Campbell Magazine | Fall 2023

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Breaking Through

Former Campbell University tight end Julian Hill and linebacker Brevin Allen, both undrafted free agent rookies heading into training camp, became the first two Fighting Camels to make an NFL 53-man roster this fall.

Hill made the final cut for the Miami Dolphins in August, and Allen was called up to the opening day roster for the Los Angeles Chargers in September.

One of the top FCS tight end targets in the country, Hill earned First Team All-Big South honors in 2022 and played in 48 games from 2018-22 at Campbell. Allen also played five seasons at Campbell, appearing in 44 career games and twice earning FCS All-America honors.

Photo courtesy of the Miami Dolphins and L.A. Chargers

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32 The Cape Crusader

It brought in the men and women who would establish Buies Creek, it miraculously provided a sawmill when a destroyed campus needed it most and it’s served as both an educational tool and recreational asset to students and faculty at Campbell for 138 years. We tell the story of how one professor is looking to build on the University’s relationship with the Cape Fear River to offer more educational and recreational opportunities and preserve our valuable natural resource.


16 The New Look

The new logo and wordmarks for Campbell Athletics are more than just a “fresh new look.” The branding update is about consistency and “going bold” as the Camels enter the CAA.

20 A Clearer Path

Campbell’s Master of Science in Biomedical Sciences degree has become a pathway for those looking for acceptance into med school and other health programs. We share just a few of those success stories.

42 The Tallest Hurdle

PRESIDENT J. Bradley Creed


Britt Davis


Vincent Benbenek


Haven Hottel


Billy Liggett


Evan Budrovich


Ben Brown, Robin Gordon, Dan Hunt, Renee McMannen, Catrina Moretz, Bennett Scarborough


Finalist: CASE International Robert Sibley Magazine of the Year (2020)

CASE International Circle of Excellence Awards

Magazine: 2020 (Grand Gold)

Feature Writing: 2021 (Gold), 2022 (Silver), 2017 (Bronze)

Photography Series: 2021 (Gold)

Photography Portraits: 2022 (Silver)

Illustrations: 2020 (Gold)

Cover Design: 2018 (Silver)

Founded in 1887, Campbell University is a private, coeducational institution where faith, learning and service excel. Campbell offers programs in the liberal arts, sciences and professions with undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees. The University is comprised of nine colleges and schools and was ranked among the Best National Universities by U.S. News & World Report in its America’s Best Colleges 2023 edition.

Campbell University publishes Campbell Magazine three times a year.


Catrina Moretz, a 2014 Campbell University graduate, is the photographer behind our cover featuring biology professor Dr. John Bartlett. Her work can also be found throughout our cover story.

Knocking on the doorstep of her crowning achievement as an athlete, Chastity Pickett nearly walked away from the sport. Now, with one more year of eligibility remaining, she’s an All-American with eyes on a national title.


The University affirms its standing policy of nondiscrimination in employment and in all of its programs and activities, with respect to race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, religion, ethnicity or national origin, disability, genetic information, protected veteran status, military status and any other characteristic protected by law, except where exemption is appropriate and authorized by law.

English professors provide a rebuttal to Artificial Intelligence love. Former Provost Mark Hammond returning to his first love, teaching. Alumnus part of team behind Winston-Salem’s hot new brewery.


As rivers have shaped human history, the Cape Fear has shaped our Campbell community

Rivers are the cradles of civilization. Throughout human history, the floodplains of large rivers have provided conditions for the emergence of settled farming and the growth of societies.

Five thousand years ago, ancient peoples living in river deltas and valleys started the process of modifying natural vegetation to grow domesticated plants as crops for food and clothing. This led to technological advances in the development of agriculture and the use of irrigation and the wheel, followed by the creation of writing which was the precursor to literate societies. Reading and writing altered and shaped human thinking, which made possible laws and centralized political organizations.

Rivers tell the story of civilization and are natural drivers of progress. The societies that experienced exponential expansions and improvements did so on the banks of great rivers and in proximity to ports. England has the Thames, Egypt the Nile, India the Ganges, and Campbell has the Cape Fear. It has defined our history, and our origins are inconceivable apart from it.

Once the hunting grounds of native peoples, the Cape Fear is a liquid highway, fostering trade, commerce and transportation. The soil of its banks, rich with nutrients and fertility, lured immigrants from distant lands looking for a better way of life and a promising future. If the currents of civilization flow in the wakes and ripples of rivers, it is true of our area.

Yeoman farmers who made their way up the Cape Fear and put down roots next to one of the river’s tributaries, Buies Creek, wanted a school for their children. They understood that education is the backbone of a civilized community.

They persuaded a 26-year-old Bible salesman and Baptist preacher to organize a humble academy which grew over time. The story of Campbell University unfolded along the banks of the creek feeding the river that flowed to the ocean.

Just like other rivers around the world and throughout time, our river has been a driver of nature and humanity. The eternal succession of the hydraulic cycle not only brings water to the land but also drains it from the same, moving it to the sea and into the atmosphere. Our river, like others, has inspired poets, launched pilgrimages and intrigued scientists.

Today, the Cape Fear and the Campbell property through which it courses is a living laboratory for students and faculty and a park providing opportunities for

recreation and the enjoyment of nature to all. We honor its history, we study its plants and wildlife, we assess its cultural and economic impact.

To us falls the responsibility of being good stewards and faithful caretakers of an amazing natural resource. Like the land through which the Cape Fear runs, the river continues to shape us and tell our story.

Dr. J. Bradley Creed President, Campbell University Much of Campbell University’s early history can be attributed to its proximity to the Cape Fear. The nearly 202-mile-long blackwater river dominates the landscape of the eastern portion of North Carolina with more than 6,500 miles of streams (including Buies Creek) covering an area about the size of New Jersey. Photo by Evan Budrovich


AI is dumb and useless

In “Generation AI” ( Campbell Magazine, Spring 2023), writer Billy Liggett paints a broadly positive picture of AI. There was concern that students might use it for nefarious purposes, like not doing their work, but in general, he, and many of his interviewees, seemed to think that AI will usher in a new era of productivity and exciting new computer generated content.

