also have a strong understanding of individual circumstances and human rights. To do that, she wanted to understand family dynamics better, and chose social work for her major. Under Professor and Social Work Chair Dr. Eugene Sumner, Williams fell in love with the social work field and spent a few semesters torn between social work and law school. “It was only tough because I knew working with families was what I wanted to do, and I was just seeing two ways of making it happen,” she recalls. “I looked up to Sumner so much as an example of what it looks like to be humble and faith-filled in that profession, and could see myself following in those footsteps. But I’d spent so long aspiring to law school it didn’t feel like a possibility.” God made the decision for her in the end, Williams says. Her transition from focusing on a law career to becoming a clinical social worker was surprisingly easy. Her LSAT score just missed entry to Campbell Law School, and while she was considering next steps, she came across a piece of scripture she had hanging on a wall in her dorm room, encouraging her to trust God’s will. “It reminded me that God had plans for me that were better than mine,” she says. “I always thought Campbell would be a stepping stone to law school. But when I realized I wasn’t going, I felt peace. I had fallen in love with social work. I felt like family attorney had only ever been just a goal, and being a clinical social worker was my calling.” That same scripture also encouraged Williams when she struggled to find jobs right out of her masters program at East Carolina University. Just when she was reminding herself to trust that God would work out a good career path, an old friend from Campbell contacted her with news of a job opening at Waynesboro Family Clinic, where Williams is happily employed today. Williams has a certificate in substance abuse counseling and a passion for helping those who have

been neglected or struggle with addiction. She’s especially passionate about fostering understanding of mental health in rural communities. Just as therapists must realize how incredibly formative and deeply-held religious beliefs are, Williams knows the importance of helping communities break down mental health stigmas in order to better serve and support one another. “To me there is a close connection between mental health therapists and pastors and clergy. Your spiritual advisors and your mental health advisors should both be challenging the mental health stigma, and they should also support each other’s goals — helping people develop strong faith and getting to the heart of beliefs that will shape people’s choices.”



arshall Allen would say his faith journey ebbed and flowed on the road to Campbell, but watching his father leave a career to study and enter ministry stuck with him. He knew it was important to devote time and energy to his relationship with God. But at first, it seemed difficult to do so without directly going into ministry. Without knowing exactly what he wanted in a career, Allen knew there was something different about Campbell. The business school already knew his name before he committed to the major in 2006. He took a business law class with Professor Jimmy Witherspoon, one thing led to another, and he ended up a trust major. “I got hooked on the service aspect,” he says. “There is an empathy that you have to have in

tough situations and an emphasis on building relationships, all culminating in helping meet a family’s needs.” Today, Allen is a trust officer at Advocacy Trust. The independent firm works with people with special needs to figure out how to manage money they’ve received from settlements. While serving an often neglected population has helped Allen line up his career and faith more than ever before, he learned long ago that God will use those who love Him for good, regardless of what career they choose. “As a trust officer, I can confidently tell you that when it comes to living out our faith, why we invest and how we invest matters more than where we invest. When our heart is in the right place with God, pieces are apt to fall into place.” Like many Campbell Trust students, Allen began his career with Wells Fargo in Winston-Salem, working largely behind the scenes. Seeking the relationship-building work that he fell in love with as a student, he moved to Florida to find a more client-facing job, taking his family with him. Allen immediately discovered what a totally different world South Florida is from eastern North Carolina. “Encountering ultra-high-wealth clients in South Florida was a daily occurrence — $50 million or $100 million net worths were normal. And there were times when I might work with a difficult beneficiary — someone whose worldview was different enough from my own that it seemed like their sole purpose in life was waking up and thinking, ‘How can I make more money today?’” Nine times out of 10, Allen says, his clients were kind, generous and made him feel good about his career. And while there were times when he questioned whether or not he had chosen the right field, Allen’s family grew to love South Florida. He earned his MBA there before moving back to North Carolina to be closer to family, but ultimately learned that serving God is possible even without a defined sense of career “rightness.” “You can serve God in any field. In finance, in factory work, anywhere. And in many fields in which it can be difficult to feel ‘called,’ there is great need. There are always ways to minister M AG AZIN E .CAMP BE LL.EDU

to and share faith with colleagues, whether its opening conversations through theology books or Bibles on your desk, humbly serving your company or taking on burdens when a coworker is in need.” Allen and his wife, Erika, whom he met at Campbell’s welcome picnic in Academic Circle, hope to teach their children that no matter where God places them, they can serve and love others. And when it comes to education and career, Allen says he still views Campbell as a place to develop a solid Christian worldview.

“I always appreciated Campbell for allowing room for questions and skepticism. I hope that spirit continues to develop leaders of strong faith, wherever God places them.”

“When it comes to developing faith in our children, we often talk about insulating, not isolating them. Rather than being smacked in the face by the real world when they leave our home, we’d prefer to walk with them and teach them to love others in a world that might have strayed from Christ more than any other time in history.” The Allens are licensed foster parents and plan to continue fostering in 2021. Allen also mentors Campbell students through the Charlotte Alumni Network, serves on the Alumni Board of Directors, conducts on-campus interviews for open positions at Advocacy Trust and hosts Campbell students through internships.



“I tell my patients, ‘You are not unnoticed. You are a [child] of the Lord who cares for you and sees you.’”

CARING STILL MATTERS Cherie Dickson Salisbury (’17 DO)


ot long ago, Cherie Salisbury wanted to be a politician. She could see herself as a senator or representative, and she marked political science as her major entering her freshman year of college at a small school in Michigan. Medicine, she says, was the farthest thing from her mind. In fact, the sight of blood made her queasy. “I had to leave biology class when you just mentioned the word ‘blood,’” she recalls. But in the car on her way to college move-in, Salisbury happened to be listening to a CD on diet with her mother, lamenting that her squeamishness prevented her from studying health science when her mother spoke up. “She told me, ‘If you’re meant to do this, God will make a way for it. There are therapies and breathing practices and lots of ways to handle aversions.’ And that’s where it started. I switched majors as soon as I got to campus.” Making the choice to pursue medicine was all it took. Salisbury says walking into her first bio lab, she felt nothing— no nausea, no fear. “It was a God thing, I know. Because I’m interested in science, but I’m less interested in medicine for its own sake and more interested in using it as a tool to serve others and serve the Lord.” Even after discovering her passion, the road to Campbell wasn’t easy for Salisbury. She faced financial hardships that led to school transfers, which ended in an extra year of study thanks to lost credits.


