Campbell Magazine | Winter 2018

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2 WINTER 2017-18


Campbell University endured not one, but two blasts of winter to start the spring semester in January. The second brought with it about an inch of snow and sub-freezing temperatures for four straight days. One result was the frozen fountain near Marshbanks, caught through the lens of senior business administration major Logan Allen on one particularly crisp morning. | Photo by Logan Allen M AG AZIN E .CAMP BE LL.EDU


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For the first time, Campbell Magazine will feature four different covers in this Winter 2018 edition. The four students featured are first-generation students, each with an inspiring story to share. Our students are Jennifer SalazarSanchez, Megan Robillard, Caleb Register and Amari Simpson. | Photos by Lissa Gotwals, Cover designs by Jonathan Bronsink

____________________________________ PRESIDENT



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Post Office Box 567 Buies Creek, NC 27506

WINTER 2018 Post Office Box 567 Buies Creek, NC 27506

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WINTER 2018 Post Office Box 567 Buies Creek, NC 27506

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Haven Hottel ’00 ____________________________________ GEN1







Photo by Bennett Scarborough








24 GEN1

First-generation college students — students whose parents either did not attend or graduate from a four-year college or university — enter their higher education journey at a disadvantage over "legacy" students, and the statistics support this. We feature four first-generation students at Campbell (which is 30-percent Gen1) who share their struggles and triumphs and give a "behind-the-curtain" peek at the life of a college freshman.



40 Big Shot

Chris Clemons was getting looks from the NBA after his sophomore season, but he still chose to return to Campbell. He's once again one of the top scorers in the country and poised to lead the Camels into March.

46 Where BCA Once Stood


One photo, hidden away in Campbell's archives, provided the key to unlocking the exact location of Buies Creek Academy, which burned to the ground in 1900, only to be replaced by Kivett Hall. Learn more about Campbell's beginnings and the research that led to this discovery.

50 Worth a Thousand Words

Alumna Ashley Stephenson found her calling telling other people's stories through her lens. Stephenson, who spoke at Connections last fall, has her own inspirational story to share.


Campbell University launched the Rural Philanthropic Analysis in 2017 to study how we can better fund projects that improve the health and well-being of people living in rural areas of the United States. This spring, Campbell Magazine will dive deep into the RPA to see where the needs lie and will look at Campbell's storied history of serving Harnett County and other rural areas in our region. Photo by Gerry Dincher | Creative Commons 2 WINTER 2017-18

Billy Liggett


Jonathan Bronsink ’05


Nikki Zawol


Sarah Hardin ____________________________________ ACCOLADES

CASE International Circle of Excellence Feature Writing: 2017 (Bronze) CASE III Grand Award Best Magazine: 2013 Editorial Design: 2018 Feature Writing: 2017 Illustration-Cover: 2018 Most Improved: 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 Photography Series: 2017 CASE III Award of Excellence Best Magazine: 2017 Best Article (Platinum): 2018 Editorial Design: 2017, 2018 Feature Writing: 2018 Periodical Design: 2018 Publications Writing: 2014 Illustrations: 2016 ____________________________________ 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 the College of Arts & Sciences, the Norman Adrian Wiggins School of Law, the Lundy-Fetterman School of Business, the School of Education, the College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences, the Divinity School, the Catherine W. Wood School of Nursing, the School of Engineering and the Jerry M. Wallace School of Osteopathic Medicine. Campbell University was ranked among the Best Regional Universities in the South by U.S. News & World Report in its America’s Best Colleges 2018 edition and named one of the “100 Best College Buys” in the nation by Institutional Research & Evaluation, Inc. EEO/AA/Minorities/Females/Disabled/Protected Veterans


There is no substitute for educational travel


he last time I stood before the statue of Martin Luther, he was decorated with an unsightly patina of green streaks and pigeon droppings. The only inhabitants of the city who seemed to notice him were the birds who found on his broad, bronze shoulders a convenient perch. Martin Luther had been neglected in effigy and historical memory by the German Democratic Republic. Over three decades ago, I visited this city of Eisenach, then impounded behind the Iron Curtain. From the appearance of the statue, I surmised little had been done since the victors of World War 2 divided the spoils of battle into the bi-polarities of East and West. The two dominant colors of the cityscape were gray and dark gray. No window boxes blossoming with bright geraniums. No smiling faces or eye contact from passersby. No Struessel, Stollen or Lebkuchen in bakery display windows. No sounds of Bach, Beethoven or Brahms anywhere. Thirty-five years later on that same spot, Luther was looking good, all dressed up for the 500th Anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, a commemoration which drew millions from around the world, including 20 people from Campbell University. “Martin Luther and the Reformation Christmas Tour of Germany,” was the first Campbell Passport trip offered by Campbell in over 20 years. The refurbished statue of Luther, standing proudly in the city square across from our hotel, was the centerpiece of Eisenach, where Luther attended Latin School as a youth. In the nearby Wartburg Castle in 1521, he translated the Greek New Testament into the German vernacular. Eisenach is also the birthplace of Johann Sebastian Bach, and our group visited the Bach House where we enjoyed a miniconcert of the composer’s music played on original baroque instruments. Other stops on the tour included Frankfurt, Mainz, Erfurt, Eisleben, Leipzig, Wittenberg and Berlin. Leipzig was an especially memorable stop on the tour. It has the best Christmas market of any we visited and is rich in history; having been a crossroads of commerce, culture and conflict through the centuries. Within a few city blocks, we walked through half of a millennium of epochal history. Leipzig was the location of one of Luther’s most consequential theological debates in 1519, and


President J. Bradley Creed and a group of faculty, staff and alumni took part in the "Martin Luther and the Reformation Christmas Tour of Germany" in December — the first Campbell Passport trip organized by Campbell's Office of Alumni Engagement. A similar trip for Boston is planned for October.

was the place where Bach made his greatest contributions as a composer and musician while serving as the organist and Kappelmeister at the St. Thomas Church. In the 800-year-old Nicolaikirche located in the city center, hopeful people gathered in the autumn of 1989 to launch the Velvet Revolution. As a child of the 60s and 70s, I was resigned to the inevitability of the Cold War. It was inconceivable that the iron fist of Soviet-style Communism could be unclenched or that people under its grip would know anything but a dystopian future, but here in Leipzig, prayers and peaceful protests were the first salvo that brought the wall down. Within one small sector of a German city, we Campbell travelers contemplated monumental shifts sparked by small catalysts of faith altering the course of civilization: a praying monk named Martin who finds forgiveness and peace with God; a musical genius who writes on the pages of his compositions, Soli Deo Gloria — for the Glory of God Alone; residents who took to the streets under the banner “We Are the People” and brought a totalitarian regime to its knees without a drop of blood being shed. These are events you can read about in a book, but there is no substitute for educational travel in gaining insight into the dynamics of history and culture. What we travelers witnessed and shared are the kinds of learning experiences I desire for Campbell students. Travel offers a sense of perspective on your own life and the times in which you live. You gain a deeper appreciation of history and

the forces which have shaped society and redrawn boundary lines across continents. Once you have pushed through your comfort zone by navigating another culture, you aren’t as skittish about tackling the next challenge. Students involved in educational travel are more globally and economically aware of current events. They have a leg up on their careers with enhanced marketable skills like speaking a foreign language, creative thinking, and curiosity. The sights and sounds of Germany at Christmas during a jubilee year of historic commemoration have now melded into my memory, but they continue to stimulate my moral imagination, forever altering how I encounter the world around me. The Reformation is a topic I have studied as a scholar and teacher for over 40 years, but through this trip, I gained insights and knowledge previously unknown to me. The weather was cold, the skies were gray, and the days were short, but the conviviality among fellow pilgrims warmed us, the light of learning brightened our way, and the lessons we learned together were timeless. Campbell’s first alumni and friends trip after a quarter century of hibernation was a success. It won’t be the last.

J. Bradley Creed, President Campbell University




The Buies of Summer

baseball Professional form in its purest

COINCIDENCE? WE THINK NOT: The Houston Astros won their first World Series title in the team's 56-year history in 2017 — the same year the organization moved its High-A Minor League affiliate from California to Buies Creek, North Carolina. While the Astros' stay at Campbell University is temporary — as noted in our Summer 2017 edition cover story, "The Buies of Summer," the team will move to its permanent home in Fayetteville when a new stadium is completed in 2019 — last year will go down as the most successful Astros season ever. And we're pretty thrilled to have played a "minor" role in it. | Associated Press Photo

The Buies of Summer To the Editor: I thoroughly enjoyed your cover story, “The Buies of Summer,” in the Summer 2017 edition of Campbell Magazine. I think your readers have a broader understanding of how unique the Astros' two-year stay in Buies Creek will be. You did a great job in providing insight to what Minor League Baseball is all about. STEVE WHITE Cullowhee To the Editor: I was born, raised and currently live in Houston, Texas, and I couldn't pass up a chance to see an Astros affiliate in person while visiting a college friend in Dunn last summer. He shared your Campbell Magazine story with me, and I must agree, it was “baseball in its purest form." Close seats, a great game and a beautiful college ballpark. You couldn't ask for more on an August evening in North Carolina. GREGORY JOSEPH Houston 4 WINTER 2017-18

The legend of Michael Ferguson To the Editor: I'm proud to say that Michael Ferguson was a friend of mine when I was at Campbell. Sorry to say, like many from the late 60s, I have not kept in touch with friends from those days. The disillusionment of our attempt to “change the world” was profound. This may account for some of your difficulty in finding Michael. However, legend has it that Michael went to work at Rolling Stone after leaving Campbell. I don't know if that was true or not, but I know he did write some articles for them, because I read them. If you really want to track him down, you might try contacting Rolling Stone. Somewhere in my stacks of photos I have a picture I took at Michael's wedding. It was clearly a late 60s, Flower Power wedding and is a beautiful memory. The chances of finding that photo are slim to minuscule. GLENN DUNN (’69) Burlington

@billyliggett and @jbronsink in the "winners circle" after @CampbellUMag takes home 10 @Case_III awards — including two grand awards in magazine design — at the annual Council for Advancement and Support of Education District III conference in Atlanta. We're no good at this selfie thing. #CampbellLeads

TALK TO US Comment on our stories or send us your Campbell experiences by emailing Billy Liggett at Mail us at Campbell Magazine | PO Box 567 | Buies Creek, NC 27506. Comment on all of these stories online at or on our various social media platforms. Tell us what you think!

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Graduates spend a lot of time decorating their caps for commencement. What better way to read them all than from the rafters in the John W. Pope Jr. Convocation Center, which will be celebrating its 10th anniversary this fall. | Photo by Bennett Scarborough 6 WINTER 2017-18




The 2017 Fighting Camels football season was an important one on many levels. First, the team's 6-5 record marked only the program's second winning season since bringing back football in 2008. The 2017 season was also the milestone 10th season since that inaugural season. And to further prove how far the program has come in a short time, this was Campbell's final football season in non-scholarship play. The team will compete in the FCS scholarship-level Big South Conference beginning next fall. | Photo by Bennett Scarborough

8 WINTER 2017-18





The Power of Rural

Campbell has a long history of supporting rural communities; latest efforts only strengthening the cause


he launch of the Rural Philanthropic Analysis last summer marked a new effort by Campbell University to better understand rural communities and the best way to fund programs that improve the health of rural Americans. But it was by no means Campbell’s first foray in serving the underserved. From founder J.A. Campbell’s goal of educating young men and women in Harnett County regardless of their financial standing to the 2013 opening of North Carolina’s first School of Osteopathic Medicine, Campbell University has a 130-year history of contributing to and supporting healthy, equitable rural communities.

Campbell celebrated its inaugural Rural Health Week in November, coinciding with National Rural Health Day on Nov. 16. The week began with health science students penning “thank you” postcards to their preceptor partners in rural areas and progressed to the grand opening ribboncutting of the new Health Center in nearby Dunn, a center that will treat thousands of North Carolinians annually. The week culminated with a National Rural Health Day luncheon with two “Culture of Health” awards presented, one to Campbell alumnus Bill Pully (’79 Law), the former president of the North Carolina Hospital

Association, and the other to Tom Butler, owner of Butler Farms in Lillington, for his pioneering work in trapping methane gas on his hog farms to create renewable energy and eliminate harmful pollution. “Rural Health Week was an acknowledgement that Campbell’s roots are rural and our central commitment is to our neighbors,” said David Tillman, chairman of Campbell’s public health department. “We continue to be inspired by the work being done by our faculty, students and community partners to expand access to high-quality health care in rural places.”

Rural Philanthropic Analysis: The central aim of the Rural Philanthropic Analysis project is to better understand rural places and funding practices that are leading the way toward health improvement in rural regions across the country. The RPA believes this effort will help facilitate more – and more effective – investments by funders of all types and sizes. Support for the RPA is being provided in part by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. 10 WINTER 2017-18


7% Only 7 percent of the nation’s private philanthropic investments are associated with a rural-focused initiatives. Even fewer of these rural investments are directed toward work addressing issues of equity of race, class, education and economic opportunity. The numbers speak to the lack of a real national basis of understanding of how to invest in rural regions.


In 2014, North Carolina had 4,681 actively practicing dentists and ranked 47th among U.S. states in dentistto-population ratio. The need for dentists is increasing as the population grows and underserved areas persist. In February, Campbell hosted its first Rural Oral Health Summit (pictured below) to address the oral health needs of the state’s rural communities.


The appreciation I see on patients’ faces have made a lasting impression on me. No matter what happens in a given day, when a patient gives you a sincere handshake and says ‘thank you’ for taking care of them, it really stays with you.”


For the past three years, Campbell Med students have dedicated their time and knowledge to care for rural areas in Harnett and surrounding counties. The students have staffed the Community Care Clinic to help those in the community get the medical attention they need. The student-run clinic has served hundreds of patients since opening in 2014. All patient care, including consults, prescriptions and lab tests, is completely free, supported by volunteers and several grants. Each Tuesday evening in teams, medical students and student volunteers from the College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences see patients and present their findings to an attending physician. The student team and the physician work together to diagnose the patient and come up with treatment options. In three years, the students have saved Harnett County nearly $400,000 with the services provided. Once a patient has been to the clinic, they’re able to return and be treated as if it were any other doctor’s office. LYNSEY TREMBLY

— Justyne Murphy, med student, co-director of the student-run clinic


The School of Osteopathic Medicine’s campus health center has treated more than 38,000 patients since opening in 2013. The need for it and its success led to the University opening a second Harnett County clinic in December — this one in nearby Dunn, next to Betsy Johnson Hospital. The new clinic offers services in geriatric medicine, osteopathic manipulative medicine, sports medicine and spine and back treatment.

More than 2.2 million North Carolinians live in rural communities — roughly a fifth of the total population. More than 80 percent of the state’s municipalities lie in the state's 85 rural counties. Most municipalities in rural counties are small: 92 percent have fewer than 10,000 people; about half have fewer than 1,000 residents.