Of course, he is not alone. Technopositivists are breathlessly anticipating a world free

of mundane tasks as AI replaces the drudgery of writing, freeing us all to do ... well ... something else that isn’t writing.

There are plenty of legitimate reasons why we should be wary of AI. Many of these reasons were suggested by Liggett and the professors that he interviewed: copyright infringement, cheating, misinformation, job loss, the singularity, Skynet, etc. But we would like to focus on a question about AI that seems largely overlooked, or perhaps purposely ignored: Why exactly do we want to automate writing? Why is it seen as a mundane task that interferes with our real work?

Our sense is that many AI apologists seem to view writing as a tool, and so AI is simply a way of making that tool easier to use. It is like writing is a screwdriver and AI is a drill. Since writing is purely or primarily a means of communicating content to another person, a means to an end, then any process that gets you to that end is fair game. But this vision of language ignores, or at least minimizes,

what every composition teacher in the world sees as the primary purpose of writing — discovery.

Writing isn’t simply a way of conveying thought. Writing is the process of thought. E.M. Forster famously wrote, “How can I tell what I think till I see what I say?”

When we write, and as a lifelong writer I’m sure Liggett knows this, we don’t just turn our thoughts into printed words, we discover and create new ideas. Linking subjects to verbs, sentences to other sentences, paragraphs to paragraphs creates logical — and sometimes illogical — connections between ideas that did not exist prior to the act of writing. When we set out to prove a point (like AI is stupid), we end up forming new paths of thoughts, and new neural pathways, that didn’t exist before. Perhaps we will change our minds (all hail our AI overlords), but even if we don’t, we have added texture and nuance to our own opinions. Our thinking has become deeper and more complex because of the writing process.

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The Spring 2023 edition of Campbell Magazine looked at generative artificial intelligence and the impact it’s already having on higher education, from worries of cheating and plagiarism to possible uses in admissions and in the classroom. Graphic created using Midjourney
Campbell English professors see plenty of negatives in Generative AI and ask, ‘Why automate writing?’

Writing is one of the few (and maybe the only) activity that requires real, sustained thought. We can read, walk, cook, watch TV, even drive, while we are thinking of something completely different from the task at hand. We have all gotten into our cars after work and ended up in our driveways without fully being conscious of driving. The most dangerous activity we engage in on a daily basis can be completed while thinking about weekend plans or daydreaming about unicorns, or whatever.

Try this with writing. You can’t do it. A writer has to think and think deeply about the topic they are writing about.

Writing doesn’t (just) affect the audience; it affects the writer. Or put another way, writing is an intransitive action. It doesn’t actually have an object or an end. It isn’t utilitarian.

In this, it mirrors the goals and values of a liberal arts education. Traditionally, the core of the liberal arts focused on subjects that we now associate with writing: rhetoric, grammar and logic. The medieval educational system differentiated these subjects from the utilitarian arts such as carpentry, weaving, masonry. Utilitarian arts had a clear object. They were transitive. You learned carpentry in order to transform wood into a chair or table.

Studying utilitarian arts makes us better laborers and workers. It teaches us how to turn raw materials into commodities. The liberal arts, as Sister Miriam Joseph reminds us, are intransitive. They don’t have an object. Or better yet, the object of liberal arts is the subject of liberal arts – the student. We study the liberal arts for the same reason we write, to improve the mind.

So what exactly is AI freeing us from?

The answer seems clear: thinking. We have gathered some of the smartest, most well trained minds in human history and dedicated billions of dollars to create something that alleviates us from thinking. We are working hard to outsource our own minds. And why? So that we have more time to engage in utilitarian endeavors and

focus on creating more commodities. As most writers know, there is no money in writing. And since there is no money to be made in thinking or writing, why do it?

That appears to be the logic of AI, and it is profoundly stupid. Why not create programs that can automate other nonutilitarian actions — like tasting food, petting dogs, listening to music, having non-procreative sex? We could create an epicurean nightmare where all the actions that make life worth living are delegated to robots who can’t even appreciate them. A robot arm can pet a dog, but why would you want it to?

Creating a robot petting arm is stupid, but it is also useless, since we can easily do it ourselves. Similarly, ChatGPT seems pretty useless. It has never really been explained to us how these programs will be helpful. So we can write into its box a message we want to send via email so it can generate the thing that we just told it to write, but in a way more boring style? Sounds great.

It can write a terrible sonnet in the style of Shakespeare? You know where we can find a good Shakespearean sonnet? Shakespeare’s sonnets.

When this topic arises, people insist that it will get better. Spookily, ChatGPT said the same thing when asked, “Why are you so stupid and useless?” Maybe they are right and in a few years — and after a few more billion dollars of investment — it will finally be able to do the thing that humans have been doing for free and with pleasure for thousands of years — writing and thinking.

Personal disclaimer: One of the authors of this piece once coached tee-ball with Mr. Liggett and had frequent disagreements with him over the batting lineup. These disagreements, while heated, in no way affected the tenor or content of this argument.


The Spring 2022-23 edition of Campbell Magazine took an in-depth look at generative artificial intelligence and the already big impact it’s having on the world of higher education.

Not surprisingly, the technology has already evolved since the magazine’s April release, and professors and university staff members alike are finding new uses for it (and new problems as well). Inside Higher Ed, a think tank on issues affecting colleges and universities around the world, has published a series on generative AI’s potential both in the classroom and at the administrative level (from budgeting help to recruitment/ admissions and adjusting policies that promote student success).

The skepticism is there (just look to your left), and it’s warranted. While our Spring 2023 edition did, as our English professors noted, “paint a broadly positive picture of AI,” the article also pointed out the “Wild West” nature of the technology and the careful approach professors should take when introducing it in their curriculums.