She took an extra year to study up for the MCAT and apply to medical schools, then spent a year in a post-bac program. But she counts the delay as a blessing as well. The gap year and post-bacc program gave Salisbury time to work with a medical missionary group at a rural women and children’s hospital in Pakistan. She spent a month on call, delivering babies and gaining hands-on experience she never dreamed of. Learning more about other faiths and seeing her patients’ need was heartbreaking. “I felt like the Lord said, ‘you’re going to be shown that the wealth and prestige of medicine doesn’t matter — this matters, caring for people matters.’” As a medical student and into her career, Salisbury has made it a habit to offer to pray with her patients. She’s seen enough to know that facing medical problems is exhausting, frightening and not something to compartmentalize away from a patient’s spritiual life if they don’t want to. “Everyone has a story. Some of my patients haven’t seen a physician in many years and don’t trust doctors. Others share their most intimate thoughts with us. Either way, we meet our patients at their most vulnerable.” Today, Salisbury works at Christ Health Center in Birmingham, Alabama. A federally qualified health center, Christ Health sees insured and uninsured patients, a majority of whom are on Medicare or Medicaid and from lower socioeconomic backgrounds. COVID-19 has made the center a “whirwind of activity,” which can be taxing and tiring, but Salisbury starts each day with “some time with the Lord” to overcome whatever awaits. “It is the only way that I can have the strength and empathy to love my patients,” she says.

ENVIRONMENT OF FAITH The connection between Cherie Salisbury’s faith and her career choice was made long before she joined the first graduating class at Campbell’s School of Osteopathic Medicine. Sick of applications and with a spot secured already at a school in Virginia, she wasn’t considering Campbell at all — except for a tug from God when she saw the phrase “we are training physicians in a Christian environment” in a Campbell brochure. When she interviewed at Campbell, Salisbury and her interviewer both teared up sharing stories of faith. Suddenly, her convoluted journey to med school made sense — she was waiting for Campbell. In Buies Creek, she was able to continue to integrate her worldview with her profession. Salisbury learned how to encourage and be encouraged by other believers while being welcoming to Christians and non-Christians alike, and particularly credits Associate Professor Dr. Charlotte Paolini as a faith mentor. “I remember my parents had been praying that I would be able to be my whole self wherever I ended up studying. That I would be able to go to an interview and not just say that I love medicine and the human body and want to learn about them, but say that I want to serve the Lord by healing people.”

To Salisbury, the spiritual care she offers her patients is just as important as the physical. “When I’m in those conversations, I tell them, ‘You are not unnoticed. You are a son or a daughter of the Lord who cares for you and sees you.’ I just speak the truth.”



Appearance on the biggest stage in baseball ends a year of remarkable highs and lows for former Camel star pitcher By Billy Liggett

38 SPRING 2021



yan Thompson was Campbell University’s first All-American baseball player and the Big South Conference Pitcher of the Year in 2013. He’s a lock to make the roster as a reliever for the defending American League Champion Tampa Bay Rays in 2021. The eight-year span makes for a great “How it Started” meme, but Thompson’s path to “How it’s Going” has been anything but easy — four years in the minors with few chances at landing on a Major League roster ... Tommy John surgery ... a career reboot with the Rays’ Single-A squad ... a spring training invite in 2020 to throw batting practice ... a seasonthreatening global pandemic. But when the dust settled on an anythingbut-usual 2020 season, Thompson had not only earned and cemented his spot in a Major League rotation, but he became a vital cog on a team that defied expectations to reach the World Series. “This past year has been like nothing else. The craziest of highs, and the most crippling of lows,” says Thompson. “It was a year that essentially fulfilled my life’s quest, yet at the same time, dealt me some of the hardest battles I’ve ever endured.” To fully appreciate how unexpected and appreciated his 2020 performance was, go back to 12 months prior to his World Series experience and you’ll find Thompson recovering from major arm surgery in his hometown of Turner, Oregon — substitute teaching and helping his mother teach a dance class to earn a little cash. By that time, Thompson — who was the first pick of the 23rd round for the Houston Astros right out of college — had spent four years in the 40 SPRING 2021

minors with his hopes of “getting the call” dwindling. In 2017, he was losing speed on his fastball, and he had a six-game stretch where his ERA skyrocketed to 15.26. The decline was attributed to ligament damage in his throwing arm, so Thompson elected the increasingly common Tommy John surgery, which takes at least a year to recover from. His career at a crossroads, Thompson landed in the Tampa Bay Rays’ minor league system via the Rule 5 draft and received an invitation to spring training in 2020 — no expectations from the team, just another arm to throw batting practice against Tampa’s

young up-and-coming lineup. The plan was for Thompson to start the year on Tampa’s Triple-A squad, the Durham Bulls … which would have been a nice return to North Carolina. Nothing wrong with that, Thompson says. But he wanted more. “I showed up to spring training ready to go,” he says. “I’d dreamt of being in the majors since I was a kid, and I put in the work. So I showed up, and I showed out. Simple as that. Suddenly, I have coaches telling me I have a chance to be a big part of this team at some point in the year.”


Just as Thompson was starting to turn heads and get noticed, the pandemic hit. COVID-19 shut down the entire sports world in mid March. Spring training came to a screeching halt, and months went by before a decision was made on when baseball would return. “That was really hard for me,” Thompson recalls. “Even after all I’d been through, this had me dealing with some crazy anxiety for the first time in my life. I started having shortness of breath. My appetite was gone. I thought at first I’d come down with COVID, and it took me weeks to identify what was wrong with me. When baseball shut down, I was this close. When you’re so focused on

Former Campbell University pitcher and Big South Conference Pitcher of the Year Ryan Thompson earned a spot with the Tampa Bay Rays in 2020 and contributed big to a team that overperformed and made it all the way to the World Series. Thompson made nine postseason appearances in 2020 and pitched 2 2/3 scoreless innings in the Series against the Dodgers. Photo by Will Vragovic/Tampa Bay Rays


Ryan Thompson was an AllAmerican and the Big South Pitcher of the Year in 2013, leading the Camels to a 49-10 record and a Big South regular season title. In his junior year, he posted the lowest ERA in school and conference history with a 0.88. As a senior, he led Campbell to the NCAA Tournament and its first NCAA win against Old Dominion. In 2020, he became the fifth Campbell alumnus to play in a World Series, joining Rube Melton (1947 Brooklyn Dodgers), Gaylord Perry (1962 San Francisco Giants), Jim Perry (1965 Minnesota Twins) and Cal Koonce (1969 New York Mets). Photo by Bennett Scarborough

42 SPRING 2021

something for so long, and it’s taken away from you, you almost lose your identity.” But he kept at it. He found places like a medical training facility and the gymnasium at his old high school where he could work out during quarantine. He found likeminded minor leaguers to train with and get feedback from. As summer approached and teams began planning for a return, for the first time in a long time Thompson felt like he was a step ahead. When pre-season play resumed, Thompson’s fastball was up. His placement was on point.

in Arlington, Texas, and strict COVID guidelines to adhere to — but Thompson says the experience was everything he had hoped it would be and more. “As a kid, you watch the World Series on TV and you see these athletes who are the top 1% in the world at what they do,” he says. “You think they have something that nobody else has. That they’re privileged. Born with something different. There’s this separation from reality, and you grow up idolizing these people. “But once you get there, you realize a lot of these guys are just like you. They put in the same work. Faced the same obstacles. And once you’re there, and you’re playing with and against these guys … there’s just this relief. I always thought when I got the call to the big leagues, I’d break down into tears. But when I got the call, it was just relief. I’d given up the past 10 years of my life for this. I was living in my mom’s basement at 28 for this. And now I made it, and I wasn’t going to lose it.”