The average household income in rural areas is $33,872, far below the state average of $40,759. The poverty rate in rural North Carolina is 19 percent, compared to 14.3 percent in urban areas, and roughly 18.8 percent of the state’s rural population has not completed high school. The unemployment rate is also higher in rural areas, 5.9 percent compared to 4.8 in urban areas. M AG AZIN E .CAMP BE LL.EDU



“All people want is for someone to acknowledge who they are. They want someone to see them and know that they matter in the world. I feel that my calling as a counselor is to let people know that they are not in this by themselves. I want to let people know that we can get through anything with God’s help.”— first-year Master of Divinity student Naomi Simmons | Photo by Ian Butts, Noonday Studios

12 WINTER 2017-18


Study: Your Fitbit stinks


Bunn, along with Tiffany Sears, Elmer Alvalos, Samantha Lawson and Ian McAlister — all undergrads at the time of the study — set out to test the accuracy of wrist-worn activity trackers Fitbit, Garmin, Apple iWatch and Jawbone; as well as the hip-worn Digi-Walker.


And the numbers weren’t even close. Fitbit underestimated steps by as much as 10 percent at all speeds, according to the study, published last year in the International Journal of Exercise Science. All of the tested devices underestimated steps, according to the study, with Garmin performing the best at a -2.7 percent difference from actual counted steps. Fitbit, Garmin and Jawbone got progressively worse with increasing speed, whereas the iWatch performed the worst at the slowest and fastest speeds.

Rhymes With Orange: Hear Jennifer Bunn talk more about her fitness wearables research and what brought her to Campbell on our podcast. iTunes


strya virginiana, Carya illinoinensis and Nandina domestica are just a few of the specimens found on golf courses at Keith Hills Country Club that will forever live on, thanks to digital herbariums. Campbell's College of Arts & Sciences, alongside similar programs at N.C. State and Appalachian State, received funding from the National Science Foundation to preserve, document and archive thousands of plant specimens for scientific study around the world. Christopher Havran, associate professor of biology, and a team of student researchers set a goal of adding 4,701 specimens to the Southeast Regional Network of Expertise and Collections herbarium in one week. Each specimen acts as a snapshot of a plant in time in space. Plucked from nature and dried in a controlled environment,



'Digital herbarium' takes root online

Studying 10 “recreationally active” participants walking on treadmills at fivedifferent speeds, Bunn’s study found that the Fitbit — the most sought-after of the fitness wearables, according to Amazon — was the worst when it came to accurately counting steps in a controlled setting.

“If the reason you’re wearing these devices is to simply become more active, then this data might not matter,” Bunn says. “But if you’re relying on your steps for something like Stepbet [a walking challenge app] or to collect information on your caloric expenditure, then this is important to know. The fact that your data is wrong can really affect whether or not you’re achieving your goals.”


orry, step-counters. Your Fitbit isn't as reliable as you think it is. That’s what recent research by Jennifer Bunn, director of research and associate professor in Campbell’s Doctor of Physical Therapy program, has determined.

a specimen enters a herbarium by being properly identified by its scientific name, collector, location found, habitat, description and date of collection. Digitizing this information allows anyone to access a high-resolution digital image of plant specimens at Campbell freely online, reducing costs and damage through shipping while increasing research infrastructure. Botany students at Campbell are introduced to this process during the first week of class and submit at least three accurately documented plant specimens as part of their coursework. LEAH WHITT JARVIS

I want Campbell nurses to be known for having a brain, a mouth and a backbone. The brain to figure out what's happening at the bedside. The mouth because you're the only person who can speak up for that patient. And the backbone to call a doctor at 2 a.m. and say you need to come in and see them now.” — Nancy Duffy, director of nursing, on what she wants from her future graduates



DEC. 15, 2017


campbelledu Luke and Rey at Kivett? We won’t spoil it for you. #thelastjedi opens today — celebrate the end of another semester by visiting a galaxy far, far away.


Campbell's PGA Professional Golf Management program collected its unprecedented fifth national title in the 16th PGA Jones Cup in November, holding off two-time defending champion New Mexico State. No other PGA Professional Golf Management university has won four titles. Pictured are Luke Pollard, Brian Jones, Kyle Akins, Ian Illig, Ben Schlesman and PGM Director Ken Jones. Photo courtesy of PGA of America


President J. Bradley Creed celebrated the start of another racing season and the school's partnership with DunnBenson Motorsports and driver Bobby Pierce in January. Campbell is a major sponsor for the team in 2018.

14 WINTER 2017-18

Doubling Down on Opioids

Med school's opioid curriculum is enhanced in its second year as crisis continues to worsen nationally


ampbell’s Jerry M. Wallace School of Osteopathic Medicine has “doubled down” on its year-old opioid curriculum in 2018 in an effort to fight the nation’s growing drug epidemic that took 63,600 lives in 2016 alone. Additions to the curriculum — like sessions on recognizing and treating acute opioid overdose with naloxone and treating simulated patients who are abusing painkillers — came just months after President Donald Trump declared the nation’s opioid epidemic a “public health emergency,” mobilizing his Administration to address drug addiction and abuse in a more urgent manner. They also come at a time when life expectancy in the U.S. has fallen for the second straight year — the first two-year drop in the country since the 1960s. “The problem is getting worse,” says Dr. James Powers, the School of Medicine’s associate dean for clinical integration and interim chair of emergency medicine. “There were 646 opioid overdose visits to emergency rooms

in North Carolina in August of 2017 alone. That was a 27-percent increase from the prior month. The cost of unintentional opioidrelated deaths in North Carolina is in the billions now. “These are recent numbers. And those numbers are trending up.” As reported in the cover story for the Spring 2017 edition of Campbell Magazine, North Carolina is home to four of the Top 20 cities in the U.S. for rate of opioid abuse — No. 1 Wilmington, No. 5 Hickory, No. 12 Jacksonville and No. 18 Fayetteville. Nationally, drug overdoses are now the leading cause of injury death, outnumbering both traffic crashes and gun-related deaths. The death rate from overdoses has tripled since 1999. The blame for these numbers lies squarely with the nation’s addiction to painkillers. The School of Medicine launched its opioid education program in January 2017, joining schools throughout the country to educate the next generation of doctors on the dangers of opioid abuse and addiction. Campbell’s ILLUSTRATION BY JONATHAN BRONSINK

program is an effort to not only teach proper pain management and how to work with patients who may be abusing these highly addictive drugs, but to also attack the root of what sparks addiction for many — the overprescribing of opioids by family physicians and the criminal acts many patients will attempt to obtain more drugs. In December, Powers joined Dr. Hal Elliott, chair of the school’s Department of Psychiatry, and Dr. Dan Marlowe, chair and assistant professor of behavioral health for a follow-up interview to last spring’s Campbell Magazine feature. Powers says new and future Campbell physicians will be “thrust into the front lines” of the opioid epidemic, and their role will be “hugely important” in reversing the growing overdose trend. “Patients of doctors labeled as ‘high prescribers’ are more likely to go on to become chronic users of opioids,” Powers says. “So the front line is the key. We need to stop pushing opioids for things that can be treated just as well without using them. It’s the pathway to addiction.” The curriculum won’t just benefit students in Campbell’s health sciences programs. In March, medical students will perform a grand rounds presentation on the opioid overdosereversing drug naloxone for all faculty, staff and students. That drug has been responsible for nearly 10,000 lives saved in North Carolina since 2013, according to the N.C. Harm Reduction Coalition. Later this spring, second-year medical students will treat simulated patients experience as opioid overdose. Other standardized patients will attempt to fake pain symptoms to receive prescriptions, according to Powers.


The front line is the key. We need to stop pushing opioids for things that can be treated just as well without using them. It's the pathway to addiction.”

— Dr. James Powers, associate dean for clinical integration and interim chair of emergency medicine for the School of Osteopathic Medicine

“There are so many red flags the students will be looking for — patients with multiple prescribers, patients who say they lose their medication or run out of their pills early,” he says. “Our students will have to learn to recognize these and then ask themselves, ‘How do you manage this patient?’” According to Elliott, a big part of a Campbell medical student’s education is learning to better communicate with his or her colleagues across other health science disciplines. “It’s a community effort,” he says. “When a physician has a patient presenting with pain and anxiety and asking for narcotics, they need to know the proper referrals to make and which providers to involve. This has generated really good discussion with our

medical, our physician assistant and our nursing students.” Campbell resident doctors are learning to assess and intervene patients who show signs of substance abuse, according to Marlowe. A multi-disciplinary, collaborative approach is key, so doctors, pharmacists, PAs and nurses approach patients with the same or similar treatment plans in mind. For example, a physician might set up a meeting with a psychologist if he or she feels the patient needs that extra step in their wellness. Which leads to another big part of the Campbell curriculum — not just patient wellness, but the physician’s well-being as well. Marlowe says Campbell does a great job in promoting healthy lifestyles for it students, faculty and staff. The idea is that healthy, happy doctors will spend more time with their patients and encourage healthier, happier end results. “Ultimately, it’s easy to prescribe someone a pill for their pain,” Marlowe says, “as opposed to sitting down and having a conversation with them to explore their options. And it’s harder for a doctor to do that when they themselves are mentally or emotionally exhausted. Physicians are actually more likely to abuse substances, because they have such easy access to it. But if you promote wellness now and they maintain it as a student, they’re more likely to maintain it down the line as well. “We thoroughly believe how you conduct yourself as a student will determine how you conduct yourself as a professional.” BILLY LIGGETT



Junior Madison Herring flashes a smile to her coach as she rounds third base after hitting a home run against Georgia Tech on Feb. 25. It was Herring's third homer in three years at Campbell. | Photo by Bennett Scarborough 16 WINTER 2017-18




Did you know?: When Buies Creek Academy adopted athletics into the curricula, the mascot of choice was the Hornets. The "Fighting Camel" didn't come along until 1934, when the school was Campbell Junior College.



Engineering Class of 2020 The highlight of sophomore Morgan Hughes’ Campbell experience so far came last fall, 1,357 miles away from campus. Hughes and a handful of her classmates were among the more than 14,000 women — engineering professionals, professors and students — at the 2017 State of Women in Engineering Conference in Austin, Texas, an event organized annually by the Society of Women Engineers. Her “wow” moment happened on Day 2, when hundreds of companies gathered in the large ballroom to convince attendees why they’d make the perfect post-graduate landing spot to start a career.

This year's Founders Week (more on that on pages 22-23, 46-49) — which honored Campbell University's humble beginnings in 1887 as Buies Creek Academy — featured the "ultimate BCA fan" bobblehead, handed out at the Feb. 10 men's basketball Heritage Game. The figure features a slicked-down retro haircut, black letterman sweater and black-and-white BCA pennant. The bobblehead made its debut sporting a classic Camels basketball uniform in 2015. Gaylord bobbleheads have since sported the likeness of J.A. Campbell with glasses and mustache and Z.T. Kivett with a scruffy beard standing atop Campbell’s famous red bricks. LEAH WHITT JARVIS

JAN. 30, 2018

“I probably talked to 30 companies,” Hughes recalled. “We talked about internships. They each told me what they do and what they had to offer. I never knew I had so many options ahead of me.”

The Gaylord bobblehead has become an annual tradition each Founders Week and a much-sought-after collectible for Camel fans everywhere.

campbelledu A student union so big, we couldn’t fit it in one frame. We’re excited to break ground on Campbell University's new centerpiece — featuring new cafeterias, a two-story fitness center, a ballroom, a movie theater and much more — this spring. Stay tuned for event details #CampbellLeads 18 WINTER 2017-18

This is not just a job. It's a calling. The most rewarding part of my role here is meeting and working with such good friends. They like being associated with Campbell, and they support Campbell because it stands for something. They want it to succeed.” — Jack Britt

THE NEW PODCAST The Office of Communications & Marketing welcomed the new academic year last fall by launching a podcast, Rhymes With Orange. Started by Director of News & Publications Billy Liggett and former social media coordinator Leah Whitt Jarvis, the podcast was formed to provide a new form of storytelling and sharing “the extraordinary stories of extraordinary people at Campbell.” The first season welcomed 12 guests, and topics ranged from tattoos to marching bands to maritime history. Liggett and producer Sarah Hardin have carried the show into its second semester. “We work with all these talented people, and it's fun to peel back the onion and learn how they became the person they are and what led them to Campbell," Liggett says.

JACK BRITT (1931-2018)

A lifelong advocate, Britt left giant footprints in North Carolina education


ack Britt, a longtime educator and former superintendent of Cumberland County Schools and for 27 years a valued member of Campbell University’s advancement office, died in December in Fayetteville after a brief illness. He was 86. Nationally recognized for his leadership in public school education and an inductee into the East Carolina University Educators Hall of Fame, Britt’s biggest honor came in 2000 when the Cumberland County School system dedicated Jack Britt High School in his name. “Jack Britt has left tracks of his feet and touches of his big heart at Campbell University,” former Campbell President and current Chancellor Jerry Wallace said. “His commitment, love and concern for all people he met and his energy will live on in the buildings he helped build and in the hearts of all who knew him. I loved Jack Britt.”

Britt began his career in education as a teacher and coach with the Raleigh City Schools and served in the U.S. Army before he began teaching at Seventy-First High School. He went on to serve the Cumberland County School System for 34 years, most notably as superintendent from 1980-1989. “He was one of the hardest working public servants you would ever know,” added Jerry Wood, associate vice president for institutional advancement and planned giving at Campbell who worked with Britt for over 45 years. “He was a tough man and a good man.” Just months after retiring from Cumberland County Schools, Britt joined Campbell University as director of corporate relations. He continued to be a valued member of the advancement team at Campbell until February 2017, when he stepped down on his 86th birthday. BILLY LIGGETT





President J. Bradley Creed touted student scholarships and a new student union during his second speaking tour in three years at Campbell. "An Evening With J. Bradley Creed" began in Dunn last September and has appeared in Raleigh, Winston-Salem, Richmond, Washington, D.C., and other cities in the state and region since. | Photo by Ken Tart

20 WINTER 2017-18


After 20 years homeless, Michael Watkins seeks the degree — and the life — that he let slip away


n his desk at home sit dual computer screens, one with a background image of a man — he doesn’t know whom, as it’s only a stock photo — wearing a cap and gown and receiving his degree; and the other with an image of a bachelor’s degree in health care management. To the right stands a Gaylord the Camel bobblehead. For Michael Watkins, these all serve as reminders of where he is now and where he’s heading. And when that glorious day arrives for the 56-year-old Clinton native, only then will he have the time to reflect on the road — an arduous, unforgiving road — that brought him here. Eight years ago, Watkins was homeless. He stayed in Raleigh-area shelters when there were openings, but too often, his bed was a park bench. Or an alleyway. And this vagabond lifestyle wasn’t the shortterm result of a lost job or sudden tragedy. Watkins was homeless or barely hanging on to temporary housing for over 20 years — nearly the entirety of his adulthood. A breaking-andentering charge in 1989 started it all, he says. After a six-month prison sentence — and a felony on his record — Watkins had difficulty finding steady work. And he admits to mistakes or hard-headedness that led to dismissals from the places that did hire him. The homelessness came first. “I stuck out like a sore thumb,” he says of his first experience in a shelter. “I was welldressed … slacks, tie, dress shoes. Everyone looked at me like I didn’t belong. And I guess I didn’t. That first night, I had to sleep on the floor because the beds were full. It’s not the place where I wanted to be — that’s never the place anybody wants to be. But I had great difficulty getting out of that situation.” Like many in his shoes, he turned to alcohol and drugs — items readily available, he says, in urban shelters. At his lowest points, Watkins all but accepted this as his life. More often, however, he found moments of clarity … a desire to climb out of the hole he had dug for

and legwork — that he was accepted for a housing voucher in Raleigh. He moved in to his new home on June 25, 2010, and he has lived there since. That stability — something he’d been missing for years — allowed Watkins to reassess his future. He was taking college classes when his life was turned upside down in his 20s. He gave that another shot, but even that didn’t come easily. His mother, who suffered from dementia for years, died in 2012 from kidney failure. Watkins dropped out of school again, but returned to Wake Tech in 2015. He earned his associate’s degree in medical office administration last May. ILLUSTRATION BY ADAM FISH

himself. In 2002, he began distributing a newsletter for other homeless men, women and families in Raleigh. “News From Our Shoes” began as a handout, then a full-fledged (though low-budget) newspaper supported by local charities. With the rise of social media, it became more of an online product, heavily promoted through Facebook and other outlets.