As the University of Nebraska states on its Center for Transformative Teaching website: “The implications for generative artificial intelligence on higher education are still developing, but what is clear is that these tools are not going to disappear.”

The debate is healthy, and generative AI will only be an asset if we learn, point out and fix its many early flaws.

SPRING 2023 AIU Generative AI designed this cover. Learn what else it can do and why it’s already having a profound impact on the world of higher education.
“So what exactly is AI freeing us from? The answer seems clear: thinking. We have gathered some of the smartest, most well trained minds in human history and dedicated billions of dollars to create something that alleviates us from thinking.”



The 2023-2024 academic year at Campbell University got under way in August, and the first two weeks featured Welcome Week traditions like the new student medallion ceremony, the Street Fair and a party in the Academic Circle. Students packed Barker-Lane Stadium on Aug. 31 for the football opener against William & Mary.

Photo by Ben Brown

Early impact

Watkins announces retirement

Apillar of Campbell University and Campbell Athletics for nearly five decades, Wanda Watkins will retire following the 2023-24 season.

A Big South and Campbell Hall of Fame coach and administrator, Watkins spent 37 years coaching, including 35 seasons as women’s basketball head coach. She retired in 2016 with 549 wins and went on to serve in athletics administration for the last seven years.

“Coach Watkins means so much, not only to our women’s basketball program and athletics department, but to Campbell University and the community,” said CU Director of Athletics Hannah Bazemore. “She has given so much, impacting countless lives over the course of her coaching career and now in athletics administration. Her impact has helped make Campbell the special place it is, and we’re so happy for her to be able to enjoy retirement following this season.”

Campbell Athletics will honor the school’s first female scholarship athlete with Wanda Watkins Day on Nov. 18 when the women’s basketball team hosts Western Carolina at the Pope Convocation Center. The celebration will gather former players, coaches, colleagues and the greater community around the celebration.

NESTLED IN A LARGE CIRCLE of American Indian influencers inside the Oscar N. Harris Student Union, a culture of collaboration and practical leadership skills is being fostered and developed.

North Carolina is home to the largest American Indian population east of the Mississippi, and the North Carolina Commission of Indian Affairs has partnered with Campbell University to develop a year-long cohort — the American Indian Leadership Development Program — to train and develop leaders at the tribal and state level.

This relationship has blossomed under the leadership of Al Bryant, dean for the School of Education & Human Sciences and an enrolled member of the Lumbee American Indian Tribe. It highlights a tremendous partnership between Campbell University and the N.C. Commission of Indian Affairs, led by executive director Gregory Richardson, who was in the middle of the meetings providing feedback, insight and recommendations to inspire action.

More than 25 impactful representatives from the American Indian population met on July 21-22 to share insights and key developments with experts in the fields of politics, education, health, safety and law enforcement. And that’s just the beginning.

“The richness in the conversations we saw during our first session was a testament to what naturally happens when each member of your group is allowed to bring their own background to the table,” said Bryant. “The value of this first cohort lies in the groups’ diversity of tribes, life experiences, career experience and community.”

Legendary Campbell coach, athlete has been a part of the University for over 40 years
University hosts first American Indian Leadership Development Program, and already, the need for the program is evident
Gregory Richardson, executive director of the North Carolina Commission of Indian Affairs, speaks to the first gathering of the American Indian Leadership Development Program at Campbell University in July. Photo by Evan Budrovich

School of Education and Human Sciences Associate Professor of Professional Education

DR. TERRIE HAMPTONJONES was awarded the prestigious designation of Fulbright Specialist Scholar for the next three years.

As a Fulbright Specialist, Hampton-Jones will travel overseas to share her expertise in instructional technology and lesson planning through digital literacy. She will lecture and host seminars and projectbased learning workshops for teachers and education majors.

Hampton-Jones, the director of Campbell’s Teaching Scholars Academy, is the University’s first African-American Fulbright Specialist.

Apply with ease

Campbell joins national Common App service to streamline the often intimidating and complicated application process for incoming freshmen

CAMPBELL UNIVERSITY became one of the 29 colleges and universities joining Common App — a program that streamlines the application process for prospective students — for spring and fall 2024 main campus first-year student enrollment. Campbell was officially added to the organization, which serves more than 1,000 higher ed institutions worldwide, on Aug. 1.

Common App is a non-profit membership organization that connects applicants and those who support them to “a wide array of public and private colleges and universities across all 50 U.S. states, and 20 countries.”

systemic barriers to college access, serves a diverse group of students and makes the application process “logical and joyful.”

“Common App has been around for over 50 years, and it’s steadily grown to become the leading common tool used by colleges and college-bound students applying for admission,” said Dr. David Mee, vice president for enrollment management. “It not only provides convenience, but it also provides more information for students to fully discern a potential good fit.”

The 2023 Special Olympics North Carolina Golisano Health Leadership Award was presented to DR. DAVID TILLMAN, chair of the Department of Public Health at Campbell University.

The award is the highest honor for health partners and individuals that Special Olympics presents, created to recognize champions and their efforts toward fulfilling the mission of Special Olympics’ global health program. Tillman was presented with the award at the 2023 SONC Leadership Summit, hosted in August in Durham.

More than a million students — a third of whom are first-generation — apply to college, research financial aid and scholarships, and connect to college counseling resources through Common App. The organization says it lowers logistical and

Students who register may apply to multiple colleges and universities simultaneously (with one primary application). Common App also provides around-the-clock support, connects students to financial aid and scholarship information and has access to “a vast library of counselor resources.”

SCHOOL OF ENGINEERING Dean Dr. Jenna Carpenter was named the 2023 recipient of the Claire L. Felbinger Award for Diversity and Inclusion from ABET, the recognized U.S. accreditor of university programs in engineering and engineering technology. Carpenter has led multiple national efforts for diversity and inclusion and has helped schools use evidence-based practices in recruiting, and graduating a more diverse group of engineering students.