And when the shortened season began in July, Thompson was a Tampa Bay Ray. He made his debut on July 24 against the Toronto Blue Jays, allowing just a hit and a walk and no runs in two innings. He earned his first win against the Yankees on Aug. 9. He finished the regular season with a 1-2 record and a save in 25 games. His team would finish first in the American League with a 40-20 record and go on to beat the Blue Jays, Yankees and Astros in the playoffs before falling to the Dodgers in the World Series in six games.


As solid as Thompson was during the regular season, he was next-level great in the postseason with 10 strikeouts and a 1.93 ERA in nine-plus innings.

Ryan Thompson says he was “nobody” in the baseball world coming out of high school. He had to travel 2,924 miles to become a somebody.

His World Series experience might not have been exactly what he imagined — limited fans in the stands, a neutral site stadium

“I thought I was pretty good in high school, but I went to a small school, and the competition wasn’t the best,” he says. “I had

all these ideas that I’d be drafted right out of school, but I didn’t get any calls.” He played a year of community college ball in Oregon, played some in Alaska and took part in some summer leagues. He caught the eyes of former Campbell assistant coach (and current Abilene Christian head coach) Rick McCarty and current Campbell head coach Justin Haire at a sophomore showcase — though he was shocked any scouts came away that day with the idea to pursue him. “At these things, you go in and face four batters, then your day is over,” Thompson says. “I faced four batters and gave up four hits. I was like, ‘Wow. I’m never playing Division I ball.” Three schools saw something in the righthander. Campbell, Winthrop and Liberty — all schools in the Big South — started talking to Thompson. He was hours away from signing with Liberty when Thompson decided to email McCarty one last time to see if Campbell had anything more to say. The coach called him 45 seconds after he hit “send” and apologized profusely, saying he hadn’t reached out because his wife was in labor. He asked Thompson to give him a few hours, and he’d come back with an offer the young man couldn’t refuse. Thompson decided to become a Camel without having ever visited the state of North Carolina, much less Buies Creek. “I felt like Campbell cared about who I was as a ballplayer and a human being,” he says. “I knew they’d send me off better than they found me. It was going to be my first time away from home, so I was really drawn to that. Five years later, I became a Christian — I believe today that God was leading me down that road. Campbell was a huge step for me as a person.” In two seasons at Campbell, Thompson went 16-3 with 27 saves and a mind-blowing 1.12 ERA in 70 appearances. Opponents batted .211 with just 2 home runs against him. In his junior year, Campbell won a school record 49 games, and as a senior, M AG AZIN E .CAMP BE LL.EDU

Thompson led the Camels to an NCAA Tournament berth and the program’s first NCAA win over Old Dominion. Those who see Thompson pitch immediately notice his unusual delivery. He was a big fan of the Arizona Diamondbacks growing up, and he loved to watch closer Byung-Hyun Kim, a “submarine” thrower with a side-arm/under-arm delivery who won a World Series in 2001. When Thompson would play wiffle ball in the yard with friends, he’d mimic Kim’s mechanics to get more movement on the ball. “It was a joke at first, but by high school — by the time coaches were watching and criticizing my mechanics — they noticed I was more comfortable throwing lower. I wasn’t comfortable throwing over the top. It didn’t look natural to them. So I started throwing sidearm and was able to throw a 65 MPH slider that could break three feet. By my junior year of high school, I was one of the most dominant pitchers in the state.” He says a lot of college coaches didn’t know what to do with a pitcher like him, but McCarty got the best out of him. When he was drafted by the Astros in 2014, Thompson joined a long line of former Camels who have gone on to play at the Big League level. He became just the fifth Campbell alumnus to play in the World Series — the first in 51 years — joining Rube Melton (1947 Brooklyn Dodgers), Gaylord Perry (1962 San Francisco Giants), Jim Perry (1965 Minnesota Twins) and Cal Koonce (1969 New York Mets). “I have Coach McCarty, Coach [Greg] Goff and Coach Haire to thank for my life,” Thompson told the North State Journal last October. “Those guys were instrumental to my life and my baseball career. I learned how to compete at my best level there. I learned to be a follower of Christ there. I cannot describe how instrumental Campbell was to my career. I go back there every year and I can’t wait to go back. That place is like a magnet to me. I absolutely love that place.”

Ryan Thompson isn't the only Camel in the Rays' system. Seth Johnson pitched in 14 games as a junior for Campbell in 2019 after transferring from Louisburg College, where he played shortstop. Before coming to Buies Creek, Johnson had only pitched six total innings in college. The 40th overall pick of the Rays in the 2019 draft, Johnson made his professional debut in the Gulf Coast League and pitched 10 scoreless innings over five games. Johnson will start the 2021 season with the Charleston RiverDogs, a Class A affiliate for the Rays. Photo: Twitter



Oscar-nominated actor Benedict Cumberbatch portrays Campbell Law School alumnus Col. Stuart Couch in the 2021 film, “The Mauritanian.” Cumberbatch wears a Campbell-branded Polo shirt in a scene with Oscar winner Jodie Foster at one point in the film. Photo: STXfilms


Campbell gets a brief cameo in the film ‘The Mauritanian,’ about a Guantánamo detainee’s fight for freedom and the alum who fought for him


hat would you do if you found out that one of your alumni was going to be portrayed in a movie by Oscarnominated actor Benedict Cumberbatch? If you’re Campbell Law School Dean J. Rich Leonard, you ask if there is a scene in the movie in which Cumberbatch could possibly wear a shirt bearing the Campbell University logo. And then you make sure that shirt gets into the hands of the filmmakers, who just happen to be filming halfway around the world. 44 SPRING 2021

The result? A scene toward the end of “The Mauritanian” — the 2021 film based on Mohamedou Ould Slahi’s memoir “Guantánamo Diary,” about his fight for freedom after his false arrest and imprisonment at Guantánamo Bay for years — featuring Oscar-winner Jodie Foster and Cumberbatch donning a black Campbell polo. “The Mauritanian” also tells the story of Col. Stuart Couch (’96 Law), the military prosecutor who works with defense attorney Nancy Hollander (Foster) and her associate Teri Duncan (Shailene Woodley)

to uncover fabricated evidence, revealing a “shocking and far-reaching conspiracy.” Couch first reached out to the dean of his alma mater in 2019 to talk about the movie and whether Leonard could provide anything Campbell-related for the film. “I asked Stu, what would have been hanging in your office at the time?,” Leonard recalls. “He said, ‘My North Carolina law license and my Campbell Law diploma.’ So we had him send us copies, and we had them blown up and framed and sent to the film crew — along with half

Photo by Lissa Gotwals

a dozen polos bearing the Campbell logo we had specially ordered.”


Couch, who is currently a judge on the Justice Department’s Board of Immigration Appeals, was also featured in the 2013 book, “The Terror Courts: Rough Justice at Guantánamo Bay,” by Wall Street Journal reporter Jess Bravin.

TONY MAY (’70) helped students in Australia to gain hands-on experience and internships at local technology companies. To accomplish this, he helped build stateof-the-art laboratories and establish partnerships between industry leaders and Universities in Australia, Malaysia and China.