With a bachelor’s degree in mind, he enrolled in Campbell’s Adult & Online Education program last fall. He calls the day he received his acceptance letter to Campbell “the happiest day of my life.” “Or maybe the second happiest,” he says. “I think I was even happier that day I got my student ID.” Watkins takes it out of his wallet and shows it off, the pride radiating in his smile. “I was so happy the day this arrived. I can’t tell you how much it means to me.”

“I wanted to open people’s eyes of what was going on in the homeless community,” Watkins says. “And have something that discussed what people could do to change their habits and get out of that place.”

Michael Watkins will be nearly 60 when he earns his degree. He laughs when reminded of this, then pauses to think of what that moment — like the image on his screen saver at his desk in his apartment — will say about his journey.

His paper — and a four-man acapella group he formed with others in the community (yes, Watkins’ voice is a smooth bass) — were profiled by Raleigh television stations and newspapers. The notoriety earned him enough money for an apartment and a computer. But this wouldn’t become the thing that turned his life around for good. But fortunately, the eventual relapse into drugs and eviction wouldn’t mark the back-breakers, either.

“Twenty years ago, I didn’t have the mental stability to be the person I wanted to be, much less pursue an education,” he says. “I desired it. I always desired it. But my mind wasn’t there. But now … I’ve been clean from drugs and alcohol for over 10 years, and I intend to stay that way. I’m so focused on me — and I’ve never been this focused on me in my entire life. I know what I want, and I’m going to get it. And I won’t let anything stand in my way. I refuse to.

On the cusp of gathering what money he had for a plane ticket and a new start in Seattle, Watkins learned — after months of applying

“I’ve cheated myself out of a life all my life. I feel like I owe this to myself.”

I’ve cheated myself out of a life all my life. I feel like I owe this to myself.” — Michael Watkins





CU_PharmSci "God gives the Marks family a healthy baby boy on #CampbellGivingDay — Tyler Steven Marks! #NewestBabyCamel 22 WINTER 2017-18

@JiWright When you love your faculty, they love you right back. Art department is life. #CampbellFoundersWeek

@StatCamel Proud to be a part of Campbell and #CampbellGivingDay #CampbellFoundersWeek

@CampbellAlumni We hit 1,000 donors today to complete all 5 #CampbellGivingDay challenges. THANK YOU!!!

#CAMPBELLGIVINGDAY HUMBLE BEGINNINGS This year's Campbell Founders Week honored the University's difficult early years as Buies Creek Academy in the late 1800s. In addition to a marker celebration at the site of the original BCA building; students, alumni faculty and staff took part in a T-shirt swap, Scottish-themed Highland Games and the first Campbell Giving Day, which brought together more than 1,000 donors and more than $200,000 raised toward a new student union and student scholarships. | Photos by Jordan Wright and Sarah Hardin

@flowersineden_ I give because I want to pave the way for others chasing their dreams. #CampbellGivingDay #Dreamers #DACA M AG AZIN E .CAMP BE LL.EDU

ezpond8 My wife and I gave to Campbell because all of Campbell gave to us: each other, a great education, our jobs and our baby Camel. #CampbellGivingDay

realwalters If it wasn't for Campbell, I would have never found my loving wife, my lifelong friends or any of the other countless memories. #GoCamels

jkowens1216 Campbell impacted my life in so many ways. Proud of the way it continues to prepare students to make an impact in the world. #CampbellGivingDay C A MP B E L L M AG AZ I N E 23

GEN1 By Billy Liggett Photography by Lissa Gotwals

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hey’ve barely been on campus five minutes — this mother and daughter team — when a young woman standing near a video camera on a tripod approaches them with a request. We’re asking students to talk about their dreams, the woman says, surrounded by hundreds of other parents and students at the morning showcase of Campbell’s first freshman summer orientation of 2017. We’d love to hear all about your dreams. The daughter is hesitant. She’s barely had time to soak in the enormity of this weekend — her first taste of college life and adulthood. “Do it. Do it,” her mom whispers, accompanied with a gentle nudge, a bird encouraging her fledgling to take flight. She relents and takes a seat. “My name is Jennifer Salazar-Sanchez, and I’m from West Jefferson, North Carolina,” she says through an effulgent smile, the Gore Arena lights shining off her braces. “And my dream is to become a doctor and make my family proud, because I’m a first-generation college student.” Mom beams. She’s already proud. ••• Jennifer Salazar-Sanchez isn't just a first-generation college student. Six years ago, she was a firstgeneration seventh grader. 26 WINTER 2017-18

Her father — an immigrant who left Mexico when he was 17 — dropped out of school when he was 12 to help his father work. Her mother came to the U.S. when she was 15 and had never stepped inside of a school. The oldest of two children, Salazar-Sanchez didn’t have someone close to her whose experience could help her navigate those rough middle school waters. High school was also unchartered territory. Yet, she excelled. A-honor roll. Top 10 percent of her class. A member of a club for future health professionals, the Beta Club and a community service club. And as a member of her school’s Upper Bound program, she was on the fast track for college. “I didn’t just want to stop with high school,” she says. “But when I was accepted to Campbell, my parents began stressing out about the future. How do we make this happen? How are we going to afford it? They didn’t know anything about the process. But they also wanted this for me.” Thanks in large part to the Upper Bound program, Salazar-Sanchez’s counselors at Ashe County High School helped her through the application, scholarship and financial aid processes. School would be paid for. Her family could focus on the important things, like what to buy for a dorm room and how to spend their summer with their trailblazing daughter. “It was emotional. Very emotional,” she says. “My parents cried. I cried a little … but not as much.” •••


Jennifer Salazar-Sanchez C A MP B E L L M AG AZ I N E 27


Who are they? While there is no universal definition for “firstgeneration college student“ and much of the research uses the definition “student with neither parent having any education beyond high school,” we choose to define a first-generation college student as “neither parent having received a four-year college degree.” It is estimated that 30 percent of students enrolled in postsecondary institutions today are low income, first-generation college students. But 89 percent of these students will not earn a bachelor's degree six years out from high school. They drop out of college at four times the rate of their peers whose parents have a postsecondary education. —

Roughly 30 percent of all entering freshmen on any given college campus are first-generation college students, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. That percentage goes up when you loosen the definition of “first generation” — some define it as a student whose parents didn’t obtain at least a four-year degree. Students who enter with that tag are, statistically, at a disadvantage from Day 1 compared to those whose parents have experienced the rigors of college. Being a first-generation student is one of the most cited predictors of higher education failure, according to the First Generation Foundation, a national nonprofit dedicated to reversing this. These students are less likely to graduate — more than a quarter of them drop out after their first year (four times the rate of their peers). Students like Jennifer Salazar-Sanchez — firstgeneration students from lower-income families — have an 11-percent chance of earning a degree within six years of high school graduation. The reasons are many and varied, but the overriding factor is the ability of a student to lean on their parents’ experience. “First-generation students often don’t have a clue what they’re getting into,” says Michelle Perez, assistant vice president of student success who joined the Campbell staff last fall. “And the realities of college are surprising. The academic rigor is often underestimated, especially for a student who did well in high school but felt like they weren’t challenged.” Then there are the social challenges, which for many are just as daunting as the classroom. Making new friends. Working out time management. Handling newfound freedom. Dealing with roommates. “The college experience is never what any student expects it to be,” Perez says. Think about how much more difficult college would have been without that immediate, experienced support system back home, she says, and you’ll begin to scratch the surface of how difficult this brave, new world is for these 18and 19-year-old kids. “First-generation students can have an amazing amount of grit, even just getting this far,” she says. “They come in determined to make it. Nothing’s going to get in their way. It’s in their nature.

“We have a lot of room to get better at supporting these students.” ••• Buies Creek Academy — the forerunner of Campbell University — was built on the idea of providing an education to young men and women who otherwise may not be able to afford higher education at the UNCs and Wake Forests of the region. In a leaflet promoting the second year of classes at the Academy in 1888, founder James Archibald Campbell sold his school as such. “Our rates are lower than any other similar institution, and we give special inducement to worthy young men who are unable to pay their tuition,” Campbell wrote. “Don't fail to come because you are ignorant or poor. We have classes that will suit you and will rejoice to help you prepare yourself for usefulness.” By 1900, at least 21 young men and women who graduated from the Academy were working as teachers in the Harnett County public school system. The students he taught were now teaching hundreds of children — education begetting education. “The waves of education,” Campbell said, “set in motion here are enlightening and uplifting, widening areas of our loved state.” Over a century later, that quote still reflects the impact successful first-generation college students can have on their communities and society as a whole. While not every first-generation student comes from a low-income background and not all students from low-income families are the first to attend college, many of these students look at a college degree as a means to “break the cycle” of poverty or low-income earnings that have spanned generations in their families. According to U.S. News & World Report, millenials working full-time with a college degree make, on average, $17,500 more a year than their peers with just a high school diploma. The Economic Policy Institute finds that high school graduates who didn’t attend college are less likely to have a job, less likely to be married, less likely to own a home and less likely to contribute to a retirement plan. •••

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Jennifer Salazar-Sanchez’s parents came to the United States for several reasons. Advanced health care was near the top of their list. When her mother left Guatemala at the age of 15, she was sick. She just didn’t know it. After having her first child, she suffered from immense pain in her back. When Salazar-Sanchez turned 2, her mother was sent to a hospital in Winston-Salem for emergency surgery. A kidney stone that had developed over her childhood and went untreated for years had done enough damage to require the removal of a kidney. She’d go on to have a second child, a boy, despite warnings from doctors that a pregnancy with one kidney would be risky. “She literally spent every two weeks in WinstonSalem,” Salazar-Sanchez recalls. “She’d be home for a short time, then back at the hospital three days a week for tests. Seeing her in the hospital and seeing my dad work extra [her father worked for a large Christmas tree farm] to pay the medical bills — it was a huge eye-opener for me.” A few years ago, her mother needed a different “big” surgery to repair broken bones in her neck. SalazarSanchez decided then she wanted to study medicine. “The doctors told her up front she could come out paralyzed, or the surgery could be fatal. Those were the risks,” she says. “But the surgery went very well, and she’s still healing. I knew from that moment, this is what I want to do. Doctors put so much effort into healing their patients … this is what I want to do.” Salazar-Sanchez talks on the phone with her parents almost every night. Her first weekend home during the fall, she was met at the door with a big bear hug from her little brother. That same brother talks to his friends at school about his big sister all the time. Her parents are there for her emotionally, which is all she can ask for. Sometimes, simple reassurance is all a college student needs heading into his or her first round of final exams. “Last week, I had exams in biology, chemistry and math, back-to-back-to-back,” she says. “So I called my parents, we talked, and I asked how it was possible to study for all three. “They told me to try the best I can, like I’ve always done. Everything is going to be OK.”


For Caleb Register, it was the little things that proved the most frustrating during his first year of college. Meal swipes, for example. It took his entire first semester before Register, now a sophomore business administration and marketing double major, figured out that he could use his student ID card to pay for meals in places other than Marshbanks Cafeteria. He, instead, used cash at Oasis and other places that accepted Campbell currency. The library and how to reserve a study room. He didn’t know this was an option heading into his first exams. Then there was dealing with the finances — scholarships and loans. And how to navigate through a social life while figuring out the academics and business side of college life. If Register had someone to “show him the ropes” before college, none of these things would have become burdens during his first year. “I had no idea what to expect before I got here,” says Register, a native of St. Pauls, a tiny town of 2,000 people in rural Robeson County. The only child of a retired UPS delivery driver and a church educator, he says the uncertainty didn’t necessarily make him “nervous” heading into college, but it also didn’t instill a ton of confidence early on. He assumed — having heard from just about everybody — the workload in college would be different (which it was). Beyond that, college was an enigma. “I knew college would be a lot of work,” he says. “But I didn’t really seek a lot of advice before I got here. I could count on my mom and dad to help me with certain situations, but there was a lot here I had to figure out on my own. And it wasn’t always easy.” ••• The little things add up. Stress, lack of preparation and an inability to balance school, work and a social life are among the top reasons freshmen drop out of college. A fourth of all incoming freshmen at Campbell will not make it to their sophomore year, slightly less than the national average (31 percent, according to Unigo, an online resource for prospective college students), but far from the perfect score all universities strive for.



program Now in its sixth year, the Campbell University Freshman Seminar (CUFS) helps all first-year students (not just first-generation) learn about Campbell, the community and themselves. The freshman seminar provides students with a supportive classroom environment and helps them develop the skills they need to be successful in college. The one-credit course groups firstyear students into sections that meet once a week, typically during their first semester. Each section is taught by both a faculty or staff member and an upperclassman, called a peer mentor. “While the CUFS 100 course was not designed specifically to address the needs of first-generation students, the characteristics of a first-year seminar are aimed to support all students,” says Jennifer Latino, former assistant vice president of student success who launched the program in 2011. “The course gives students a small cadre of peers to connect with as well as a caring faculty or staff member and a peer mentor. These connections are often more impactful than the course content.”