Engineering students Julie Fiedler and Jaylen Wilkes Photo by Ben Brown

Fall for the arts

Concerts, theater and debut of ‘Front Porch Series’ highlights fall Fine Arts schedule

FOR OVER 45 YEARS, WUNC’s homegrown Back Porch Music series has brought the world of folk and acoustic music through the airwaves to North Carolinians every Friday, Saturday and Sunday night. Still as popular as it was when it launched in 1977, Back Porch Music is the station’s longestrunning continually produced program.

Taylor Bott Rogers Fine Arts Center on the campus of Campbell University doesn’t have a back porch, but the front porch is impressive. As an homage to the North Carolina phenomenon, Campbell will introduce “Front Porch Music @ The Fab” twice this fall — the first outdoor show on Sept. 28, followed by an encore on Oct. 19. The free shows will consist of a “casual peformance” from the University Faculty Jazz Trio and students, and guests are invited to bring their blankets or chairs to enjoy the music.

Front Porch Music @ The Fab is but a part of a full schedule of concerts and musicals scheduled this fall by the Fine Arts Department. The following is only a few of the offerings — for a complete list, visit calendar.


Sept. 28, Oct. 19 | 6 p.m. | Taylor Bott Rogers

Casual performances from the University Faculty Jazz Trio and student groups will highlight these free outdoor performances on the front porch of the Taylor Bott Rogers Fine Arts Building. Bring a blanket or a lawn chair and enjoy music in the fall weather.



Oct. 26-28 | 7 p.m. | Ellis Theater

Oct. 29 | 2 p.m. | Ellis Theater

The beloved children’s book and movie and television series has become an offBroadway musical, released in 2021 by Disney Theatrical Productions. Campbell theater students will perform music by the renowned Sherman Brothers, who also penned classics for Mary Poppins and The Jungle Book.

The Wind Ensemble & Wind Symphony will perform its Fall Concert “Traditions” at 7 p.m. on Nov. 14 in the Hobson Performing Arts Center. Admission is free.


Dec. 5 | 7 p.m. | Hobson Performing Arts Center

From the resounding peal of the carillon bells to the sacred “O Holy Night,” the Christmas at Campbell concert is a thrilling opener to the Christmas season. Free to the public in the Hobson Performing Arts Center, the annual concert features classics performed by the University Choir and student musicians.



Celebrating 10 years of a ‘revelation’

A Hawaiian-themed breakfast greeted the professors, administrators and staff as they arrived to campus, as did publications and a slideshow of photos from that historic inaugural year. Campbell University greeted 162 students from the charter Class of 2017 for their first in-person orientation on July 31, 2013, in the same lecture hall, officially launching what was North Carolina’s first new medical school in 35 years.

In looking back on the series of events that led to the school’s creation, Wallace said Campbell’s effort to offer an osteopathic education was the result of a “revelation.” Despite a feasibility study that suggested

Campbell couldn’t pull it off, Wallace saw a small private school in Mississippi — William Carey University — attempt to do just that as he was part of the accreditation team sent to approve (or deny) it.

“There was this thought, at first, that there was no way in the world a school like that could do this,” Wallace recalled. “But I was amazed at what I saw when I got there, and I thought, ‘My goodness, they can do this.’ Then I thought, ‘We can do this.’ I couldn’t wait to get back home and start the process, because I believed from the depth of my heart that there was a need for a school like this [in rural North Carolina].”

At 88 years old, former Campbell University President Jerry Wallace can still captivate a room. And his message to the faculty and staff of the School of Osteopathic Medicine that bears his name during a morning ceremony commemorating the 10th anniversary of the school’s opening was — like any good Baptist sermon — a mix of storytelling, inspiration and, most importantly, a sincere call to action.

School’s founder offers sincere ‘call to action’ to faculty, staff as it enters its second decade
Former Campbell University President Dr. Jerry M. Wallace’s biggest legacy is the school of osteopathic medicine that bears his name. During a Hawaiian-themed celebration of its 10th anniversary in August, Wallace recalled the “revelation” that led to the school’s creation: “I believed from the depth of my heart that there was a need for a school like this.” Photo by Evan Budrovich
“No one else can quite understand the burden of having to make decisions that can determine whether or not someone lives. We must be intentional about building each other and forming an incorruptible fence.”
— Dr. Melissa Stout Davies, the first student accepted into Campbell’s medical school in 2013, on the need for med students to support each other during their journeys. Davies spoke at the school’s spring commencement in May.

At the time, fears of a physician shortage in North Carolina were very real. Fifty-one of the state’s 100 counties had fewer than six physicians per 100,000 people, and 20 of them had no general surgeons. While the need persists today, Campbell University has cut into the shortage, graduating more than 1,000 physicians since 2017, many of them choosing to remain in the state and practice medicine in underserved areas.

In 2013, only 27 percent of students in the charter class were native North Carolinians. That number has risen to 43 percent in 2023, and 19 students in this year’s class attended Campbell for undergraduate degrees, compared to just seven 10 years ago.

Dr. Brian Kessler, who was named the school’s second dean in 2021 after being an important part of the faculty and administration in the inaugural year, said the 10-year milestone has provided him an opportunity to revisit Wallace’s vision and see how it has come to fruition today.

“I think the greatest feeling is when you run into graduates — many who have gone on to really champion the profession and our mission — and learn about the impact they’ve had. And to see so many faculty members who have been here since the beginning, that’s a great accomplishment,” Kessler said. “The other thing I’m proud of is that we’ve not remained stagnant in 10 years. It’s not the same institution when we started. We’ve adjusted to change, we’ve progressed and we’ve gotten better.”

Kessler said Campbell’s medical school is making a big impact in counties and regions of the state and Southeast that previously didn’t have primary care physicians.