In the book, Bravin described Slahi’s imprisonment and the fight to free him as “the most important legal story in decades.” In addition to uncovering how the George W. Bush administration drew up an alternative legal system to try men captured abroad after the Sept. 11 attacks, Bravin also revealed that evidence obtained by torture was being used to prosecute prisoners. Some military officers, including Couch, refused to take part.



Couch joined the Marines in 1987 to be a pilot. An assignment his squadron’s legal desk inspired him to enroll in law school at Buies Creek in the 90s. After Campbell, he was assigned to a prosecuting team to try a flight crew for a 1998 incident in Italy where a Marine Prowler clipped a ski gondola cable, killing 20. When Bush issued his 2001 order creating the first iteration of military commissions post-9/11, he volunteered. Couch told The Wall Street Journal in 2007 that during his first visit to Guantánamo in 2003, he witnessed U.S. military officials torture detainees — abuse he said he was trained to resist if ever captured, never expecting to see the U.S. employing it. Couch would ultimately refuse to prosecute Slahi, a decision that risked his career. “It became clear that what had been done to Slahi amounted to torture,” Couch said in a 2013 interivew. “Specifically, he had been subjected to a mock execution. He had sensory deprivation. He had environmental manipulation. He was presented with a ruse that the United States had taken custody of his mother and his brother and that they were being brought to Guantánamo.” Couch says he concluded Slahi’s treatment amounted to illegal torture. “I came to the conclusion we had knowingly set him up for mental suffering in order for him to provide information. We might very well have a significant problem with the body of evidence that we were able to present as to his guilt.”


Above: Col. Stuart Couch in a photo courtesy of the University of CaliforniaDavis. Left: A marketing poster for the 2021 film, “The Mauritanian” starring Jodie Foster and Benedict Cumberbatch, who portrays Couch in the film.

Today, Couch is an appointee to the U.S. Board of Immigration Appeals — appointed by former Attorney General William Barr in 2019. He previously served as an immigration judge in Charlotte for nearly a decade following a short stint there in private practice. After his experience in Guantánamo, Couch served as a senior appellate judge on the U.S. Navy-Marine Corps Court of Criminal Appeals in the District of Columbia from 2006 to 2009. “The Mauritanian” was released in theaters and on demand in February and was met with mostly positive reviews by critics and audiences. Foster won a Golden Globe award for Best Supporting Actress February for her role, and the film has received Oscar buzz heading into March. “The Mauritanian” is directed by Kevin Macdonald, known from such films as “State of Play” and “The Last King of Scotland.” LISA SNEDEKER

named to the board of directors for Geospace Technologies in Houston in November. The former vice president of government relations for Northrop Grumman, Ashworth’s role is to support the company’s expansion of its monitoring technologies in the security and surveillance markets served by Quantum Technology Sciences, a U.S. government contractor, and OptoSeis, a fiber optic sensor technology. Prior to her position at Northrop Grumman, Asworth was vice president of Washington operations for GE Aviation. Prior to that, she spent 14 years as a professional staff member with the U.S. Senate Committee on Appropriations.


Attention, Campbell alumni ... Help us make sure you’re not only getting Campbell Magazine delivered to your home, but you’re also getting important updates from our Office of Alumni Engagement. If your email address, mailing address or name has changed, please let our alumni staff know. Visit alumni.campbell. edu/update to submit your current information.


UNC Health Southeastern announced the election of

WAYLAND B. LENNON III (’88 MBA) to lead the board of

trustees in January. Lennon, who first joined the board in 2013, is president of AnyTable, Inc., which owns Dairy Queen of Lumberton. PERRY WADSWORTH (’89)

was selected to be the commander of the 153rd Legal Operations Detachment at the U.S. Army Reserves Legal Command. TRACY CARTER (’89)

announced he will not seek a fifth term as sheriff of Lee County, North Carolina, after serving 33 years in law enforcement. Carter was first elected sheriff in 2006. “I feel like that’s enough for anybody to be in this position,” Carter told The Sanford Herald. “My health is good, but 33 years is a long time to be in this field and four terms is enough to be sheriff.” Carter’s first job was working part-time for six months at the Broadway Police Department. In 1986, he accepted a full-time job with the sheriff’s office and became sheriff 20 years later.

HANNAH LANE (’15, ’20) and her family welcomed a second Camel to their herd, a girl, Willow Quinn Lane, on

May 9, 2020.


1990s WILEY BARRETT (’90) was

presented the Order of the Longleaf Pine in 2020. The award was established in 1963 to recognize those who have made significant contributions to North Carolina through their outstanding service records and remarkable achievements. Barrett — whose civic involvement includes service on boards of The First Tee, Public Education Foundation, National Alliance for Mental Health and Jaycees — officiated high school sports, including multiple state championship events, for over 50 years. In 2015, the N.C. High School Athletic Association awarded him its Golden Whistle Merit Award to recognize his lifetime of devotion to officiating high school athletics.

46 SPRING 2021

JAY (’13) and ASHLEY BAUGHAM (’13) welcomed a daughter, Natalie Grace Baugham, on Dec. 29, 2020. They and her big brother, Noah, are very excited to add another Camel to the family.


ANGELINE MODESTI OWENS (’18) married Konnor Owens on Oct. 3, 2020, in Toledo, Ohio. She also signed a contract for post-residency at Mercy

Health-St. Anne Hospital in Toledo.

CAMERON (’20) and THAD COLLINS (’20) tied the knot in November of

2020. Though they both had many classes in Lundy-Fetterman, they first met at a gathering in the Buies Creek Volunteer Fire Department where Thad was a volunteer fireman. It was only then that they were set on the path to becoming Campbell sweethearts.


RYAN JONES (’07) married Phillip Linder on Oct. 10, 2020, at

an outdoor wedding live-streamed to friends and family in Raleigh. Their wedding was officiated by ELLIOT ACOSTA (’07) and photographed by ASHLEY STEPHENSON (’06). C A MP B E L L M AG AZ I N E 47


the art director for Virginia Business Magazine in April of 2020. Celebrity menswear fashion designer

MIGUEL WILSON (’99 MBA) opened

his third Miguel Wilson location in Coral Gables, Florida (his other locations can be found in Atlanta and Maryland). Wilson, who grew up in Washington, D.C., was influenced by his father’s and grandfather’s style. Before getting into fashion, Wilson was commissioned as a 2nd Lt. in the U.S. Army Reserves, where he served in the military police corps. He earned his bachelor’s degree at Clark Atlanta University before coming to Campbell.

MARSHALL (’10) and ERIKA ALLEN (’10) welcomed their third beautiful daughter, Emmaline Kate, on Aug. 11,



2000s SUZANNE MATTHEWS (’02) was

elected district attorney for the 12th Prosecutorial District of North Carolina, for Harnett and Lee counties. She took office on Jan. 1, 2021.. BRETT (’97) and AMY MCCREIGHT (’96) will celebrate their 25th

Chris and SHERI OBER (’03) welcomed a second Camel to their family, Michael Benjamin, on June 19, 2020. He joins his big brother Jonathan, age 6.

wedding anniversary on Aug. 3. They live in Virginia and have two sons, Douglas, 22, and Alex, 17.


was named the 2020-2021 Central Carolina Community College Instructor of the Year. McElreath teaches physical education and is an academic advisor at CCCC. DR. DOUGLAS SCARBORO (’03) was re-elected as the

chair of Tennessee’s Health Services Development Agency. Scarboro was named one of the Power 100 in the Memphis Business Journal’s inaugural list.