Caleb Register

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In 2010, Campbell brought in Jennifer Latino to establish the First-Year Experience. Latino, who directed a similar nationally recognized program at the University of South Carolina, launched the Campbell University Freshman Seminar (CUFS), a one-credit course for first-year students to build good study habits, develop productive relationships with their faculty and peers and learn the ins and outs of college life. “The transition to college is a challenging adjustment for most students. The differences between high school and college are tremendous both academically and socially,” Latino says. “Couple that with the instant independence and responsibility, and many students find that they feel lost or unsure of their decision, especially in their first term.” CUFS, she says, was not designed specifically for first-generation students, but the program has been more beneficial to those students, as it has helped ease their transition to college. “The course gives students a small cadre of peers to connect with as well as a caring faculty or staff member and a peer mentor,” Latino says. “These connections are often more impactful than the course content. Additionally, the freshman seminar introduces the concepts of college life including resources like the library and campus traditions, as well as processes like registration, billing and payment and academic planning. [The material] is helpful to all students, but especially those who are new to college and have had little to no exposure to these concepts at home.” In many cases, she adds, students from more at-risk populations (first generation, low income, etc.) have seen greater gains from the course than their peers from more affluent families. M AG AZIN E .CAMP BE LL.EDU

Roughly 200 students took part in CUFS in 2011. Last fall, that number was closer to 600, with each class averaging 19 students to keep the studentfaculty ratio small. Campbell’s business, pharmacy, engineering and nursing schools also have similar 100-level courses that serve as an introduction to those programs and are designed with student retention in mind. Since its implementation, freshman retention rates at Campbell have improved. Currently, 75 percent of Campbell freshmen return for their sophomore years — slightly higher than the national average of 71 percent and the state average of 68 percent. ••• For a guy who has played lead guitar in bands going all the way back to the seventh grade, you wouldn’t expect “social life” to make the list of first-year struggles at college. But Register — whose band Through the Night released its first album during his freshman fall semester — is more introvert than extrovert. His weekends during college usually involve trips home to see his girlfriend, a student at Robeson Community College, and play gigs at clubs, restaurants and festivals. His social life on campus, however, is a part of the “hidden curriculum” he’s yet to ace. “I don’t know why, but it just seems that students whose parents went to college, especially those who attended Campbell, for them it’s easier to just jump in and join what’s going on here on campus,” he says. “It’s probably the biggest challenge for me here now.” As for the academic side, that transition has gone a little smoother for the former high school valedictorian. Register went home last summer C A MP B E L L M AG AZ I N E 31

with As and Bs. He also figured out that despite growing up with the mindset that he would become a doctor one day, biology and science weren’t his forté in college. It took a full semester for him to realize he liked business and the diverse career opportunities a degree in business administration afforded. His goal is to stay in school for a master’s degree and CPA certification.

Recognizing the need to continue to develop an infrastructure that supports the needs of first-generation college students, Campbell University announced in February that it will launch a one-year pilot mentoring program designed to provide mentor relationships for first-generation students with university faculty, staff and alumni who were also the first in their families to earn a degree. Michelle Perez, assistant vice president for student success and herself a first-generation student, is leading the initiative with hopes of making the college experience for these students better and more successful. "The feedback I received throughout the campus from students, faculty and staff alike has been so positive and filled with optimism about this initiative," Perez says. Those who want to mentor can register through Campbell University's website (Student Success) or on the online version of this story on Campbell Magazine's site.

He admits the degree uncertainty early on might have been different if he wasn’t a first-generation student, but Register says he’s lucky to have switched over so soon in his academic career. He says the CUFS course and the things he learned during freshman orientation did help him make that decision before it was too late. “It helped me figure things out that might have been too awkward for me to seek out on my own,” he says. “There’s a lot I still have to figure out, but I’m getting there.”

Listen to Michelle Perez and Halee Simpson, first-generation students.

The encouragement from a professor; the approachability of a dean, advisor or mentor — a friend who sees that you need a coat in New York City — these go a long way toward helping a firstgeneration student’s confidence. “One thing I like that Campbell does is the requirement that freshmen live on campus,” Perez says. “There are some first-generation families that might find this as a challenge or a financial burden, but it’s a very purposeful requirement to help students immerse themselves completely in an academic culture. It works for the majority of students, living in a community of peers who are experiencing the same growing pains, making the same mistakes. They’re also closer to trained staff and professionals who are here to help them whenever they’re needed.” •••

They were once in your shoes. Perez was not only the first in her immediate family to attend college, her journey into higher education took her into an entirely different world. She left Puerto Rico for the bright lights of New York City to attend Manhattan College in the late 80s. She recalls stepping off the plane with two suitcases and a small box for her clock radio and hair dryer. No bed sheets. No pillows. Little things. “So much learning happened that first semester,” she says today. “I didn’t even have a winter coat. I remember that first fall cold snap — I answered with extra layers of T-shirts. A friend took off her coat one day and gave it to me. There were so many other things I needed that I and my parents didn’t know I needed, and I was too worried about asking my parents and causing them more grief.” She endured, earning her degree in four years. She went on to earn a master’s degree from Florida State two years later. A doctor of education degree came in 2016.

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Today, she’s the assistant vice president for student success at Campbell University, succeeding Jennifer Latino last fall after leading similar programs at the University of Arizona and Millersville University in Pennsylvania for the past 12 years. A first-generation student and a student coming in from Puerto Rico, Perez beat the odds. And she took notice of the things that made her own college experience easier.

The coat was important. But Perez had other worries as a college freshman, like what she wanted to do for the rest of her life. Her father worked in the post office, so all she knew heading into college was the postal industry and what she learned in high school. She knew she enjoyed sports, so she chose physical education as her major at Manhattan College. Her graduate degrees were more in line with her eventual career in higher education (not to say the P.E. degree wasn’t valuable, she stresses). “It wasn’t until I got to college that I learned engineering was a thing,” she says. “I was good at math, too, but I didn’t know that would translate to a career in engineering. It was a foreign concept to me. But now that I’ve been through it, my girls

Rhymes With Orange: Hear Michelle Perez and Haylee Simpson talk about their experience as first-generation college students on our podcast. Download on iTunes

Halee Simpson



Amari Simpson

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won’t be first-generation students. They’ll know more about the majors and the career opportunities ahead of them because of me. Every time they express something that interests them now, I say let’s cultivate that interest. “If all you know is ‘doctor, teacher, lawyer,’ then you’ve really narrowed your opportunities.” Halee Simpson knew in high school that she liked math and science and was pretty good in both subjects. What that would mean for her future, she was less certain. The daughter of a Cumberland County tobacco farmer and a cosmetologist, Halee knew early on that college was in the cards, but she was faced with just one of the obstacles that most firstgeneration students experience — choosing a career. Fortunate for Halee, her father was friends with a local pharmacist, and one of her summers in high school was spent shadowing him and getting a peek at the industry. “I ended up working there a year and a half,” she says. “And I fell in love with it. I liked how he was so involved in his community, and I saw the impact he had and the trust his patients had in him.” Today, Halee is in her fourth year at Campbell and is a first-year PharmD student. She’s already a success story — a good student who is heavily involved in her sorority and academic clubs and an advocate for other first-generation students. In October, she spoke in Fayetteville at one of the “An Evening with J. Bradley Creed” presidential tour events touting student scholarships and fundraising goals for a new student union. She says she wants to take her doctorate and turn it into a career working as a pharmacist in a small, rural community like the one she grew up in. Like the one where she saw another pharmacist make a difference.


Her parents didn’t attend college, but they knew the right people to show her the way. Her advice to other first-generation students is heed your parents’ advice, regardless of their background. “Even though you think your parents don’t know what you’re experiencing, it’s important to remember they raised you and they want you to succeed,” she says. “Don’t leave them behind. Seek their advice. They have it, whether they’ve been through this or not.”

The idea came to Amari Simpson just before college. For years, she’d watched her parents build their catering business from the ground up — a labor of love that continues to grow despite the couple’s fulltime jobs that compete for their time and energy. “My parents have always loved to cook, and they especially love to cook for large groups of people,” says the Eden native who came to Campbell last fall. “And it’s very inspiring for me, because I know that although they have their own careers, they’re still finding time to do something they really, truly love. The business isn’t as big or broad as they’d like it to be, but I know they took a huge leap of faith to make it happen.” Amari’s idea was to one day help out the family business in an “event coordinator” and business director role. She knew she needed college to make this happen. As a business major in Campbell’s Lundy-Fetterman School of Business, Amari says she is learning “the ins and outs” of running a business. She’s learning what it takes to make a business grow and become more profitable.


GEN1 parents

Jamala Harrison, an academic adviser for the TRiO Opportunity Scholars Program at the University of South Carolina, says firstgeneration parents fall into one of three groups: The Hand Holder: These parents want so badly for their children to have more or live better than they do. As a result, they make every decision for their students. Some of these live vicariously through their children, while others make their children’s decisions because they do not want them to fail. The Unavailable Parent: These parents can either be physically or emotionally unavailable. Some of these parents are simply not in the picture; others do not understand why their children need a college education and are therefore unsupportive. Some simply do not understand how to support their students and, therefore, withdraw from the process completely. The Happy Medium: These parents provide the perfect balance of support and detachment. They recognize their lack of knowledge about their children’s college education and take steps to acquire the skills necessary to support their students while still giving them the appropriate amount of independence and autonomy. 36 WINTER 2017-18

“Because of my parents, I’ve seen the behind-thescenes of a business and I’ve come to understand how important customer service is,” Amari says. “At Campbell, I’m learning skills that will not only help my business one day, but will help theirs as well. “For a long time, I wanted to be a teacher,” she adds. “But my parents have shown me how rewarding it is to help plan and be part of life-changing events.” She smiles. “Besides, catering and event coordinating go hand-in-hand. Every big event needs food.” Amari’s parents aren’t sending her to college to save the family business. Her major and her career path are her own choices. But as a first-generation college student, Amari does say that her parents’ expectations of her are likely greater than the average student. “There’s pressure — maybe not a ton of pressure in my case, but there’s pressure,” she says. “I feel like I have to meet or exceed their expectations in order to succeed. And I feel like I have to succeed too so they know they made the right decision to send me to college.” ••• A 2012 study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found that 69 percent of firstgeneration college students cited “helping their family” as a big reason for wanting a college degree. Only 39 percent of “legacy students” included that as a reason. Unfortunately, “helping their family” isn’t a choice for many of these students, especially those who come from low-income backgrounds. Many families view these students as their “financial saviors,” adding extra pressure to their college experience. Other families create what the study called “breakaway guilt,” making their first-generation student feel as though they’re leaving their loved ones behind and getting away from their at-home responsibilities, which often include jobs and chores to keep things afloat. “There’s a bifurcation in the community of firstgeneration students,” says Michelle Perez. “There are those with families who support them and do all they can to help their child succeed … almost living vicariously through them in the process. Then you have the students who struggle because their families are completely disconnected and just don’t understand this huge new responsibility they’re dealing with.

“With the latter, often these students have obligations back home that their professors, deans and peers don’t understand; and they have obligations at school that their parents aren’t allowing them to dedicate their time to,” she adds. “They’re saying, ‘Well, you’ve been in school for the past 12 years, and I still need you to do the chores, babysit your siblings, drive us around or whatever your role is at home.” Perez recalls a student she got to know at Millersville University who was not only the first in her family to attend college, but the only one among several siblings to do so. Her older brother was in jail, and she feared her younger brother was heading down that same path. College for this young woman, Perez says, was both an escape and the bearer of a tremendous amount of guilt, because she couldn’t stay home and be that good influence her younger brother needed. “I could see the pain and the struggle she went through early on,” Perez says. “I encouraged her to focus on herself — ‘You just gotta do you.’ But it was difficult.” Family obligations and burdens and the weight of unrealistic expectations first-generation students carry are big reasons so many perform poorly early on and eventually drop out, Perez says. It’s another reason she advocates for students living on campus in the first year or two — it gets them away from home. In a way, the campus becomes a refuge. Perez points to several studies that suggest living on campus leads to a better chance of success and on-time graduation. “The family obligations don’t completely go away, but they also don’t sneak into their daily routine as easily,” she adds. ••• Amari’s parents have done well to ease the pressure of their oldest child’s first year at Campbell. Their support began a few years ago when they enrolled Amari into Rockingham Early College, a high school like many others in the state that combines curriculum of high school with post-secondary credits so that after five years, a student leaves with a high school diploma and either technical certification, an associate’s degree or enough credit to enter college as a junior. Amari earned an associate’s degree last May and earned her junior classification after one semester

at Campbell. She says the early college route was big for her, and she thinks it’s an option first-generation college students should at least consider because of the focus on preparing them for the academic rigors at the next level.

I am involved in an on-campus lifegroup and have made some great friends there, as well as connected with the leaders. They are fantastic, Godly role models! I am also a part of the Marketing Club :)

“I really don’t feel like I would have gotten the same confidence coming to Campbell had I gone to any other high school,” she says. “Early college was a sneak peek of what a college course would be like. When I got to Campbell, I felt like I could actually succeed because I had a better jist of what to expect.”

The post — directed at her parents, her siblings, her aunts and uncles and her three cousins also attending college — had the feel of a letter from summer camp, something hand-written and personal from an era before cell phones made updates as easy as a text message.

And her parents — even though they were juggling full-time jobs and a side catering business — allowed Amari and are allowing her little brother (a sophomore at the early college) time and room to flourish in school. She says that support did wonders for her.

“I wrote it because people back home were asking about my P.O. box, but I also wanted to put a blanket statement out to those who I knew cared,” says the freshman from Mooresville, North Carolina. “Everyone was super excited and genuinely interested in my first week.”

“Both of my parents have told me time management is key,” she says. “Study a lot, but also take time for yourself and go out and make friends. That applies in all areas of life. Find friends who have your best interest at heart, be aware of your surroundings and just be yourself. Don’t change your personality to fit in or to make someone like you.

Robillard’s father, an engineer, did earn his associate’s degree but never had the four-year college social experience that included living on campus and being a part of that culture. Her mother grew up on a farm and is now an RMA specialist at the same company her father works. The oldest of three, she is the first in her immediate family to seek a four-year degree and hopefully one day work on the business side of the health care industry.

“That advice has always stuck with me. And it’s very applicable in college. Now more than ever.”

On Sept. 7, Megan Robillard used a mailbox emoji to begin a lengthy, exclamation point-laden Facebook post about her first week of college. Thank you to everyone who has called, texted and just kept up with me as I have been at college! A brief update — it is going great! Learning to balance the workload has been an adjustment, as has being in a new place. But I really like Campbell! And to answer a few common questions I've gotten: My roommate is AMAZING, and we are getting along so well. Living with someone isn't as hard as I thought it would be! Everyone tells me people tend to change their majors a few times, but I am currently a BBA marketing major with a minor in health care management.