The Jerry M. Wallace School of Osteopathic Medicine graduated its 1,000th doctor last spring, making a big difference in North Carolina’s physician shortage, especially in rural and underserved areas. Photo by Bill Parish

“It’s very heartwarming to see our graduates go on to represent this institution and do it with pride, commitment and, really, the common core values of this institution. And as a dean, that always puts a smile on your face.”

Wallace’s call to action followed stories of men and women whose names adorn many of the classrooms, labs and break rooms throughout the Leon Levine Hall of Medical Sciences. He asked everybody to take time “before the first frost” to write at least one hand-written note to a benefactor of the school to show appreciation for the work it took to make it happen.

“Google these people,” Wallace said. “It’s amazing what you’ll find. Learn their stories, and thank them. I’ve given you an altar call. Know that they were a founder, and that they’re appreciated.”

Campbell, Catawba Valley form partnership

Campbell University and Catawba Valley Community College have partnered to “provide a seamless transfer process” for the nearly 13,000 students who attend the two-year institution located in Hickory, North Carolina.

The Memorandum of Understanding signed by both schools creates and administers on both campuses the Campbell Assured Admission Program, which allows currently enrolled Catawba Valley students an “assured-entry” pathway to Campbell University upon graduation. Students who enroll in the free program will receive information about Campbell’s academic programs and access to Campbell faculty and staff who will facilitate their transition.

‘Revisionist History’ podcast guest

Campbell Law School Professor Greg Wallace was featured in the “Revisionist History” podcast series by noted journalist and New York Times bestselling author Malcolm Gladwell.

The six-part podcast series focuses on the history of guns, and Wallace was featured in “Guns Part 3: A Shooting Lesson,” which aired on Sept. 14. The episode examines the features and operation of “assault weapons” and includes a visit to a nearby shooting range so that Gladwell could experience what it is like to actually fire an AR-15. Wallace is a nationally-recognized authority on firearms and the Second Amendment and co-author of “Firearms Law and the Second Amendment,” a law school textbook and treatise.

CAMPBELL’S RENOWNED ROTC PROGRAM celebrated the 50th anniversary of its first commissioning ceremony in the spring. The program was launched in 1971 at the height of the war in Vietnam when then-President Norman A. Wiggins felt having a military presence on campus would provide “drive and inspiration” to all students on campus. Today, Campbell ROTC commissions more officers than any other civilian school in the nation and is considered one of the top programs in the Army.

2014 Campbell ROTC graduate Natali Juarez

Sustained Success

NCAA Regional



seasons and high

Major League Draft picks

are no longer a suprise for Campbell Baseball ... they’re part of the expectations now

Campbell’s baseball team, a squad that once embraced the moniker “Nobodies from Nowhere” ended its tenure in the Big South Conference in 2023 with five straight titles and five straight NCAA Regional appearances. They were the nation’s top scoring team in the regular season and climbed as high as No. 9 in the nation in the Division 1 rankings.

The Camels have produced three firstrounders in the Major League Baseball Draft since 2019, and as we speak, four from Buies Creek are current major leaguers — an All-Star, a rookie phenom and a side-armed World Series reliever among them.

How does a small, private school located in a rural county attract and develop enough talented players to produce these results?

Look no further than the architect of Campbell’s current success, head coach Justin Haire, who just finished his 16th year in Buies Creek and his ninth as head coach.

Haire arrived in Buies Creek in the spring of 2007 as an assistant coach to Greg Goff, tasked to help resurrect a once-proud program. Assuming control of a squad that had produced only two winning records in the previous 19 seasons, Goff and Haire began a slow build. By the time Goff left for the head job at Louisiana Tech after the 2014 campaign, they had produced three-consecutive 40-win seasons,

“It really started to turn for us when we started to embrace what this place is,” said Haire. “We’re not bright lights, big city, in the middle of downtown Raleigh. We’re not a suburb of Raleigh. What we do have is the opportunity to develop without distraction. What we do have is a great academic institution.

“What we do have are people who are going to care for you and love you and invest in your well-being while you’re here, whether that’s as a coach, staff member or player.”

Authenticity is a big word in Haire’s vocabulary, one that imbues every principle on which the program stands.

capped by Campbell’s first NCAA postseason trip in 24 years.

“When we lean into who we are authentically, that connects with people,” he said. “When that connects, and you have a process to develop them as human beings, staff members and players, good things tend to follow.”

Ten Camels have been named Big South player, pitcher or freshman of the year in the last five seasons, including 2022 winners Zach Neto and right-hander Thomas Harrington, who were taken in the first round of the MLB draft by the Los Angeles Angels and Pittsburgh Pirates, respectively.

Pitcher Matt Marksberry (Atlanta) reached the big leagues in 2015, and Jake Smith (San Diego) followed one year later. Two-time All-American Ryan Thompson, now an Arizona Diamondback, pitched in the 2020 World Series for the Tampa Bay Rays. Allan Winans, the 2018 Big South Pitcher of the Year, made his big league debut with Braves this year and got his first win after pitching seven scoreless innings against the Mets.

Cedric Mullins was the Baltimore Orioles’ opening day center fielder in 2019 and two years later, started in the All-Star Game. Later in 2021, Mullins became the first player in Orioles franchise history to hit 30 home runs and steal 30 bases in a year and won a Silver Slugger Award.

Neto was a two-time Big South player of the year before being selected by the Los Angeles Angels with the 13th overall pick in the 2022 MLB draft. On April 15, 2023, he became to first player from the ’22 draft to reach the big leagues when he started at shortstop for the Angels.

“It gives me chills every day,” said Haire of seeing his alumni go on to pro ball. “You look up and Zach Neto’s got two web gems last night. He’s Face Timing me from Yankee Stadium, and Cedric’s calling me to say, ‘Hey, you got somebody coming tonight; how can I help them with a signed bat, ball or a picture?’ Darn near half the big leaguers in school history have come in the last seven years. To be a part of that and have the relationships with those guys is just amazing.