48 SPRING 2021

TAYLOR RAEANNE SMITH (’12) successfully defended her dissertation

and completed her doctorate at Sorbonne University in Paris last summer. Smith’s dissertation was titled “A comparative study of Creole-language textbooks in Guadeloupe, Martinique and Haiti: sociolinguistic and psycholinguistic implications from the primary to the university level.” Smith’s work explored Creole textbooks in the French Lesser Antilles and in Haiti and found that reform is needed in the education system. Smith has continued her research in a post-doctoral program as a junior researcher at Vytautas Magnus University in Kaunas, Lithuania.

DANIEL (’12) and LINDSEY GIBSON (’12) welcomed a beautiful baby

girl, Meredith Lee Gibson, on March 5, 2020.


installed at the North Carolina Court of Appeals in January. Previously, Carpenter served as a superior court judge. He served as a state trooper for approximately six years before attending law school at Campbell. In 2016, he was appointed to the superior court bench in Union County, won election to that office in November 2016, and later became the senior resident superior court judge for Union County. TIMOTHY SHAUN PRICE (’04) won the

Louisa Taylor with Head Football Coach Mike Minter and Athletics Director Omar Banks.


Elite football locker room to bear the name of team’s biggest fan


ouisa Taylor’s only regret about her four years as a student at Campbell University was she didn’t get to attend any football games. The 1989 graduate was, unfortunately, about 20 years too early, as Fighting Camel football didn’t return to campus until 2008. But sports played a huge role in Taylor’s Campbell experience. Some of her fondest memories are the soccer, baseball and basketball games she attended. She lived in a century-old on-campus house her senior year a stone’s throw from Carter Gym. The house across the street hosted visiting athletic teams, and regularly, Taylor and her roommates would host cookouts for athletes from both sides. “It was one big community,” Taylor recalls. “Living on campus and attending the games, it was all part of an amazing college experience.” Today, Taylor is a familiar face at Campbell football games, and when presented the opportunity to fill a need for the University’s athletics program, she jumped at the chance. This spring, Campbell University will unveil the Louisa Alliene Taylor Football Locker Room at Barker-Lane Stadium. The state-of-the-art room — made possible by a naming gift from Louisa Taylor


and Troy Lumber Company in Troy, North Carolina — is being constructed by Longhorn Lockers, who is responsible for locker rooms at several Top 25 FBS programs (such as LSU, Alabama, Georgia, Clemson and Texas) and several pro teams. “This is such an honor for me, only because my father and brother [owners and Troy Lumber and both Campbell trustees] have worked so hard and built on the legacy my grandparents started at Campbell,” says Taylor, whose grandfather Fred L. Taylor is the namesake for the Taylor Hall of Religion in the main campus’ Academic Circle. “Being a part of this legacy means the world to me.” When completed, the Louisa Alliene Taylor Football Locker Room will become a key recruiting tool for a Campbell football program coming off one of its most successful seasons since returning to Division I play over 12 years ago. “The locker room is the centerpiece of any football program,” says Coach Mike Minter. “It’s our kids’ home during the football season. And for us to have the best locker room in the Big South and one of the best in all of the FCS, it shows where this program is going. It separates us from the rest. And I always want to be the one out in front, setting the tone.” BILLY LIGGETT

Baptist State Convention of North Carolina’s historical writing competition in November for “Our Story of Faith: The History of Wake Forest Baptist Church 1835-2015.” Price is currently serving as a church planter/missionary with the International Mission Board in Cardiff, Wales. ARIEL MONTANEZ (’05) will serve

a three-year term on the board of directors for the North Carolina Nursery & Landscape Association. Montanez has been the general manager of Pender Nursery since 2013. Born in Puerto Rico and raised in Germany, he served eight years in the Marine Corps before starting in the industry. CHRISTOPHER LANCASTER (’06, ’10) welcomed a son, Baxter

Shane, on Nov. 24, 2020.


released her first movie which she wrote, directed and starred in, “Elle Rose,” a romantic comedy inspired by the ones she loved growing up. Smith teaches English, literature and creative writing at Central Carolina Community College. C A MP B E L L M AG AZ I N E 49



professor in the Wegmans School of Pharmacy at St. John Fisher College, will continue to advance her cancer immunotherapy research with a $25,000 grant from Brander Beacons Cancer Research. Chablani’s research focuses on defining the immune response generated by a breast cancer vaccine and builds on a decade of research that started while she was a doctoral student in Atlanta. There, she worked on developing a vaccine that could be used to prevent breast cancer, conducting several studies to formulate and improve the vaccine’s delivery and effectiveness. ��������������������������

2010s LINDSI HINES (’10) began

a new job with the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship as the member care and wellness manager for CBF Global Missions in October 2017. RASHAD HAUTER (’11 LAW)

made history by being appointed district court judge in the Wake County Judicial District Court, becoming the first Yemeni American to become a judge in the United States. Hauter previously worked as a criminal defense and immigration attorney in private practice. He began his legal career serving in the Wake County District Attorney’s office as assistant D.A. Hauter has tried more than 1,500 bench trials and more than 50 jury trials, and prosecuted cases in 17 counties. Hauter is a firstgeneration immigrant, whose family moved to the U.S. from the remote village of Gatham, Yemen, fleeing poverty and unrest.

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Jason Smith, a Campbell alumnus and principal at Stonybrook Intermediate and Middle School in Indianapolis, went viral in February when a photo was shared of him cutting the hair of a student who insisted on wearing a hat after a bad haircut. Photo: Lewis Speaks Sr.


Alumnus’ viral haircut for a student at his school just an example of his ‘trauma-informed’ teaching approach Editor’s Note: This story originally appeared in the Ball State University blog in February and has been re-printed with permission in Campbell Magazine.


ason Smith has been the principal at Stonybrook Intermediate and Middle School in Indianapolis for two years. During that time, he’s tried to establish a culture in which discipline is not approached through the lens of, “What did this kid do?” but rather, “What does this kid need?” That approach of trauma-informed teaching is not only something that Smith feels empowered to embrace thanks to the support of his district’s superintendent, but it’s also the topic of Smith’s dissertation as a doctoral candidate in Educational Leadership and Administration at Ball State University’s Teachers College.

And it’s an approach that paid dividends in a recent interaction with a student that went viral for all the right reasons. When the student was sent to the principal’s office in February for refusing to remove his hat in class, Smith’s first reaction wasn’t to call the boy’s parents and send him home for the day. Instead, Smith talked to the student and figured out why he was insisting on wearing the hat. The student’s answer: he didn’t like the result of a recent haircut. Smith had a solution. “I said, ‘Well, look: how about I line you up? I’ll fix your hairline. Would you go back to class?’” Smith recalled of the interaction. “And at first the student was like, ‘You’re not cutting my hair.’ So I showed

him pictures of me cutting hair in the past, showed him several pictures of my son’s hair that I’ve cut. And he was a little skeptical, but he’s like, ‘OK.’”