She says college was always in the cards, for as long as she can remember. A straight-A student, she chose Campbell because she liked the smaller atmosphere and the professors she met during visitation days. She also heavily weighed advice she received from her father: “You’re not going to be a number there. You’ll be a face.” “I think my dad pushed me the most growing up [to attend college], because his thinking was that was the best way to get a career that I can advance in … make more money so I wouldn’t have to worry about expenses as much when I’m older,” Robillard says. “My parents often told me, ‘You have to get a degree so your life isn’t as hard as ours was.’”


to success

Get Involved: Join clubs, make friends, align yourself with other first-generation college students who can share in your struggles and successes. Self-advocate: If you need things, ask for them. The worst that can happen is someone telling you “no.” Be an ambassador: Show your family that college was the right choice, not just for you, but for others in your family. Go out on a limb: Raise your hand in class, speak up even if you think you’re wrong. Don’t fear failure. Learn from it. Have a five-year plan: Don’t forget why you’re in college. Make sure the next four years have a purpose, and have that fifth year in mind the whole time. “The real world is coming, and if you’re not ready for it, you can believe that someone else will be.” — USA Today, “5 tips for first-generation college students”

••• Knowing that they have the unconditional support and love of their parents goes a long way to alleviate the common fears of a first-generation college student, says Michelle Perez. C A MP B E L L M AG AZ I N E 37

“Those mistakes that you might perceive as failures, you’re still a success in their eyes,” she says. “Nobody wants to fail, but knowing your parents are behind you — your biggest fans from Day 1 — really is a blanket. It’s a comfort. And it’s a reality that family support makes a difference in student success.” In his Huffington Post article, “Five things families of first-generation college students need to know,” James T. Minor, former deputy assistant secretary for postsecondary education with the U.S. Department of Education, called the success of these students “critical” for the future of the country. And he called family support “as critical as any campusbased intervention designed to retain and sustain students.” His five tips for parents of first-generation students: Remind them that college is a place where they belong; eliminate their distractions; plan beyond the first year; see that they’re not alone during short and lengthy academic breaks; and finally, make sure they are connected. “Asking questions about what they are doing outside the classroom is just as important as prying about grades,” Minor writes. Perez has noticed during her career that the parents who are most involved (positively) in their child’s college career are the parents who are also enjoying certain aspects of college life that they didn’t get to experience as young adults. “You see it as early as freshman orientation,” she says. “They’re having fun, too. They’re living vicariously through you, and they want to know what this is like for you.” ••• Robillard’s father has two “Campbell Dad” T-shirts already. Her mother is also stocking up on orange and black. The Robillards are “super involved” in their daughter’s new life, and while that prospect 38 WINTER 2017-18

may scare some teens who view college as an escape, their excitement only adds fuel to her desire to succeed. “I have friends whose moms give advice on things like what it’s like to be in a Christian sorority — I even have a friend whose mom founded a sorority at her college. Their parents can share what their experiences were like, and my parents didn’t have that much to tell me going in,” Robillard says. “But what they did do was push me. I know they really want me to succeed, and I want to graduate and make them proud. I also want them to know what I’m going through. My entire family was here for Move-In Day and didn’t leave until the end of the day. They were here for Family Weekend. College tours. Orientation. All of it. And I loved it.” Even with all the love and support, she stops short of calling her first semester at Campbell “easy.” She’s worried about balancing a social life with academics, joining groups and academic clubs but hesitant to overwhelm herself in her first year. Her most difficult adjustment has been the food at college — not a knock on the quality at Campbell, she’s quick to point out, but she’s also a very picky eater who misses home cooking more than she ever thought she would. What has helped greatly is the first-generation group at the Lundy-Fetterman School of Business headed by the school’s director of student success Renee Greene. Greene, Robillard says, has become an instant “go-to” staff member at the college when guidance or answers are needed. “I go to her for academic coaching or if I have a question on something like transfer credits, things I can do with my major or the overall college experience,” she says. “I didn’t expect to have a connection with someone like that so early on, and she’s been a Godsend for me in my first year.”


Megan Robillard


BIG SHOT Chris Clemons burst onto the national stage last year. He proved he belongs there this year. By Billy Liggett

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PHOTO BY BENNETT SCARBOROUGH tournament runs to end the 2016-17 season as the nation’s third-leading scorer.

here’s a moment very early on in his postworkout interview with several members of the Denver media when Chris Clemons — who’s in Colorado to show his skills to scouts and coaches for the NBA’s Nuggets — can’t hold back his grin. Answering generic questions about his potential as a professional, how his workout went and what he needs to do to get NBA-ready, Clemons holds the smile through the entirety of his 2-minute, 26-second mini-press conference. Five months later, Clemons reflects on that workout and those few moments he “held court” with a dozen journalists hanging on his every word. And the grin returns. “Ah, man. It was pretty cool,” he says, sounding every bit like the kid who got a taste of his dream. “You see postgame interviews with guys like Kyrie Irving, where he’s surrounded by the media, and it felt kinda like that. So many who try don’t get to experience that. It’s almost like you’re famous. You’re not, of course, but it feels like it. I enjoyed it.” He recalls his moment in the mile-high spotlight on the eve of the Fighting Camels’ men’s basketball 2017-2018 season opener against Penn State — wearing his familiar Campbell orange and black and not the Denver powder blues he donned over the summer. This means Clemons, who tested the NBA Draft waters with workouts for the Nuggets and the Boston Celtics, chose to return to Campbell for his junior season after igniting improbable Big South and


The decision appears to have been a good one for both Clemons and the Camels. The Raleigh native averaged 24.5 points per game (his exact numbers from his sophomore year), good enough to rank fourth in the nation despite missing three games to a lower leg injury in November. He was the leading scorer for a Camels team that finished the regular season 16-15, the program’s first back-to-back winning seasons since 1990. (As of press time, Campbell was awaiting word on a potential post-season tournament). Clemons’ season began with a 39-point outburst in the season opener — an 86-75 loss that was much closer than the final score — the most points ever scored by an opponent in the Nittany Lions’ arena. Other big games included a 33-point effort in a win against last year’s Big South Tournament champion Winthrop and 42 points against Liberty in January in a game that saw him and teammate Marcus Burk become the first duo in NCAA mens’ basketball history to each hit 10 three-pointers in a single game. The big season is showing NBA scouts that his sophomore year wasn’t just a flash in the pan. “I returned [to Campbell] because I felt I could grow more,” Clemons says. “Plus, we have a lot of unfinished business here. And that’s the big thing — building this program. Hopefully, we can accomplish more.”

THE GAME First, let’s rewind a year. The 2016-2017 regular season, overall, was a disappointment for the Camels heading into the Big South Tournament. With a 14-16 record and a 7-11 conference mark, the Camels were a low No. 7 seed when it hosted even-lower Presbyterian in what amounted to a first-round play-in game.


Campbell disposed of the Blue Hose easily, 81-62, behind Clemons’ 27 points. The “prize” for the win was a quarterfinal round match-up against No. 2-seed and heavily favored UNCAsheville, which had beaten Campbell by 16 and 13 points, respectively, in the two previous meetings. The game, played at a neutral site in Rock Hill, South Carolina, was supposed to be the end of the line for the Camels. Instead, it was the game that made Chris Clemons a big basketball name in a big basketball state. The headline that evening: Campbell’s Chris Clemons joins Jimmer Fredette in the March Madness 50-point club — The Washington Post, March 2, 2017 Fredette, the 2011 National Player of the Year out of BYU and subsequent NBA Lottery pick, was the only player in this century to score 50 in a conference tournament game before Clemons’ 51-point outburst in Campbell’s 81-79 upset of Asheville. Clemons’ big game was top news on ESPN’s Sportscenter that night, and college basketball fans around the country were suddenly intrigued by the 5-9 guard — sharing videos of his monster dunks from YouTube and comparing him to stars like Isaiah Thomas and Steph Curry. Clemons is low-key when recalling the game that’s defined his Campbell career up to now. They knew going in it would be a tough game, he says. They knew they had a shot to win if everybody executed, he says. “I did the same thing I do every game,” he says. “I just made more shots.” He says he wasn’t aware that he topped 50 until after the game when he looked at the stat sheet. In fact, he says, he didn’t even think he was close to that. As for the notoriety that followed? “It was cool,” he says with a shrug. “Every player wants to be on ESPN. Every player wants to hear their name like that. But, more importantly, it was a great win for our school and our program.

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It got my name out there, sure, but it got Campbell’s name out there, too. I think that helped us going forward. People began taking note of this team. That performance not only helped me and my future goals, but it helped our program as well.” The win propelled Campbell to another upset the following day in the Big South Semis — a 66-50 win over Radford that put the Camels just a game away from their first trip to the NCAA Tournament in 25 years. But the magic ran out in the finals against Winthrop. Clemons scored 29 points in the 76-59 loss, but shot 9-for-27 from the field. The run, however, got Campbell noticed. The team was selected for the Tournament a week later and won the first two rounds of that tournament against solid programs like Houston Baptist and TennesseeMartin before falling in the third round against Furman. The Camels finished the season 19-18 overall, its first winning season under head coach Kevin McGeehan and its first winning season overall in five years. “I think we entered that tournament with an allor-nothing mindset,” Clemons says. “We knew it was win or go home, and we weren’t ready to go home just yet. What we had at the end of last year was amazing … we didn’t know we had it in us.”

LIKE ISAIAH During his summer showcase, Clemons worked out for Boston Celtics General Manager and two-time NBA champion (as a player) Danny Ainge, who tagged the young man with descriptions like “skilled” and “a lot of potential” after their meeting. Those words meant the world to Clemons, and not just because of Ainge’s background and experience. Ainge was the man who brought Isaiah Thomas to Boston in a 2015 trade, a

SHARP SHOOTERS The nation’s leading scorers in Division I men’s college basketball, through Feb. 25: 28.3 Trae Young Oklahoma 26.4 Kendrick Nunn Oakland 25.7 Jordan Howard Central Ark. 24.6 Chris Clemons Campbell 24.2 Justin Wright-Foreman Hofstra

BIGGEST GAMES Chris Clemons’ biggest scoring games as a Campbell Fighting Camel: 51 UNC-Asheville March 2, 2017* 42 Liberty Jan. 23, 2018 39 Houston Baptist March 14, 2017** 39 Penn State Nov. 10, 2017 37 Charleston Southern Jan. 4, 2017 36 Radford Jan. 26, 2017 33 Radford March 3, 2017 33 Winthrop Jan. 6, 2018 33 Gardner-Webb Feb. 7, 2018 32 The Citadel Dec. 14, 2017 * Big South Tournament ** CIT Tournament

« At 5-feet, 9-inches tall, Chris Clemons isn’t the “prototype” for an NBA guard. But several 5-9 athletes have gone on to stellar NBA careers, including: Calvin Murphy, Nate Robinson and current L.A. Lakers guard Isaiah Thomas. M AG AZIN E .CAMP BE LL.EDU


WHAT THEY’RE SAYING • What makes Clemons different is his athleticism. Fast and poised, “he feels like a video game because he can do so many things.” — Sports Illustrated • He may be 5-9, but his other attributes (a bench press of 250 pounds, a sweet shooting stroke, that ridiculous vertical) are the stuff of lottery picks. — CBS Sports • Even in the Big South, he’s almost always the smallest player on the court, but he’s always the highest leaper and most dangerous player. — Raleigh News & Observer • You may not have heard of him yet, but remember his name, now, because Clemons will likely be playing at the next level very soon. —

move that led to consecutive All-Star seasons for the shooting guard and a trip to the Eastern Conference Finals in 2017.

McGeehan, who says Clemons took what Ainge and other scouts told him last summer and put that advice to good use this year.

The comparisons between Clemons and Thomas go well beyond their shared height of 5 feet, 9 inches. They share similar strengths, like excellent long- and mid-range shooting and the ability to power through bigger defenders. Both are bulky — Clemons is built more like a running back in football than a “sleek” guard in basketball.

“We saw it the moment he came back over the summer,” McGeehan says. “He’s trying, and his game is evolving. There’s still room to grow, but even the Lebrons and the best players in the world always have things they can improve on.”

Neither were or are sure bets for the NBA Draft. Thomas was the 60th overall pick — the final pick of the 2011 NBA Draft — by the Sacramento Kings. He would finish his first season ranked seventh overall in NBA Rookie of the Year voting. Stories like that drive and inspire Clemons, who’s still left off some of the “way-too-early” 2018 NBA Draft boards drummed up by national basketball writers. “I definitely know the NBA is possible,” says Clemons, who would become the first Camel drafted since Clarence Grier was taken in the 13th round (back when the draft went beyond two rounds) in 1987. “I know that’s where I want to be, and I know what it’s going to take to get there. Thanks to guys like Isaiah and Chris Paul, people look at 5-9 guys as an asset to a team. I know I have what it takes.” He has one very big supporter in

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The Camels did not find the same magic from last season's tournament run at the end of its 2018 season. After a 16-14 regular season, Campbell fell to Liberty in the opening round of the Big South Tournament. Because it had a winning season, it was eligible for postseason play again. Still, 2018 saw improvement in the program.The losses were the result of inexperience in closing games out, rather than being out-manned and out-played. The wins this year were more decisive. And for a multiple-game stretch early in the season where Clemons either sat out or played minimally with a lower leg injury, young players like Burk, Andrew Eudy, Shane Whitfield and Corey Gensler stepped up with big scoring games — Burk with back-to-back 30-point games at one point. McGeehan says winning is the big thing that will get players like Clemons and future Camels noticed nationally. Whether or not Clemons returns for his senior year, his coach says the kid has a bright future as a basketball player. “He will end up being the greatest player in Campbell’s history, statistically. But there’s still work to be done here — our team’s future success is only going to help verify his greatness. And to be honest, that’s something this program hasn’t had a lot of in the last 25 years.”

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EEO/AA/Minorities/Females/Disabled/Protected Veterans C A MP B E L L M AG AZ I N E 45

Where The Academy Once Stood BY BILLY LIGGETT


he fire that destroyed the campus of Buies Creek Academy on Dec. 20, 1900, not only wiped out all but one of the wooden buildings on the campus, but also the records — including maps, deeds and other historical documents that encapsulated the young academy’s 13-year history. Coincidentally, Harnett County’s courthouse also succumbed to a fire that same year, also wiping out documents from the school founded by J.A. Campbell’s early years. Over a century later, the only thing certain about the site of the original Buies Creek Academy was that it was somewhere on the campus of what is now Campbell University. In 1903, architect Z.T. Kivett built a sturdy, monumental brick building (Kivett Hall) to help resurrect the school, making the original building — with its white wooden boards and church-like steeple above the entrance — but a memory. The mystery behind the exact location of that building became more than just a curiosity to history buff Kendra Granger (’06), the Global Engagement coordinator at Campbell, and Sal Mercogliano, associate professor of history. It became a challenge. After months of digging through the Campbell archives and poring through minute details of every photo that remained from that era, the two struck gold in the form of two specific photos — along with a few journal entries and 19th century soil maps. Their findings were celebrated on Feb. 8 — just steps away from the northeast corner of Kivett Hall — in a marker dedication ceremony revealing the site of the original Buies Creek Academy. The ceremony fell in line with the theme of this year’s Founders Week — foundations.

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Most photos of the main Buies Creek Academy campus in the late 1800s failed to include the music building. This side angle photo — used in many BCA catalogues in the years leading up to the fire — is one of the few that includes the lone surviving building of the 1900 fire (the building on the far right).

It is doubtful that any other single event so influenced the spirit and character of the school as did the fire of 1900. Like the legendary Phoenix bird that every 500 years arose from its flame and ashes to a new and vigorous life, so came resurrection to Buies Creek Academy.” — J. Winston Pearce, “Big Miracle at Little Buies Creek”



The bricks on the northeast corner of Kivett Hall match perfectly today with this 1905 photo.

The Buies Creek Academy band positioned itself in front of its music building for a group photo every year for the yearbook (then called the Catalogue). In 1905 — five years after the fire wiped out all but that one building — the band chose a different location, still with the music building behind them, but this time also with a corner of Kivett Hall on the far right of the photo. One-hundred and thirteen years later, thanks to Kivett’s inclusion, that photo would become the “smoking gun” to determine the location of the original Buies Creek Academy buildings.