“They’re the same guys who were living in the dorms or apartments here and playing out on this field. They’re the same guys.”

Read the full story at


Former Fighting Camels (from top, clockwise) Cedric Mullins, Zach Neto, Ryan Thompson and Allan Winans have seen significant time in the Major Leagues this season. Mullins is an All-Star centerfielder for the currently firstplace Baltimore Orioles, and Neto was named the Angels’ Heart and Hustle Award winner after being the first draft pick from 2022 to make a Major League roster. Winans earned his first big league win with the Braves in August, and Thompson has pitched in 129 games since 2020, including a World Series appearance.



Return to the lectern

After 22 years at the administrative level in higher education, Dr. Mark Hammond is returning to his first love — teaching. It’s a decision that “didn’t come lightly, or hastily,” but his two decades in leadership roles — first as dean of Campbell University’s College of Arts & Sciences in 2001 and then as

provost and vice president for academic affairs beginning in 2013 — have left him “fulfilled,” he says.

During his time as chief academic office, every academic program he oversaw at Campbell received its initial accreditation or its reaccreditation — including a “sterling” decennial review for the University by SACSCOC.

“I have started dozens of programs and a School of Engineering, and for over 20 years, I’ve enjoyed the responsibility of and the friendships established through our unique partnership with TAR UC in Malaysia,” says Hammond, who first joined Campbell as an assistant professor of biological sciences in 1992.

“I have interviewed hundreds of faculty candidates, doing my very best to perpetuate the incredibly worthwhile mission of Campbell, to educate our students and graduates to have lives of purpose and meaning. Yet, I again feel the

Dr. Mark Hammond is a 1985 graduate of Hiram College who in 1990 earned his doctorate in biology from the University of South Carolina, where he specialized in molecular genetics and biochemistry. He joined Campbell University’s faculty as an assistant professor in 1992. He was named dean of the College of Arts & Sciences in 2001 and succeeded Dr. Dwaine Greene as provost in 2013.

call to teach as a primary responsibility — to share more directly once again the knowledge, mentoring and development required of our students as they transform into successful members of our society.”

Currently on sabbatical, Hammond will join the faculty of the Jerry M. Wallace School of Osteopathic Medicine next year, but he’s already with the School as a lecturer. He sat down with Campbell Magazine over the summer to talk about his experience as provost and his excitement to return to the classroom.

Read the full interview with Dr. Mark Hammond online at

One of the biggest achievements during your time as provost was the launch of a School of Engineering in 2016. You have an extensive science background and seem to have a passion for engineering. Why was starting this program so important to you?

Mark Hammond: I was the dean for the College of Arts & Sciences for 12 years before I became provost, and as dean, I had a great working relationship with the former provost, my predecessor, Dr. Dwaine Greene. He was a tremendous mentor, and this was around the time of the “expansion phase” under [former President] Dr. Jerry Wallace, who was very aggressive in new program planning and development.

So Dr. Greene asked me and all the deans on numerous occasions to come up with some program ideas and some things to consider and ponder, which is how our eventual Doctor of Physical Therapy and Physician Assistant programs came to be. We also did an early feasibility study on engineering, which was a program we’d talked about for a couple of years. We knew that it had potential for us, but we weren’t quite ready for it just then.

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After 22 years as a dean, provost and VP, Mark Hammond returns to the classroom to end his career doing what he loves — teaching

When I was named provost [in 2013], Dr. Wallace asked what I thought about revisiting the idea. I said, ‘Yes, sir. We should absolutely do it.” And we did.

We knew that we had a good culture and a good foundation upon which to build for engineering, and it fit into the expansion of our academic portfolio as a program that would attract students who would not otherwise be attracted and want to come to Campbell. And we found a dean [Dr. Jenna Carpenter] who had a vision for a small, intimate school that valued diversity and delivered a hands-on curriculum.

Tell us about your work in the Human Genome Project in Los Alamos, N.M., and how you go from that to a faculty position at Campbell University in the mid 1990s.

Hammond: The lab in Los Alamos was created, of course, for the Manhattan Project, which resulted in the nuclear weapons Fat Man and Little Boy, but they continued to use the lab after that for national defense, nuclear research and also life sciences. Originally, they studied the effects of radiation on living organisms. I went there to work on the Human Genome Project as a postdoctoral fellowship when it started, and there we worked to develop high-speed DNA sequencing techniques.

I enjoyed the work, but my heart was for teaching. So I was applying for jobs everywhere, and in 1992, I got an invitation to come to this little Baptist School in Buies Creek, North Carolina. I thought, “Where in the world is that?” I had a research colleague who was a sports fan who’d heard of Campbell because they played Duke in the NCAA Tournament in men’s basketball that year. I loved the South, but I wasn’t a Baptist — I’m a man of faith, but not a Baptist — and I also was a Yankee from Ohio, so I wasn’t sure I was going to fit in.

But if you’re invited for an interview, and you think you might like it … you go. So I did. I loved the faith-based element of the school, but I had questions. I was coming to teach microbiology and genetics and molecular biology. For me, the question really was whether I would be allowed to teach the elements and principles of evolution. And to my great pleasure, in my interviews with Jerry Wallace, who was provost at the time, and with biology department chair Steve Everhart, they told me yes — I can teach evolution, and I can share my faith. They offered me the job before I got back on the plane. I accepted, but it was a leap of faith, both literally and figuratively.

You’re returning to the classroom after 22 years away. What are your thoughts as you transition back to what brought you to higher education in the first place?

Hammond: I came here to teach. As for my administrative opportunities and the doors that it opened, I’ve embraced it, I’ve worked hard, and I feel very, very fulfilled. With the exception of one thing, which is the teaching, I miss teaching. I miss doing what I came here to do.

And so all of the programs had been through at least one round of accreditation, if not two — really, 10 years is the maximum amount of time you can spend in this job. We did the big SACSCOC accreditation, and we did the initial accreditation or reaccreditation for every program at this University. We’ve hired hundreds of faculty, and then we navigated through COVID.