District Court JUDGE C. ASHLEY GORE (’12) was re-elected to the 13th Judicial District Court bench, which serves Brunswick, Columbus and Bladen counties, for a second term in November 2020.

Smith drove to his house, picked up his clippers, and headed back to his office, where he delivered on his promise. After making a few adjustments to his hairline, the student was sent back to class, where he had no issues the rest of the day.

BENJAMIN YATES (’13) married

Meredith Abernethy on Nov. 21, 2020, in Winston-Salem.

Lewis Speaks Sr., a police officer at Stonybrook, snapped a couple photos of Smith trimming the student’s hair, and, with their permission, shared them on Facebook, explaining the situation.


appointed chief District Court judge for Robeson County in January by the chief justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court. The appointment made history, as McIntyre became the first American Indian female chief District Court judge in the State of North Carolina.

“A GREAT LEADER ALWAYS recognizes that sometimes it’s necessary to step outside of your comfort zone and daily routine to set others up for success,” Speaks Sr. wrote. The post, which was shared on Feb. 18, garnered a tremendous of attention since with more than 50,000 likes, 25,000 shares and 6,000 comments. The story has also been featured on two Indianapolis TV stations.


TRAUMA-INFORMED TEACHING Smith earned his bachelor’s degree in graphic design at Campbell before making the transition into teaching in the early 2000s. He earned his teaching credentials and his Master’s degree from Marian University in Indiana and has served as a teacher, charter school curriculum specialist, and assistant principal before being named the principal at Stonybrook Intermediate and Middle School in May 2019. When two of his closest friends tried to convince Smith to join them in pursuing their doctorates in education, Smith wasn’t sure at first. But he said he had an “epiphany” of sorts that eventually led to him applying to pursue his EdD and EdS from Ball State’s Teachers College. “I’ve been telling my kids my whole life, ‘Leave everything on the court, leave everything on the field, maximize your influence, give it your all,’” Smith said of that decision. “And I was just like, ‘You know, just go ahead and do this, because you were given a God-given ability and intelligence to do it, and you will show and model perseverance.’” Smith’s dissertation at Ball State is focused on trauma-informed teaching, which, according to Educational Leadership magazine, happens when teachers and administrators “are proactive and responsive to the needs of students suffering from traumatic stress and make small changes in the classroom that foster a feeling of safety.”


Jason Smith, who played basketball at Campbell University in the late 1990s, is shown cutting a teammate’s hair at Campbell while a student.

Smith said the haircut scenario is a perfect example of that “trauma-informed teaching” approach. “I feel like the future of inner-city schools being successful, and dealing with the fallout of years of institutional racism and policies, means we’re going to have to lead with our heart and be proactive and put proactive systems in place so kids know what’s going on,” he said. “The students have agendas, you give them warnings before you transition, you give them choice, and consistently build relationships with them. That’s how you get kids to sit down and listen and to begin to learn.” Smith has aspirations of earning a position in the administration building, and perhaps even one day being named superintendent. For now, however, he’s perfectly content in his current role helping directly shape and influence young lives as the principal at Stonybrook Intermediate and Middle School. “Honestly, after falling in love with these kids and this staff, I’d really like to be here for another seven or eight years doing this work,” Smith said. ANDREW WALKER | BALL STATE UNIVERSITY

started a new job as national promotion manager for Christian record label Fair Trade Services. AUSTIN “DUTCH” ENTWISTLE III (’17 LAW) was promoted to

partner at Hartsell & Williams, P.A. Entwistle’s areas of practice include civil litigation, estate litigation, real property disputes and appeals. During his time at Campbell, Entwistle was a standout mock trial participant and was among a team of students to win the Mock Trial National Championship known as the South Texas Challenge. M. KELLEY SOLOMON JOHNSON (’18 LAW) a

personal injury attorney, joined the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin to concentrate on nursing home and assisted living abuse and neglect in 2020. In law school, she served as volunteer and co-coordinator for the Wills/Advanced Directives Pro Bono Project, gaining insight into the needs of the vulnerable elderly population and exploring her passion for helping those who need it most.


ALUMNI NOTES SARAH SMITH (’18) had a busy year — she graduated from Lincoln Memorial University’s PA program in September 2020. On Oct. 18, she got married. Then Smith started as a physician assistant at an internal medicine practice in November. ANTONY RAWINDRARAJ (’19) was selected for a PGY-

4 internal medicine chief resident position between 2022 and 2023.


started a new job as a clinical HIV and organ transplant specialty pharmacist working in Durham at Walgreens Specialty Pharmacy. ��������������������������


Marsha McCoy at Campbell University’s Homecoming in 2018. Photo by Bennett Scarborough MILES BAKER HUNT (’20, ’21)

was accepted as a Fellow at Duke University Divinity School within the Thriving Communities Fellowship program. Hunt is working on his Master of Divinity degree. Fellows in this program seek to envision the church as a catalyst for social healing, local economic development and community revitalization. MAYA BRYANT (’20 MBA)

joined the North Carolina Theatre as communications manager. A native of Durham, Bryant was also a top finalist at Miss North Carolina and is currently Miss Dunn 2021. She will compete for Miss North Carolina in 2021 promoting her personal platform, Arts at the Core, where she travels across the state promoting the importance of Arts Education in our schools.


‘Campbell’s Cheerleader’ champions the alma mater where she ‘matters’


arsha McCoy’s parents pushed her to take advantage of opportunities, instilling in her the values of “every day discipline” and the importance of a quality education. On her mother’s recommendation, Marsha applied to Campbell in 2004. When she received her acceptance and scholarship information before hearing back from any other school, she was impressed with Campbell’s quick response and Christian values. Shortly after arriving in Buies Creek, she and a friend went to McDonald’s for breakfast. Her friend pointed out Dr. Jerry Wallace — Campbell’s fourth president — standing in line with them. “That’s your president,” her friend said. Marsha whirled around, squeaked out how nice it was to meet him, and stood in shock when he “lit up like a Christmas tree” and said, “Well, it’s very nice to meet you, too.” After they were seated, Dr. Wallace came over and asked if he could join them. “The little freshman who didn’t see herself as significant got to have breakfast with someone important. That let me know that Campbell is truly a family,” McCoy recalls.