“Every year, we try to use Founders Week as an opportunity to highlight some theme or aspect of Campbell’s history,” Granger said. “Last year, Sal and I entertained the idea of discovering the location of the Buies Creek Academy building — thinking that’d be a grand reveal toward the end of the week. In our first Founders Week (2015), we unveiled the J.A. Campbell statue, and we were hoping for some kind of big historic reveal like that.” Easier said than done. According to Mercogliano, the fire(s) from 1900 did away with most maps and deeds from that era. What the duo did have, however, was access to several photos from the 1890s through the early 1900s, and the Buies Creek Academy catalogues from those years — each containing photos of the early building and class photos in front of it. Granger and Mercogliano knew from the records and journals kept off campus by Dr. Campbell and other early administration that one building — located about 30 feet from the main building — did survive the blaze. It was a small classroom-sized building where the band played. And each year, members of the band — usually about six to 12 students holding an instrument — would line up in front of that building for a class photo. While those photos were important to show the

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size of that building, they did little to document where exactly that building stood. In 1905, however, the band positioned itself in a different location, still with the music building behind them, but this time also with a corner of Kivett Hall on the far right of the photo. Kivett Hall was built two years before this photo, and Granger believes the band wanted a photo that kept the traditional music building in the background, but also showed a bit of the “new.” One-hundred and thirteen years later, that photo would become the “smoking gun” to determine the location of the rest of the campus that burned to the ground. “An important note was that the music building was built on the east wing,” Mercogliano said. “That gave us direction. The 1893 catalogue read: ‘The music room was built in the grove nearby, yet far enough away to prevent from interfering with its studies.’” Straight-on photos of the old campus often left the music building out, but a side-angle shot published in the 1898 catalogue showed the music building to the right. When Mercogliano and Granger came across that 1905 band picture — found in a shoe-box-sized box in the well-preserved archive room in Carrie Rich Hall — they knew that was the image they needed.

I don’t think J.A. Campbell was a superstitious man, but it was 13 years after they started the Academy, and on that fateful night in 1900, his dreams went up in smoke. But of the ashes came a new school with new students, new programs and new opportunities. The orange flames of the ferocious fire lashing against the black night sky were a painful memory, but they are now the colors that we all wear proudly. And we’re reminded again that we head to the stars, but always on the path of difficulty.” — Campbell University President J. Bradley Creed

“All of the sudden, it’s like … ‘Oh. That’s it. That’s what we’ve been looking for,’” Granger said. “That changed it,” Mercogliano said. “We had a picture with the old building and with the new. The only problem was, we needed to figure out which corner of Kivett that was.” Mercogliano and his son spent an afternoon studying the photo compared to Kivett’s corners. The corner in the photo lacked windows, so that narrowed things down. Mercogliano had a good feeling the corner matched the current northeast corner of Kivett Hall (the side facing Pearson Hall, built in 1915). He studied the brick layout of that corner compared to the photo to confirm a match. “We measured the bricks, and we saw that the bricks on this side were laid out in a very specific pattern,” he said. “For seven rows, the bricks are outward facing, then on the next row, they’re flipped on their side. Then another seven rows, then that odd row again. This is the only corner of the building that has that.” The photo confirmed that the music building would have been located where the current administration building — the J.A. Campbell Building — sits today. The band would have performed roughly where President J. Bradley Creed’s office now stands. As for the old Buies Creek Academy, it would have stood where Kivett Hall stands today, the far west side of the building ending roughly where Kivett’s front door is. It makes sense, Mercogliano and Granger said, but there was never any documented proof that that was the case. Until now. “Founders Week gives us a chance every year to retell the fascinating story of Campbell University,” Granger said. “It’s important to understand where we came from. And it’s important to understand how the motto today really does tell our story. To know the location of this building was a satisfying end to a personal journey of discovery for me.” M AG AZIN E .CAMP BE LL.EDU



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Worth a thousand words

A photographer's story of grief, grace and redemption BY LEAH WHITT JARVIS


wo years out of undergrad and very unexpected, my dad committed suicide.”

Those were the words that made a room of college students stop scrolling through their phones and look up at Ashley Stephenson. Stephenson, a 2006 graduate, shared her story at Connections — a one-hour course designed to nurture the spiritual life of students from a Christian worldview and help to build a strong sense of community — one morning late in the fall semester. Receiving the invitation to be a guest speaker shocked Stephenson initially, as she wouldn’t call herself a poster child for the cookie cutter Christian she thought students expected. ­—

She chose Campbell because her parents went to school and fell in love in Buies Creek. She thought about transferring early into her first semester on campus — and even had the papers ready to submit — when she found a tight-knit group of friends and declared herself a religion major. She always knew she wanted to be in ministry somehow, but she didn’t know exactly how that would take form. After graduating from Campbell, Stephenson moved on to Duke Divinity School to continue to explore her passion for ministry. She happened to pick up a parttime job at a photography studio to help with bills and tuition during her time in school. But she left Duke after a year, saying she was “pretty miserable.” M AG AZIN E .CAMP BE LL.EDU

“At the time, I felt like I was a little bit of a failure. I had never quit anything before. I had always done really well at everything I had done, so it was a new experience for me to give up on something. I know now that it wasn’t the best fit for me and it really wasn’t the best timing either.” Around that time, her gig as a photography assistant began to take off. Like her, most of her college friends were in their early to mid20s, and they reached out to her as they got engaged and married. They remembered the college days when she always had a camera on her no matter what (and that was no small feat since digital cameras and smartphones weren't as commonplace as they are now). They would ask her to take photos, then refer her to their other friends. “It was like all of the sudden, this thing I did on the side grew into something that could be a sustainable full-time job.” On Sept. 1, 2008, the first blog post went up under the Story Photographers brand — Stephenson chose “Story Photographers” because it was important to her to tell others’ stories through the lens of photography. She went from being parttime, using her initials as a wordmark, to a full-time small business owner. Three days later, her dad took his own life. “That turned everything upside down for me. I began questioning things I thought I knew about my family. I thought I had to take on the role of leader for my family. I felt like I needed to take care of everyone. I took on too much.”

At the same time, the church where she devoted time to leading worship and small groups was divided over issues that were and still are very close to her heart — women in ministry and equality. And it wasn’t just a simple disagreement. This was the third church, the third community, that broke down over this. “Experiencing this loss of community and my life feeling like it turned upside down, all while keeping my business running and my relationships meaningful, I just sort of spiritually checked out.” Her spiritual toolbox, as she calls it — the experiences growing up in a church environment and the knowledge she gained studying religion — found its way to a shelf. “Instead of inviting God into my life at that moment, I chose to think God had way too many things to worry about than me.” So she began working around the clock. Story Photographers hit its stride in in the early 2010s. She made a name for herself as an authentic, non-intrusive wedding photographer in Raleigh before the wedding industry became oversaturated. Earning honors like The Knot’s Best of Weddings award multiple years in a row coupled with her married friends wanting newborn shoots and family style photography, she found herself busy. She spent her days behind her camera, her nights in front of her computer editing and her afternoons in a drive-through grabbing something quick to eat so she could get back C A MP B E L L M AG AZ I N E 51

ALUMNI NOTES to work. A lifestyle like that quickly caught up with her. She was stressed, overworked and spiritually empty. “Part of my work-life balance struggle was that I just wanted everything to be perfect,” Stephenson said in a recent online profile of business owners. “I wanted to be the best, the favorite, the fastest, and so on. There was a current of anxiety that fueled that workaholic energy.”

See Her Story Throughout her photography career, Ashley noticed women, in particular, were uncomfortable around and in front of her camera. They would give her a laundry list of things to touchup when she edited the photos or they would hide behind someone as their photos were being taken. They tried to shrink themselves down to minimize their exposure. To fight back against the Photoshop culture and the idea that women have to be perfect to be photographed, she created a fundraising event called See Her Story. For three years, women all over Raleigh come together from all walks of life to have their photo taken and raise money and needed items for InterAct of Wake County. “The See Her Story event gives women the chance to be photographed however they want to be seen. I have women come for professional headshots, or in their work uniforms to tell who they are in everyday life, or they come dressed up super fancy. The whole point is it’s their photo, so they get to decide.” This year, she went took the See Her Story concept one step further thanks to her journey of spiritual, emotional and physical health. She offered a weekend retreat in the fall at Bald Head Island for women needing to invest in themselves. “Now I'm fueled by breathing and patience and self-love and grace upon grace upon grace,” she said. “I am so very honored to lead and create space on this retreat. What a gift it is to dig deep alongside other women wanting to dig deep.”

That current of anxiety climaxed when she suffered yet another personal loss in 2016, the dissolution of her marriage. — On stage at Connections, Stephenson continues telling her story of love and loss throughout the years since she graduated Campbell and the anxiety that powered her every move. The moments where she felt she had to perform and earn the love of God and others. The moments where the unthinkable happened to her not once but twice. “I was trying to hold everything together at the same time to the point where it was too much. I was not myself in any of it. I had put everything before me to the point where I was lost in all of it. I had done everything to keep the worst things from happening, and it still happened.” She reads the story of the Prodigal Son’s return from the book of Luke. The parable about two brothers, one who goes off and squanders his wealth and the other who stays dutifully at home helping his father. She pauses before she shares the last part of the story, which she says is what resonated with her the most. The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. But he answered his father, ‘Look! All

these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!’ She felt like the other son in the story. “I spent my whole life following the rules and being in church every time the doors opened. I wanted to do everything the best that I could, to earn the best grades, to be the best spouse, the best friend, that when I got to the point where something bad happened, my reaction was ‘But I did everything right.’” When she hit rock bottom in the summer of 2016, she found herself reciting the Serenity Prayer. God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. That prayer made her feel safe. She was asking God to change her and to meet her where she was. “I had spent all of this time running my business and behind my camera watching other people’s stories and telling them. And I realized I had used that as a way to hide out. I ran from God and I channeled my grief from the loss of my father into avoiding my own story.” Now, she’s listening to herself more and more these days. Apply her business’s vision of intentionally telling someone’s story to her own life by slowing down a bit to live outside of the frantic schedule she created for herself as a business owner.

Rhymes With Orange: Hear Ashley Stephenson talk about sharing stories of inspiration through her lens on our podcast. Download on iTunes

I had spent all of this time running my business and behind my camera watching other people’s stories and telling them. And I realized I had used that as a way to hide out. I ran from God and I channeled my grief from the loss of my father into avoiding my own story.” — Ashley Stephenson

52 WINTER 2017-18

1970s DAVID N. JOHNSON (’79), president


Sampson County's first black superior court judge 'fought for everything he has'


istory was made on Jan. 19, as the Honorable ALBERT D. KIRBY JR. ('86 LAW) was sworn in as the first African-American Resident Superior Court judge from Sampson County to represent District 4A. A standing-room-only crowd of family, friends, community members, attorneys and law enforcement packed the courtroom to watch Kirby take his oath. The Sampson County native was appointed to the position by Gov. Roy Cooper to fill the Superior Court judge vacancy left with the sudden passing of Judge Doug Parsons.

audience of the main courtroom, thanking a litany of people who have had an impact on his life, most notably his mother. “Thank you for all the times you didn’t eat so that we could,” Kirby said to his mother, who stood by his side during his oath. Even in poverty, Kirby said she gave all of her children unconditional love and encouraged them to work hard and become something. The new judge said days like this ceremony were what his mother was talking about.

Citing Kirby’s journey to success — from a child born into poverty to a young man who climbed his way up the legal ladder — Starling said his friend and brother would understand “the everyday man” and his plight.

A Clinton High School graduate, Kirby has been a public servant and attorney for more than 25 years. He served as the board attorney for Clinton City Schools for two decades and has represented District 5 on the Sampson County Board of Commissioners for seven years. After graduating from Campbell Law School in 1986, Kirby served as an assistant district attorney in Fayetteville and then moved to an assistant district attorney position in Pitt County, where he ran for Superior Court judge in 1990.

Growing up in Clinton on a tobacco farm, Kirby is one of five children — three older sisters and one younger brother. His father, Albert Kirby Sr., fought in World War II, and his mother is credited with teaching her children how to listen, work hard and make something of themselves.

Upon returning to Clinton, Kirby established his own law practice, his older sister Alberta serving as his paralegal. Through the years, he has focused on civil litigation, including personal injury, worker’s compensation and medical malpractice cases, with a criminal case here and there.

“The governor could not have made a better choice,” Clinton mayor and Kirby’s longtime friend Lew Starling shared during the ceremony. “Everything he has gotten, he has had to fight for, and that will make him a better man on that bench.”

With tears in his eyes, draped in his judge’s robe, Kirby addressed the many sitting and standing in the MAGAZINE.CAMPBELL.EDU


of Johnston Community College, was the 2017 recipient of North Carolina State University I.E. Ready Distinguished Leader Award, given annually by the school’s College of Education. The award honors alumni who have built student success, implemented evidencebased practices and achieved impressive results, adopted entrepreneurial approaches to leadership, and created key external partnerships with their communities. Johnson received a bachelor’s degree in music education from Campbell, a master’s of divinity from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and a doctorate in adult and community college education from N.C. State. He is the current president of the North Carolina Association of Community College Presidents. He is the sonin-law of former Campbell President Jerry M. Wallace. ��������������������������

1980s EVERETTE S. “RETT” NEWTON (’82) was sworn in as mayor

of Beaufort, North Carolina, in December. Newton says he wants the Carteret County town to be “North Carolina’s first Clean Water Coastal Community.” He is also a 1984 graduate of the Air Force Institute of Technology. While in the Air Force, he was an engineer, fighter pilot and diplomat/foreign area officer. The North Carolina National Guard honored BRIG. GEN. JOHN BYRD (’84)

during his retirement celebration at the Joint Force Headquarters on Dec. 14.Byrd last served as assistant adjutant general for domestic operations in the C A MP B E L L M AG AZ I N E 53

ALUMNI NOTES state Guard. He was principal advisor to the Guard’s top officer, Maj. Gen. Greg Lusk, during state emergencies like hurricanes and civil disturbances. Byrd juggled his National Guard duties with a civilian career as director of the State Crime Laboratory in Raleigh. Byrd was most recently the keynote speaker for Campbell’s 2016 ROTC commissioning ceremony. DONNA WHITEHURST MATTHEWS (’87) retired after

30 years of teaching in the North Carolina public school system (Pitt and Craven County Schools).



1990s ROSS DESMOND (’95), a PGA

professional, is the new general manager and chief operating officer of the Frankfort Country Club. For the past 12 years, he’s been the general manager of the Reserve Club at Woodside in Aiken, South Carolina. BRETT MCCREIGHT ('97) and his wife, AMY APICELLA MCCREIGHT ('96), celebrated

their 21st anniversary on Aug. 3, 2017. JENNIFER DAUGHTRY (’99 M.Ed.) was

named 201718 Principal of the Year for Sampson County Schools in August. Daughtry is the principal at Hobbton High School, where she was a cheerleader, softball player and member of Future Business Leaders of America during her own high school days. “I was prepared when I left from high school and we’re trying to do the same thing with our students now as they graduate,” Daughtry told the Sampson Independent. “Coming back home, to contribute to what you were a part of, is a great feeling.”