I’ve watched my kids come through this school and grow and flourish, because of their Campbell education. The thing I feel the void in is teaching and that direct student interaction. To see that light bulb come on in a student — that’s always been my motivating force. I can’t wait to get back to that.

Final thoughts as you reflect on this past decade as provost?

Hammond: What I want to share most is my admiration and appreciation for those who helped me develop and grow here at Campbell. Those are my mentors, some of which are here, some of which are not. But Steve Everhart, who was the department chair that hired me and taught me how to become a department chair.

The late Walter Barge, who was dean of the College of Arts & Sciences, was a great role model of what it meant to be a dean and run complex units in a professional, yet personal manner. And my successor, Dwaine Green, was my role model for what it is to be a spectacular provost and a good human being. Dr. Wallace is an extraordinary man and a role model for me. After interviewing with him all those years ago, I never thought I’d be on the other side of the table. And President Creed — I had the honor of serving on the search committee to choose the fifth president. And he is everything that a University president should be.

And my greatest moments of warmth and satisfaction are when I look at what my former students are doing. That’s been the driving force for my return to the faculty. It’s just the most rewarding thing to see how we impact lives and help these students be successful.

Giving Day returns Nov. 8

Campbell University’s annual “Day of Giving” returns on Wednesday, Nov. 8. Campbell Giving Day is for alumni, faculty, staff, parents, students and friends to come together and give back. Those who contribute are encouraged to wear their orange and share their generous act on social media. Celebrate with other alumni as we united to make a difference in the lives and current and future Camels.

Learn more by scanning the code below:

Main campus is buzzing with smiles, fresh new faces and classes now in session! When the heat index climbs over 100°, we switch things up for a wet, wonderful day!


A streamlined running camel logo is just one of the features of the new Campbell Athletics brand

hanging the look of the Campbell University Fighting Camels wasn’t top of mind for Hannah Bazemore when she took over as director of athletics in the summer of 2022, though the idea had definitely been floating around. Bazemore saw the light — several orange-colored shades of it — last fall while watching a YouTube video of one of her coaches in a post-game interview. In that one frame, she saw four different logos — variations of the camel and the “CU” — and an inconsistent color scheme.

She wasn’t a fan of the look.

“It became apparent that we were not unified with our look or our brand,” says Bazemore. “I then started to notice that our teams were too individualized, and there wasn’t really one logo that represented Campbell Athletics. We were all over the place, and as I looked ahead, I wanted unity.”

On July 1, just a year into Bazemore’s tenure, the Fighting Camels unveiled a refreshed and consistent visual identity for its athletics department — the date coinciding with Campbell’s official move to the Coastal Athletic Association after more than a decade with the Big South Conference. The new branding included a new camel logo, wordmarks, a simplified color palette and official typography fonts.

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Designed by Joe Bosack & Co., a small Pennsylvania-based company that has designed or updated logos for the USFL, the Citadel, the NCAA Final Four, the Colorado Avalanche, Mississippi State University and Boise State University, among many, the new visual identity “is as distinctive and unique as the Fighting Camel moniker, communicating a sense of strength and bold simplicity, designed to function across all licensing, linear, and digital applications,” Campbell announced on the day of the big reveal.

“This new look is bold, it’s authentic, it’s strong and fierce,” says Bazemore. “It makes a statement about who we are, simplifies and aligns our identity across the department and will increase the impact of the Campbell Athletics brand.”


The Fighting Camel has taken on several forms since it was first introduced in 1934. The oldest known image of Campbell Junior College’s men’s basketball team shows black sweatshirts with an orange camel that resembled a famous tobacco product of the same name during the time. The 1950s introduced the first use of a “running camel,” a cartoonish, gangly-legged creature with a goofy smile. But uniforms across all sports rarely used a logo and stuck with little more than block or script lettering until 2005, when a tougher-looking camel logo was introduced. Three years later, a running version of that grimacing camel was introduced.

That logo lasted nearly 20 years, though the running version had become more prominent in recent years. The new running camel isn’t drastically different — the running pose is described as “stronger” and “bolder,” and the camel itself is sleeker and faster looking. Gone is the floating head version, though, and you won’t see this camel running through a giant “C” as in the past.

Consistency is key. One camel, always running.

As for the old “CU” … well, it’s CU-later.

“We are the camels, and we need to lean into that and be proud of it,” says Jason Williams, associate athletics director for communications and branding and the man who guided the process on the university’s side during the yearlong rebranding. “The ‘C’ or the ‘CU’ isn’t what makes us unique. What makes us unique is this mascot, so that had to be put out there and put out there proudly.”


Gone is the floating camel head surrounded by an orange “C.” The camel running through a giant “C.” The “CU” logo. The new running camel is the new brand of Campbell Athletics, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t variations. While the orange camel outlined in black on a white background will be seen most, there are white and black versions, as well as silhouetted versions available for uniforms and official Campbell University apparel.

The former running camel was first introduced in 2005, and it’s remained (in various forms) for nearly 20 years. The new logo coincides with Campbell University’s new affiliation with the Coastal Athletic Association. The new brand identity will be featured on all uniforms in 2023-24 and will steadily replace old marks in stadiums and on fields over the next few years.

Photos by Bennett Scarborough

The new camel doesn’t stray too far from its predecessor, but that doesn’t mean some of the early samples from Bosack & Co. had the same approach. The campus-wide committees — which included faculty, students, student-athletes and coaches — were introduced to several ideas such as a menacing camel head in a shield to a running camel with pointed, blade-like legs.

“Our process allows room for exploration and in the first round, we cast a fairly broad net,” says Bosack. “We looked at some directions that were evolutions and others that were completely new ways to imagine a fighting Camel. In the end, we chose the former to maintain brand equity while improving the marks performance, particularly in digital media.”

The idea of a “drastic” change was entertained, but in the end, Williams says that wasn’t necessary.