It was through her relationship with Wallace that McCoy began to believe she mattered. Campbell became her home — a place where she felt known and could make meaningful connections with people. “Campbell will give you an experience,” she says, “but you maximize your experience. You get more out of it when you add your twist and do your part.” McCoy continues to live the Campbell experience nearly 13 years after graduation. She made history in 2020 when she became the first Black president of the Alumni Association Board of Directors. She first joined the board in 2013, and her passion and love for her alma mater earned her the nickname “Campbell’s cheerleader” from fellow board members. “When you’re in what you love and you love what you’re in, it’s not a job, it’s not work, it’s a pleasure.” One of McCoy’s goals as board president is to encourage alumni to give back to Campbell. She believes giving allows her to invest in the students and her school, which, as she says, “keeps my degree looking good.” “I am really grateful,” McCoy says, “They invested in me. I get the opportunity to invest back in them. I believe in my alma mater.” ISABELLA ROGERS

52 SPRING 2021


Join the Wiggins Society Through the Campbell Leads campaign, we seek support to provide opportunities for students at Campbell. Learn more about planned giving at

B. Gail Tyndall (’68)


As I look back on my college days, they still stand out as the happiest time of my life.


was a transfer student to Campbell in 1965, after one semester at a business college in Washington, D.C., where I was born. I quickly discovered that business was not going to be my niche. I knew in my heart that I wanted to go away somewhere to satisfy my independent nature and to live a boarding student’s adventure.

Since my parents were originally from North Carolina and we visited relatives there often, I began looking at colleges there. Being raised in a Baptist home, where church attendance was valued, I also wanted to be in a Christian environment. I fell in love quickly with Campbell’s sprawling campus and settled into my assigned fiveroom Bryan Dorm suite, which became an education in itself — living in a very small area and learning to share shower times with nine other girls. Also, living with so many others was not very conducive to quiet study time. But those days of trekking to Carrie Rich library to study in the racks paid off. I made the Dean’s List my first semester. I was thriving! Campbell offered many activities that interested me — I was on the Creek Pebbles newspaper staff, in choir and in the Religious Education Club, where I loved Professor Perry Q. Langston and enjoyed his sponsored off-campus mission trips to various churches. I also joined nearby Lillington Baptist Church. There is one exciting and historic event I will never forget being part of — the accreditation of Campbell College as a fully accredited four-year institution by the Southern Association of Schools. It was finalized at its meeting in Miami on Dec. 2, 1966. When word was received that President Leslie Campbell and Dean A.R. Burkot were heading home by train and arriving in Dunn, I was one of 500 students and staff who enthusiastically greeted them at the train station at 2:30 a.m. to celebrate on a very brisk early morning. This had been Dr. Campbell’s fondest wish and dream, and I was proud and privileged to be part of it.

Looking back now I see that my career developed from and was a reflection of the things I learned and experienced at Campbell. Graduating with a B.A. in English, I worked as a technical editor for a Navy contractor; for a city newspaper; a TV station writing commercials; a social worker with special needs children; and then spent 25 years working in county public affairs and in politics for a congressman, sheriff and two county commissioners. All the while during my journey after college, I never forgot Campbell and continued to contribute as an alumna. Though I moved from Maryland to Florida six years after graduation, I visited Campbell when I could, and in 2018 was pleased to join fellow ’68 grads at our 50th reunion in Buies Creek. I encourage everyone to contribute to the mission of our wonderful private university. For that reason and more, I have decided to bequeath the largest part of my estate to Campbell as part of my estate planning. I want more young adults to have similar positive experiences that Campbell provides and that prepares them to flourish later in life. I am sure, like me, they will always remember the professors, friends, experiences and disciplines that will shape them for a lifetime.



(910) 893-1350

(910) 893-1847

Vice President for Institutional Advancement


One of B. Gail Tyndall’s fondest memories of her time at Campbell was the 2:30 a.m. celebration at a train station in Dunn when the school earned its accreditation as a four-year school.

Director of Planned Giving



resident at Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, was honored in January as part of the Exceptional Moments in Teaching program of Penn State Health and Penn State College of Medicine. “Dr. Greene was a fantastic resident and teacher,” a current student wrote. “As a resident, it was amazing to watch her consistently address the needs of all of the patients on her service, demonstrate respect for team members, deliver impeccable presentations and consistently close loops of communication. She also demonstrated an exceptional degree of resilience and light-heartedness that I really admired.” THIBAUT JACQUEL (’20)

was selected by FC Dallas in the third round (75th overall) of the Major League Soccer SuperDraft in January. A native of Saverne, France, Jacquel tied for the national goal scoring lead (18) in 2019 when he was a third-team All-America choice by the United Soccer Coaches. The 2019 Big South Conference attacking player of the year, Jacquel tied for third in the country with 41 points on the strength of 18 goals and five assists. He led the Camels to a school-record 17 wins, a No. 24 national ranking and to the second round of the NCAA College Cup. NICHOLAS TESSENER (’20 LAW) joined the Law Offices

of James Scott Farrin as a personal injury attorney with a focus on litigation in September. He is a member of North Carolina’s House Select Committee on Community Relations, Law Enforcement and Justice and has the goal of helping improve relations between the state’s law enforcement and the communities it serves.

William Ledbetter speaking at the 2013 spring commencement ceremony. Photo by Bennett Scarborough


Member of historic class enjoyed long career in Virginia judicial system


illiam H. Ledbetter Jr. (’63) was a member of a very important class in Campbell University’s history. He was among the first students to graduate from then Campbell College with a fouryear degree. He was in the first group to attend Campbell after the school dropped the name “Junior” from its title. Ledbetter joined 20 members of that class in Buies Creek for the 2013 commencement ceremony to celebrate their 50th reunion. Ledbetter said then that Campbell’s decision to go to a four-year curriculum actually caused many to change their minds about attending the school. But Ledbetter had confidence in the school’s vision at the time. “Being back on campus, looking at this graduating class … it gives us a sense of vindication that we made the right choice,” he told the Class of 2013. “Fifty years from now after you’ve completed your long and successful careers, I’m confident you’ll look back and agree with us that you made the right decision.” William Ledbetter died in October in Cumming, Georgia, after an extended bout with pulmonary fibrosis. He was 79. A native of Stedman, North Carolina, Ledbetter

54 SPRING 2021

left Campbell after earning his bachelor’s degree and graduated first in his class at the University of Richmond School of Law and got his master’s degree at Yale Law School. He taught law school at the University of South Carolina before setting up a practice in the Fredericksburg, Virginia, area in the early 1970s. His stellar reputation as a lawyer resulted in Ledbetter being appointed a circuit court judge in 1987. He went on to preside over hundreds of criminal and civil cases over the next 18 years until his retirement in 2005. The majority of his judicial time was spent in Spotsylvania Circuit Court, but he made regular appearances in other area courts, as well. He received the Harry L. Carrico Outstanding Service Award in 2004 from the Judicial Council of Virginia. “He was clearly one of the best judges I’ve ever practiced before,” retired attorney Mark Gardner said. “He was a great person as well and had a way of making people feel comfortable and like they had been treated fairly.” Judge Ledbetter is survived by his wife, Susan, daughters Kimberly Renee Comerford (James) and Jennifer Alise Springsteen (Joseph), stepson Glenn Stewart Graham (Susan) and seven grandchildren — THE FREDRICKSBURG POST