54 WINTER 2017-18


Couple gives back by drilling for clean water, installing pumps in rural African communities


hen STEPHANIE LETCHWORTH (’99) and her husband, Kevin, became owners of N.W. Poole Well & Pump Company in Wendell, North Carolina — an established company founded back in 1949 — the couple vowed that a big part of their business plan would be giving back. And for a company with nearly 70 years experience in water well drilling, pump installation and water treatment; there was truly only one best possible way do this. “We wanted to offer our services to people outside of our country who really needed clean water,” Stephanie says. “We didn’t know who, and we didn’t know where. But that was our starting point.” Big ideas seem to have a way of working out for the determined, and the Letchworths were fortunate to know the right people who’d eventually lead them to Kenya and the tiny village of Salama, about 53 miles southeast of Nairobi. The couple’s pastor at nearby Bethany Baptist Church, Phillip Brantley, became friends with the Rev. Nicholas Muteti, a native of Kenya who now serves as senior

pastor at Forestville Baptist Church in Wake Forest. Muteti, a published author on church segregation who continues to teach and preach in Africa, pointed the Letchworths toward Salama, an area with no dependable clean water supply. “People will walk for miles for water,” says Kevin. “They’ll bring their cans and five-liter jugs and carry them back, either themselves or on carts or on donkeys. They’ll take enough home to last them a few days or maybe a week, then they go back again.” Muteti helped arrange everything for the couple — from the travel and lodging to the contacts in Kenya to make a new water well possible. Planning began in August 2016, and Kevin was joined by Brantley and another member of the church in February of last year. After two days of travel, they arrived in Nairobi on a Friday night and stayed nearly five whole days — which when you factor in the time to sign the deed for the donated land, find and hire a contractor and run tests on the well (which was constructed before their arrival) to measure production and quality; left little time for sightseeing.

BETH GROVER (’97) recently

Online: Learn more about the Letchworths’ nonprofit foundation at

joined the Eden Prairie Fire Department in Minnesota as a records technician. Prior, Grover worked in information technology positions for 21 years with a focus on government and banking applications.

“What makes what we’re doing unique — as opposed to maybe other organizations also trying to do similar wells — is that we know what we’re doing,” Kevin says. “Once we got the well up and running, we taught the people there how to maintain it. The only addition they’ve had to make to it since we left was a barrier around it to keep it from being trampled by elephants … which is a unique problem to have.” By the time their flight touched ground back in the U.S., Kevin had received a text message — yes, while many in that part of the country lack clean water, nearly everybody has a cell phone — with a photo showing people using the well. Within days, grass was beginning to grow around the well, and months later, the runoff from the well was sufficient enough to allow for a small garden where vegetables now grow. “They’re using the water for themselves and for their livestock … they’re doing so much with it already,” Stephanie says. The Letchworths have been told their well will benefit between 3,000 and 5,000 people in its first few years. The couple immediately set their sights on a second well, and started a nonprofit, the Worldwide Wells Foundation, to raise money


2000s for that and for future endeavors (each well runs approximately $30,000 with parts, labor, travel and other expenses factored in). “I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that God has led us to do this,” says Kevin. “The experience in Kenya was just unbelievable — seeing the joy in the faces of the people there, but also seeing firsthand the pain and suffering and the poverty. The pastors we met, they are ministering to many who come to the well. The gospel breaks down many of those barriers.” BILLY LIGGETT

MATTHEW J. DAVENPORT (’00 LAW), an Army veteran

and criminal defense attorney in Greenville, was awarded the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution’s Medal of Honor during a ceremony at St. James United Methodist Family Life Center in Greenville in August. The award was presented by Elizabeth Graham, North Carolina state regent, during a luncheon attended by more than 100 DAR members and guests. Davenport was honored for his 2015 book, “First Over There,” which the organization said raised the profile of the U.S. Army’s early involvement in World War I. PARRISH HAYES DAUGHTRY (’00 LAW) was named Woman

EMMA MORGAN CAVINESS (’17) married Andrew Caviness at First Baptist Church of Troy, North Carolina, on July

15, 2017.


of the Year by the Dunn Area Chamber of Commerce. Daughtry is a member of the Dunn Junior Woman’s Club; is on the Harnett County Business Education Partnership; is co-chair of the Central Carolina Community College Foundation Board Golf Tournament; is cochair of Citizens for Harnett Educational Fairness; and is a Morehead Scholar Selection Alumni Applicant Reader. She is also very involved in Harnett County Schools. An attorney with Hayes, Williams, Turner & Daughtry, Attorneys at Law, Daughtry has served as president of the Harnett County Bar Association and as a member of the North Carolina Advocates for Justice, for which she was a past recipient of the Order of Service award. C A MP B E L L M AG AZ I N E 55



was recognized by the North Carolina Boxing Awards as Manager of the Year. Payne, a former speechwriter and press aid for N.C. Gov. Jim Hunt, manages three fighters who were also nominated for NCB awards in 2017. He is currently owner of Charlotte-based Payne Operations.


and her husband, Buddy, welcomed their second daughter, Joy Anna, on Sept. 2, 2017. She joins her 5-yearold big sister, Hope.

SHELLEY TODD (’03) was

named principal at Loris Middle School in Loris, South Carolina, in August. Todd formerly served as assistant principal at Conway Middle School, also in Loris. Before that, she served three years as a chorus teacher and guidance counselor at various middle and high schools. She also had the role as Horry County School summer school director for seven years.

SHANNON CHAMBERS RUSSELL ('05) and Harrison Russell

were united in marriage on Sept. 23, 2017. The wedding was held at Cook's Farm in Riegelwood, North Carolina.


Randolph County's assistant district attorney traded in the barre for the bar exam


ehind the District Attorney’s table in a courtroom in Randolph County’s Courthouse, HILLARY WOODARD (’16 LAW) sits poised and making notes of Judge Skipper Creed’s judgments and orders as the calling of the calendar for the day’s proceedings takes place. The youngest on her hall upstairs, she is still settling in as Randolph County’s newest assistant district attorney. Woodard began her education at the University of South Carolina wanting to pursue a career as a professional dancer then continuing to law school after her final curtain call. Early in her freshman year, she realized the unrelenting lifestyle of a ballerina was not what she wanted for herself, so she pivoted and added a double major in English to her course load. Armed with an English degree and desire to help people, Woodard sat for the LSAT exam and applied to seven law schools. “A friend urged me to apply to Campbell Law. I knew as soon as I walked through the front doors, Campbell was the place for me,” she said. “It’s a community that really comes together to help you succeed in whatever you want to do.” Earning an acceptance to Campbell, she enrolled thinking she wanted to stay as far away from criminal law as possible. Property law suited her, she thought.


and Robyn Wilson are happy to announce the birth of their first child Charlotte Rae Wilson on March 9, 2017. 56 WINTER 2017-18

By her second year, her experience at an internship with the late Judge Jennifer Miller Green helped change her mind. Green spent her career advocating for victims of domestic violence and encouraged Woodard to spend time in both civil and criminal

court during her internship. That nudge launched Woodard’s career down a path to criminal court. After graduating law school in 2016, Woodard served a brief stint reviewing documents for civil litigation. But looking at papers on a computer all day wasn’t why she went into law, so she took a risk and applied for a position to work for the district court system of Randolph County DA ANDREW GREGSON (’88 LAW). Her role is to seek justice, not just a conviction, so she spends her days determining if there is enough evidence against someone faced with criminal charges that warrants opening a case. “I went to law school because I wanted to help people,” she said. “And while I don’t feel like I help someone every single day, I am grateful to be in a position to talk to victims and seek justice on their behalf. It’s very rewarding.” So would she ever trade her suit jacket in for ballet shoes? “There are a lot of similarities between dance and law. Being in a courtroom is a lot like performing, and being in law school required a lot of discipline and structure much like a ballet class. It requires the same type of decisions and time management to prioritize responsibilities.” While she spends the bulk of her time in the courtroom, she says she hopes to find some time to explore her new town of Asheboro and local dance studios to give back to the sport that helped her through law school. LEAH WHITT JARVIS

CHRISTOPHER MARK BATTEN ('08) was named assistant dean

of admissions and strategic communications at the Wake Forest University School of Divinity.

KRISTOPHER J. HILSCHER (’08 LAW) of Younce, Vtipil & Baznik

law firm, was named to Business North Carolina’s 2018 Legal Elite list. Hilscher was selected in the practice area of family law. JASON DUKE ('08 DIV) was promoted to first lieutenant in the Marine Corp in December. CHRISTIAN WARREN FREED (’08) published

LEAH WHITT JARVIS ('11, '14 MBA) and KEVIN JARVIS ('16 PHARMD, '16 MSCR, '16 MBA) have known each other since their freshman year

at Campbell University. Kevin swears he would wave to Leah across the parking lot at Faculty Memorial Apartments (from the bed of his beloved truck named Truckie) and she would ignore him and act like he didn't exist. Leah swears this never happened. The pair joyfully tied the knot surrounded by family, friends and a whole lot of fellow Fighting Camels on Nov. 4, 2017.

his latest novel, “Where Have All the Elves Gone?” which follows novelist Daniel Thomas as he “finds himself living among the creatures of his imagination.” Freed spent 20 years on active duty in the U.S. Army before retiring and turning his talents to writing. He has gone on to publish 17 military fantasy and science fiction novels, as well as his memoirs from his time in Iraq and Afghanistan. His first published book has been the No. 1 free book on Kindle four times, and he holds a fancy certificate from the L. Ron Hubbard Writers of the Future Contest. Passionate about history, he combines his knowledge of the past with modern military tactics to create an engaging, quasi-realistic world for readers. MANDI CAMPBELL (’09 M.Ed), the

JONATHON SHATTUCK ('10, '16 MDIV) and CHARIS CAVA SHATTUCK ('11), along with big sister, Hannah Claire, welcomed future Camel, Norah Mae Shattuck, on Aug. 15, 2017. Norah was born weighing 7 pounds, 3 ounces, and was 19 inches long.


principal at Fred L. Wilson Elementary School in Kannapolis, N.C., received the 2017 Kannapolis City Schools Principal of the Year award at a surprise ceremony on Sept. 20. During her time as principal of Fred L. Wilson, Campbell has led the school to higher academic performance and improved student growth. The school’s third-grade reading proficiency climbed by 50 percent while fourth-grade math performance jumped by 60 percent.

HUNTER PLEMMONS (’09 LAW) was named superior

clerk of court in Haywood County in October. Prior to the appointment, Plemmons worked for Aceto Law Office in Asheville, where he worked on wills, estates and intellectual property. He also served as a patent attorney in Durham and a licensing associate for the N.C. State University Office of Technology Transfer. “I have a strong connection to this community, and this was an ideal platform to serve my community,” Plemmons told The Mountaineer in Waynesville.

KENNETH EICHBERG (’09, ’17 M.Ed.), a teacher at

Sampson County Early College High School, was honored by Sampson County Schools for receiving his Master of Education degree from Campbell. “We are so proud of these teachers that go back and show our kids that it’s never too late to learn,” district spokesman Susan Warren said. While an undergrad at Campbell, Eichberg ran cross country and long-distance on the track team from 2005-2009. AMY MARKWELL (’99 LAW) was selected as San Miguel County’s (home of Telluride, Colorado) new county attorney. Prior, Markwell served 11 years as El Paso County’s assistant attorney.


2010s Hardison & Cochran, Attorneys at Law, in North Carolina announced attorney JOHN PAUL GODWIN (’10 LAW) was elevated to partner. Godwin focuses his legal practice on plaintiff's personal injury cases and has obtained a number of substantial settlements for injury victims. As a personal injury attorney, he views legal advocacy as his primary responsibility. Inspired by the example of his stepfather, who has a general law practice in Dunn, Godwin became interested in the field of law while in high school. ANDREW TATUM (’11 MDIV)

was ordained at Trinity Baptist Church in Raleigh on April 30, 2017.



served as pastor for the last six years at Hysham Community Presbyterian Church in Hysham, Montana. He completed a master of social work degree from Walla Walla University in June. Cannon is now the social worker at Billings Clinic Dialysis Center, LLC and choir director at St. Andrew Presbyterian Church, both in Billings, Montana. He and his wife, Joleanna, and their boys, Mikey (11) and Danny (9), reside in Billings. JONATHAN HARWARD (’13 PHARMD)

was a College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences Pharmacy Practice Preceptor of the Year and was awarded the honor during the 2017 North Carolina Association of Pharmacists (NCAP) annual convention.

HEATHER HORWATH KOOPMAN (’13) and her husband, RYAN KOOPMAN (’14), are grateful to Campbell

University. Ryan was a pitcher for the baseball team, and Heather was a cheerleader. The couple met in 2010 through a community service event for Campbell Athletics at Buies Creek Elementary’s Fall Festival. They fell in love at Campbell, got engaged at a Campbell baseball game and even returned to Campbell for their engagement photos. Fast forward seven years, and the two have just recently celebrated their first wedding anniversary. Heather and Ryan are forever camels and love returning to the place where their lives began. Go Camels!


was a College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences Pharmacy Practice Preceptor of the Year and was awarded the honor during the 2017 North Carolina Association of Pharmacists (NCAP) annual convention. WAYNE O. “BUTCH” FARRAH III (’14 MDIV) was named

the director of the Small Business Center at Richmond Community College. Farrah was one of the founders of Longleaf Community Bank in Rockingham, which formed in 2002 and was sold to Four Oaks Bank in 2008. “Through the Small Business Center, I will be able to work one-onone with those interested in owning their own business but are unsure of the steps needed to make their dream a reality,” Farrah said. “I want to give people who operate small businesses access to the same quality of information and training enjoyed by larger companies."

58 WINTER 2017-18

ALEXANDRA STREB BAUMANN (’15) and her husband, ERIC BAUMANN (’15), met at Campbell

during Welcome Week of their freshman year back in 2011. After forming a great friendship, the pair eventually started dating the next year. Upon graduation from Campbell and attending graduate schools in different states, Eric proposed in December 2016. Just six years ago the two were best friends and Campbell students, and now, are husband and wife and Campbell staff. Campbell makes it hard to leave, so the couple have just decided to stick around for a while. Alex and Eric say they love making Buies Creek their home.


and her husband were married on Oct. 7, 2017. The couple started dating while she was in her sophomore year at Campbell. CEDRIC MULLINS (’15)


Charlotte Hornets president, COO to be inducted in N.C. Sports Hall of Fame


ormer Campbell basketball standout Fred Whitfield is one of 15 new members who will be inducted into the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame on May 4.

“Regardless of how successful you get, you have the duty to reach back and help the next young person fulfill their dream,” Whitfield said. “There is always a duty to give back and help the next group.”

Now the president, chief operating officer, alternate governor and minority owner of the Charlotte Hornets, Whitfield was inducted into the Campbell Sports Hall of Fame in 1995.