Community Law Clinic namesake lived a life of service to others


harles “Charlie” Fuller Blanchard was a legal pioneer and servant leader whose impact on the Norman Adrian Wiggins School of Law will be felt for generations. The namesake of the school’s Blanchard Community Law Clinic died in March at the age of 97. “The impact of Charlie’s support of the Blanchard Community Law Clinic,” said Clinic Director Ashley Campbell. “With his generous contribution, we have trained more than 100 lawyers, and have attempted to imbue them with the qualities that Charlie exemplified — character, intelligence, professionalism, kindness and leadership. With Charlie’s gift, we have changed the lives of hundreds of low-income people for the better. We have engaged volunteer lawyers in service to their community, as Charlie encouraged us to do. We are honored to carry his name and will forever be grateful that he shared it with us.” Born in Hamlet, North Carolina, in 1923, Blanchard and his family moved to Raleigh when he was 3 years old, and the city remained his home throughout his lifetime. He served his country as a Lieutenant J.G. in the U.S. Navy in World War II, and then returned home to graduate from Duke University School of Law. He opened his own law practice in 1949 in Raleigh and Fuquay-Varina. Blanchard was the senior partner at Blanchard, Miller & Lewis, P.A. until 2000. He was a founding member of the North Carolina Academy of Trial Lawyers. He was a lecturer at

the North Carolina Conference of Superior Court Judges, the UNC Medical School, the Duke University School of Engineering and the Association of Trial Lawyers of America. Extremely active in the bar, he served as chairman of the Litigation Section of the North Carolina Bar Association, president of the Wake County Bar Association and the North Carolina Academy of Trial Lawyers, governor of the Association of Trial Lawyers of America for two terms, and a member of the Duke University Law School Council. Outside of the legal profession, he was an active member of St. Michaels Episcopal Church for more than 60 years, where he served two terms as senior warden, Sunday school teacher and past president of the N.C. Episcopal Foundation. Throughout his adult life, Blanchard served on many community boards including the Raleigh Rescue Mission, Residential Support Services and St. Augustine’s College. In 2015, he was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Arc of Wake County for his work for those with disabilities. “If you dig deep enough, almost every important legal initiative in this community traces back to Charlie Blanchard,” said Campbell Law Dean J. Rich Leonard. “There is no one who has done more for this city, and no one whose name is more appropriate to mark our clinic.”


Alumna dedicated her life to teaching Georgia Kincaid Cates, 80, of Morganton, died on Feb. 6. Born in Burke County in 1940, she was the daughter of the late Wilson and Rucker Kincaid. She was a member of St. Mary’s and St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Morganton. Cates graduated from Oak Hill School and earned her bachelor’s degree in business education from Campbell College. Cates was a member of the Campbell College Class of 1963, the first group of students to attend Campbell for a four-year degree. MAGAZINE.CAMPBELL.EDU

She then began her teaching career at Drexel High School, North Carolina School for the Deaf and East Burke High School. Upon completion of her master’s degree in guidance counseling from Lenoir-Rhyne College, she began school counseling at Oak Hill Junior High School. She later moved to Freedom High School, from which she retired. Cates was an active member in the Sandy Beach Shag Club and the Society of Stranders in Myrtle Beach, S.C. She enjoyed traveling, reading and especially spending time with her beloved grandchildren.


Decorated war veteran served in Vietnam Horace Mewborn (’63) served two and a half tours in the Republic of South Vietnam as part of the U.S. Army’s Fifth Special Forces Group Mike Force after college. There he was awarded his Combat Infantryman’s Badge, Purple Heart, Bronze Star, Senior Parachutist’s Badge and other awards from the South Vietnam Government and was promoted to Captain. While on his last tour in the Republic of South Vietnam, he was assigned as the personal escort for Lt. Col. Martha Raye (Maggie, as she was known to Mewborn) with whom he formed a life-long friendship, often visiting her in Hollywood. After serving seven years, he was selected by the Federal Bureau of Investigation to attend their academy in Quantico, VA. After graduating from the Academy, he was assigned to a field office in New York City and later to headquarters in D.C. He retired to New Bern in 1990. There, he continued his love and study of the Civil War, writing several books on John S. Mosby and other topics about the conflict. Mewborn did not boast or exalt his achievements, but instead, quietly went about being an unassuming friend to many.





am a newspaper guy. An ink-in-my-blood, loose-tie, rolled-up-sleeves newspaper guy who fell in love with the industry when it was already well past its prime. Nobody told me newspapers were dying back in college, of course. Not that it would have changed my mind. I was going to be the editor of the Washington Post, come hell or high water, and there was a time in my career where I was on the right path to do just that. I got my first editor job at a weekly outside of Houston, Texas, when I was 26. I was running a daily newspaper in Louisiana by 29. I was 30 when I arrived in North Carolina to take over another daily. But by 34, I was burned out. Already. Long hours, daily deadlines, high stress, little pay and little hope for the future — these things tend to do that to a guy. Now imagine being 34 and realizing the career you’d worked so hard for and was so passionate about was also the one thing keeping you away from your family and the one thing draining your life force. In 2011, I saw a job posting for a position at Campbell University. I didn’t know anything about Campbell, aside from the fact that it was about 40 minutes from where I lived. That — and the possibility of having a 9-5 job

with holidays off for the first time in my life — was all I needed.

think I would matter nearly as much at an institution of higher education.

I applied. Eventually, I got the job.

I was wrong. Campbell has shown me my true calling —the thing that was really driving me as a journalist and continues to drive me today.

Ten years later, I still have the job. This milestone year and the faith-invocation cover story for this edition of Campbell Magazine — in addition to my participation in Campbell’s Network for Vocation in Theological Education course with 15 other Campbell staff members — have allowed me to reflect on my decision to come to Buies Creek. The NetVUE course is challenging us to get deep and explore themes of faith and calling in our careers. I was excited about joining Campbell in 2011, and I saw taking over a university publication and leaving journalism for more of a marketing role as a challenge. But part of me also viewed leaving the newspaper industry as “giving up” my passion and waving the white flag on what I thought was my calling. And it took a few years for me to shake this feeling. I missed the thrill of chasing down the big story, collaborating with like-minded journalists who shared my passion and making a difference in my community. I missed the importance of the job. I didn’t

I’m a storyteller. And 10 years into this gig, I’m nowhere near running out of stories to tell about the men and women who run this institution and those who leave this place to go on and do great things. For the NetVUE course, I was asked to share my story — instead of someone else’s. I was challenged to explore my calling and reveal why what I do matters. I recalled covering third-year medical students on their rotations in Lumberton a few years back and being there for a young woman’s first C-section delivery. It was a moment the student will never forget, and a story not a lot of people get to tell. This is what I’m supposed to do. And I’m extremely lucky that I get to do it.

Billy Liggett | Editor




On Campbell Giving Day, we saw the Campbell University community boldly aim “to the stars” with gifts that empower the leaders of tomorrow. Thanks to generosity of more than 1,800 alumni, employees, students, parents and friends, we surpassed our goal of $1 million on February 3. SPRING 2021


1970: The first 80-plus years at Campbell were dance free — it took an easing of restrictions by third President Norman Adrian Wiggins before students were allowed the cut a rug (at a distance, though, if this photo from 1970 is any indication). The Campbells (founder J.A. and his son Leslie) were strictly against dancing and wouldn't allow it under their leadership. They apparently disliked telephones, too ... students finally got phones in their dorm rooms also in the 70s. MAGAZINE.CAMPBELL.EDU


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