Whitfield set the example by announcing The Coach Danny and Barbara Roberts Undergraduate Scholarship at Campbell. The scholarship honors former Campbell head men’s basketball coach Danny Roberts, who coached Whitfield at Campbell, and Roberts’ late wife, Barbara.

Whitfield has teamed with NBA legend and Hornets owner Michael Jordan to give Charlotte one of the best-run franchises in pro basketball. And thousands of young people in Charlotte have benefitted greatly by his civic work over the years, particularly through his annual basketball camp that has attracted some of the biggest names in the sport. It was at one of Campbell's legendary summer basketball camps in the late 1970s when Whitfield first met Jordan, then a star-on-the-rise at UNCChapel Hill. He also learned valuable basketball and life lessons from Coach Press Maravich, father of NBA Hall of Famer "Pistol" Pete Maravich. In 2016, Whitfield was the keynote speaker for Campbell's Founders Week Connections program, where he talked to students about his career and the importance of never forgetting those who helped along the way and being there for those who need help today.


The scholarship is now awarded annually to deserving current and future undergraduate students at Campbell based on criteria agreed upon by Whitfield and Roberts. Whitfield will be the sixth coach or athlete associated with Campbell to be inducted into the N.C. Sports Hall of Fame, joining Mike Caldwell, Fred McCall, Gaylord Perry, Jim Perry and Earl Smith. He will be joined in the 2018 N.C. Sports Hall of Fame induction class by Donna Andrews, Scott Bankhead, Hal "Skinny" Brown, Chris Cammack, Joey Cheek, Wes Chesson, Laura DuPont, Mindy Ballou Fitzpatrick, Bill Hayes, Jack Holley, Paul Jones, Mike Martin, Frank "Jakie" May and Joe West. CAMPBELL ATHLETICS

batted .268 with 13 home runs, 37 RBI and 9 stolen bases in just 76 games for the Double-A Bowie Baysox — an affiliate for the Baltimore Orioles — in 2017. The 22-year-old switch hitter, taken in the 13th round of the MLB Amateur Draft, is being tabbed as the “center fielder of the future” for the Orioles. THE REV. BRANDON MCLAUCHLIN (’15 MDIV) was

named pastor of St. Charles AME Zion Church in Sparkill, New York, at the young age of 28.


is the new director of youth ministries at Apex United Methodist Church. He and his wife, Samantha, are expecting their second child in March. An article written by


published in January by in-Training, a national online magazine for medical students. Boyette, who graduated magna cum laude from Campbell in 2015 with a degree in business administration in healthcare management, is currently a third-year student in Campbell’s School of Osteopathic Medicine. She serves as a student physician ambassador for her school and previously served as the editor-in-chief for the Community Care Clinic Newsletter.



the call to be senior pastor at Flora First Christian Church in Flora, Indiana in October.


was ordained on Oct. 22, 2017, at Friendship Missionary Baptist Church in Fayetteville. HILLARY WOODARD (’16 LAW)

was sworn in as assistant district attorney of Randolph County in September. “I always wanted to do something to help people,” Woodard told the Asheboro Courier-Tribune. “By going into law, I could help people in a more tangible way. I feel I want to be a voice for the victims of crime.”


featured in a Pharmacy Future Leaders podcast with the focus on Building to a Career in Pharmacy Associations. KATLYN CLARK COCKRELL (’16) married Aaron Cockrell

on Sept. 2, 2017 in Hertford, North Carolina.


in September.

Wealth advisor KNOX GIBSON (’17 MBA)

was named the newest member to Stratos Wealth Partners’ Wilmington team. In his current role, Gibson is actively managing portfolios and developing financial plans for his growing client base. His ideal client includes individuals who are making a career change and are interested in reviewing their options for their retirement savings. He also manages assets for trusts, estates, institutions and college savings plans. His goal is to partner with his clients on their financial journey to help them reach financial independence.

60 WINTER 2017-18


Continue your Campbell story


ampbell University has alumni chapters representing North Carolina, Virginia and places beyond: Our Office of Alumni Engagement sat down recently with NORMAN BANNERMAN (’97), president of the Cape Fear Alumni Chapter, to talk about staying involved with your alma mater beyond the cap and gown. What brought you to Campbell University? Having lived in Dunn for many years, I witnessed the positive growth of Campbell as it transitioned from a small college to the growing university we have today. The quaint campus, the family atmosphere, the smaller class size, the dedicated faculty and staff, and the Campbell tradition were the primary factors. How did Campbell prepare you for your career? Campbell has prepared me, not only for the business side of my roles, but also prepared me mentally to recognize and respect the humanistic side of the people I’m involved with, both internal and external customers, as well as the business attributes that I possess today. Because of the high-level quality of professors and their desire to teach, educate and allow the students to have a complete understanding of the courses in the classroom, I have applied that classroom knowledge within my various roles throughout my career. As a result of the Campbell faculty and their dedication to prepare me for today’s

competitive job market, I am fortunate to have a career as a global sourcing specialist for GE’s Global Operations — Sourcing in Wilmington. What made you decide to join the Cape Fear chapter and stay involved with your alma mater? The chapter is a tool that allows alumni an opportunity to have input and participate in the continued, positive growth of the University. I am extremely proud of the Campbell tradition and participating at the chapter level has offered me personally more avenues of involvement at Campbell. Campbell truly is “leading with purpose” and exemplifies by example, not words. By being involved in the Cape Fear chapter, I am able to stay involved and continue to support my alma mater. How has being a part of the Cape Fear chapter benefited you? I have had the opportunities to meet so many Campbell faculty members and alumni that are as excited and proud of Campbell as I am. I have been afforded the privilege of serving as president of the Cape Fear chapter, and I am extremely proud to serve as a member of the Alumni Board of Directors. As president of the chapter, I have met so many wonderful alumni in our three-county area, including those who serve as chapter officers as well as those serving within our chapter leadership team. As a member of the Alumni Board of Directors, I have had the opportunities to meet even more of the University’s alumni.

For more information about ways to get involved in your region, visit


Brigadier Gen. Steven Thomas Eveker (shown riding a float in Campbell's 2017 Homecoming Parade) was named a Distinguished Alumnus by the University in October.


Brigadier General Steven Eveker ('86)


rigadier Gen. Steven Thomas Eveker (’86) was honored by his alma mater during Homecoming on Oct. 27, as a Distinguished Alumnus following a distinguished career in the military that included combat in Operation Desert Storm, Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. Less than a month later, on Nov. 22, 2017, Eveker was killed in a single-car crash near his home in Evans, Georgia. It was believed preexisting medical conditions contributed to the accident. He was 53. Born in Saint Louis, Missouri, he moved to Coral Springs, Florida when he was 8. He excelled in athletics in middle and high school, especially in track and cross country and earned an athletic and academic scholarship to Campbell after high school. At Campbell, he joined the Army ROTC program, where he graduated as a Distinguished Military Graduate in 1986 and was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the U.S. Army Infantry. He went on to earn a master’s degree from U.S. Army War College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. After Campbell, Eveker spent the next five years on active duty serving with the 1/509th Airborne Infantry Battalion and with the 24th Infantry Division serving in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. He left active duty MAGAZINE.CAMPBELL.EDU

in 1991 and began his career as a petroleum marketing executive working for several prominent petroleum refining companies. He continued to serve in the Army Reserve in numerous command and staff positions throughout the U.S. His awards and decorations include the Legion of Merit (three awards), the Bronze Star Medal (two awards), the Meritorious Service Medal, the Army Commendation Medal (six awards), the Army Achievement Medal (three awards), the Afghanistan and Iraqi Campaign Medals, the Ranger Tab, the Senior Parachutist Badge, the Air Assault Badge, the Combat Action Badge, and the Expert Infantryman's Badge. From his obituary: Steve truly cared about soldiers. He was the epitome of a servant leader and referred to himself as a "muddy boots soldier." He told captivating stories and always had a new joke to tell. He was a friend to all and truly believed that it was more important to give than to receive. He was a down to earth and honest leader and his example is his legacy. His many friendships span the globe and he will be missed by all, especially his wife, children and family. His life and service touched all who knew him and the world is a better place because he was here.

Suellen S. Carter (’69) Magalene P. Benedict (’51) James M. Debnam (’49, ’50) Doris R. Morgan (’43) William H. Payne (’79) Barbara Hollingsworth (’83 Law) Larry T. Jones (’64) Thomas E. Waesche (’64) Charles H. Albritton III (’73) Victor G. Garrard (’60) Darrell Gunter (’63) Eleanor H. Jones (’55) Billie W. Sawyer (’48) Barbara A. Wilder (’70) James L. Edwards (’76) Linda Harton (’55) Hazel S. Hatcher (’49) John M. Arnold Jr. (’87) Glenda F. Folds (’55) John B. Godwin (’92Law) James B. Yarborough Jr. (’08) Frances E. Apple (’52) Dr. Jack Britt Dr. Keith G. Finch, Sr. (’41, ‘00) Maj. Mark A. Muchenberger (’99) Billie B. Smith (’53) Mamie W. Whitted (’62) Thomas M. Johnson (’54) Steven T. Eveker (’86) James L. McGuirt (’75) Dr. Thomas P. Coyne (’71) Donald M. Prince (’58) Stuart P. Warren (’61) Jane P. Haygood (’78) Callie R. Lewis (’65) Shelby B. Rosser (’84) Dennis I. Bellefeuille (’72) William S. Burney (’84) Ray B. Guthrie (’66) Timothy T. Inch (’84) Waylon M. Byrd (’57) Gilbert Trott (’50) Dr. Gary A. Camp (’98P, ‘98) Kevin A. Battaglia (’16) Stephen F. Lee (’96) Rossie D. Haynes (’63) MSgt. Titus O. Lee (’80) Dr. Jeffery P. Lobo (’96P) Rev. Henry S. Yarborough Sr. (’50) Rev. Raleigh M. James (’64) Cecil H. Williams, Jr. (’53) B. A. Corbett (’49) Juliane H. Earnhardt (’99) Sandra M. Frick (’88) Craig A. Slagle (’05 Law) Terry W. Godwin (’72) Maj. Frank J. Orians (’74) Gerald H. Quinn (’56) Robert Mallon (’97) John D. Williford (’58) William G. Bailey (’55) Vance McDaniel (’50) Jon D. Wallace (’69) Robert L. Wooten (’88) Hope F. Hall (’44) Elizabeth E. Belton (’52) Laura W. Daniels-Mcknight (’70) Mary W. Hardison (’56) William H. Perry (’48) Thomas G. Horne (’64) Russell J. Lanier Jr. (’65) Brian A Riviere (’14 PharmD) Suzanne C. Richie (’72) Angel L. Carrion (’72) Frederick S. Davis IV (’93) Freddy L. Dunlap-Lynn (’76) Miriam Clark (’52) Martha B. Kirkman (’67) H. Jack Mattox (’51) Ayden W. Hall (’64)

Jan. 24 Oct. 21 Jan. 31 Jan. 30 Jan. 29 Jan. 15 Jan. 26 Nov. 21 Jan. 15 Jan. 9 Jan. 15 Jan. 15 Dec. 9 Jan. 11 Jan. 1 Dec. 29 Dec. 30 Dec. 22 Dec. 26 Dec. 18 Dec. 25 Dec. 13 Dec. 22 Dec. 13 Nov. 8 Nov. 23 Nov. 16 Sept. 22 Nov. 22 Nov. 15 Nov. 4 Nov. 8 Sept. 17 Oct. 27 Oct. 28 Oct. 21 Nov. 6 Oct. 21 Oct. 18 Oct. 15 July 31 Aug. 18 Oct. 1 Oct. 3 June 25 Sept. 11 Sept. 12 Aug. 28 Sept. 16 Sept. 11 Sept. 1 Aug. 30 Aug. 27 Aug. 31 Aug. 28 Aug. 23 Aug. 13 Aug. 17 Aug. 3 Aug. 5 July 24 July 27 July 31 July 21 July 26 July 20 July 20 July 15 July 16 June 29 June 30 June 28 June 23 June 17 June 16 June 13 June 18 June 13 June 6 June 4




62 WINTER 2017-18




We met at the wall


t 9:45 on most weekdays in college, you could find me standing by or sitting on a marble sign in front of the library — surrounded by friends and friends of those friends — talking or cutting up in that short time before our 10 a.m. classes. We called it “the wall,” even though it barely stood 4-feet tall and about 15-feet long. And it was a prime location on the pinetree-shaded university campus in East Texas — think D. Rich in terms of location, then add a wall where the seal currently sits. I remember one particular warm October day at “the wall” more than any other. It was the day I first saw her. I — sitting on the marble, looking down and complaining to a friend about being broke — remember seeing her for the first time out of the corner of my eye. She was, quite literally, a friend of a friend of a friend. Quietly standing there as her friend chatted, taking in her new surroundings, she never saw me. Or if she did, nothing registered that this was a big moment for both of us. But I saw her. Those eyes, big and hazel … unlike any I’d seen before. A smile that made me want to be the reason for it. She was beautiful. And I needed to know more. She walked away with that friend, likely heading to whatever 10 a.m. class awaited. Academics could wait for me. I sought out the friend they were talking to and demanded information. We met days later, by chance. I was sitting alone near the wall on a much warmer fall afternoon when she and the aforementioned friend approached me to say hi. There are moments in your life that you wish you knew the importance of as it was happening, because only then would you take in every detail to share with your kids and your grandkids. Seeing her at the wall — that felt like one of those moments. Our actual meeting — which may or may not have included a handshake — did not. She told me her name (though I already knew it), and I told her I was poring through printouts for financial aid and scholarship information so I could afford to stay in school. I never said I was good at this. Still, I was dumbstruck. Through the friend-of-a-friend-of-afriend grapevine, I asked her out. Our first date was a terrible horror movie and mediocre Mexican food. A few days later, she shockingly agreed to be my date to a formal dance. We spent the day prior at a mall together looking for her dress. The next night, we danced. Six years later, we said our vows on a Caribbean beach. Twelve years later, she ran into our bedroom and woke me up at 5 a.m. shouting that we were going to have a baby. Last night, 20 years after that dance, I fell asleep near her on our couch. My head in her lap, her fingers in my hair.

Billy Liggett is Director of News & Publications at Campbell University and editor of Campbell Magazine. 64 WINTER 2017-18


The Matrimonial Club at Buies Creek Academy in 1915 was a group of men — the member list was published as "all of us boys from 16 to 25" in that year's Pine Burr Yearbook — looking for love, pure and simple. The group's motto: "Absence makes the heart grow flounder." Their favorite dish: Couldweloveher (also known as cauliflower). Their counterparts in the opposite sex was the Old Maids Club, whose motto was "Never give up," and whose favorite pastime was "flirting." At least they had a sense of humor about things 103 years ago. Photo: 1915 Pine Burr Yearbook M AG AZIN E .CAMP BE LL.EDU


Post Office Box 567 Buies Creek, NC 27506

Photo by Bennett Scarborough 66 WINTER 2017-18

Nonprofit Organization U.S. Postage PAID PPCO

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