“We felt like we had a good structure in place,” he says. “There were good bones in place with the previous logo; it just needed an update.”


Junior Javonte Kinsey (above), senior Bayleigh Humbert and senior Angel Bacho (previous page) show off the new uniforms for Campbell football and soccer. Unlike uniforms past, the fonts, logos and colors are much more consistent across all sports with the new branding. Cursive script has also been introduced for baseball and softball uniforms.


No, that’s not the name of the new font introduced in the Campbell Athletics wordmark and in its numbers, but the customized font does include a “hump” atop the “C” and “A” in “Campbell” and in the numbers 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 9 and 0. The curvature of the hump aligns perfectly with the hump in the new camel logo.


They’re called “assets” in the branding world — fonts, color palettes and other additional features to a project like this. The coolest asset in Campbell Athletics’ brand refresh is the addition of the hump in the “C” and other numbers and letters with a rounded top. Align the top of the new “C” with the hump in the new logo, and they overlap perfectly. Almost every number — the 1, 4 and 7 excluded — have a hump (in some cases two) in the design.

A unique font like this is new to Campbell Athletics and was a fun part of the process, according to Bosack.

“Letter logos are effective tools in collegiate brand identity, and developing an ownable ‘C’ was an important part of the project,” he says. “It was a natural fit to stylize it after the nickname and the animal it represents by using the hump as a graphic device.”

The other big change is the orange itself. The official Fighting Camels orange is darker and matches the color palette produced by Under Armour, the uniform provider for Campbell Athletics. According to Williams, Campbell has been wearing this orange for several years now since switching to Under Armour, and only now has it been adopted in all branding outside of the uniforms as well.

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“Like the camel, I think this orange is a little bolder,” he says. “Going back to consistency, we just wanted everything to match up. At the end of the day, the most visible part of our athletics department is our athletes. So we wanted to make sure that everything matched up with them and that what they wore on the field and on the court matched up with their surroundings.”

The rollout of the new logo on July 1 was met with overwhelmingly positive reviews (at least on social media). “The team did a phenomenal job [taking] elements from previous iterations and adding a modern twist,” wrote Alex (@ bravesfanhere) on Twitter. “It’s a logo we will all warm up to very quickly, once we’re winning titles wearing it in the CAA.” Other comments included “It slaps” and “�� �� ��,” which is assumably positive.

“There’s just a lot of excitement around Campbell Athletics and the University as a whole,” Williams says. “We’ve won a lot of conference championships the last several years, and we wanted a look that matches a championship mentality. We’re heading into a conference that knows about winning and representing in NCAA tournaments. We wanted to put our best foot forward, and I think people are really excited about that.”


The new Fighting Camel apparel can be found in-store at the Campbell University Barnes & Noble campus bookstore, the Bazaar Spirit Shop, as well as from a number of online retailers. Online options also include, Barnes & Noble, Amazon as well as the BSN Sports team shop. New merchandise includes multiple shirt options, hoodies, quarter-zips, blankets, water bottles, coffee mugs and more.

Photo by Ben Brown


Clearing the path

“Looking back, I wasn’t prepared for college,” she says. “I knew what I wanted to do, but I lacked experience and confidence.”

Sofia Rodriguez wasn’t ready for medical school. She’s OK admitting that now. She found inspiration to become a doctor while spending a year in Puerto Rico during high school, where she met a young Latina physician who, for the first time, showed Rodriguez that someone like her could pursue and achieve this dream. But college was a huge step that, as a first-generation student, she wasn’t prepared for.

Her GPA was only average. Her MCAT scores were, again, only average.

She found both in the form of a relatively new two-year program at Campbell University that provides a true stepping stone for those who might fall just short of the qualifications for medical school acceptance. Campbell’s Master of Science in Biomedical Science program provides students like Rodriguez a “rigorous curriculum” taught by med school faculty. The program — with small cohorts of 20 to 30 students a year intended to foster a “family atmosphere” — is designed to touch on every aspect of a future professional school application, including clinical experience, shadowing opportunities, community service and professional development.

Just months into her Campbell experience, Rodriguez took part in a mobile clinic visit to a rural migrant community in eastern North Carolina to offer free health services to undocumented and medically underserved workers. For the first time, she says her dream of a career in the medical field was starting to take form.

“They needed translators, and it was one of those experiences I’ll never forget,” she says. “I thought, ‘OK, I could do this as a physician.’ Without a doubt, it reinforced that this is what I want to do with my life.”

She earned her MSBS in the spring, and this fall, she began her four-year journey to become a doctor in Campbell’s Jerry M. Wallace School of Osteopathic Medicine. The confidence she lacked before the master’s program is very much visible today.

“We took these classes in a medical school with medical school professors, and you work with medical school students along the way,” she says. “I’d never been in a program before where I felt this much support to get me to this point.”

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MSBS program has made the dream of medical school a reality for many needing experience, resume boost
Dr. Darius Emerson Bouyi credits his acceptance into Campbell’s School of Osteopathic Medicine to his experience in the University’s Master of Science in Biomedical Science program.

Med school isn’t the only reason why students choose Campbell’s MSBS program, but for many, the “stepping stone” function the curriculum serves is a big draw, according to program director Sheri Dailey (’17).

Whether it’s improving their GPA, building their health sciences resume or seeking a program that will prepare them for the rigors of medical school, a common thread among students in the program is the “need” of skills or knowledge they’re lacking to be a successful professional school applicant.

“Students who take the more traditional path — getting to their end goal without a master’s program — are generally those who had more ‘success factors’ working in their favor,” Dailey says. “Students seeking this program generally are at a point where they understand they need help in reaching that goal. And students who have gone through this program and reached that goal will point to some of things like our advising support; our small class sizes and the fact that they don’t feel like they’re competing with students in their cohort; a family atmosphere where they feel cared for; and finally the rigors of the coursework. This isn’t an easy program, and when they finish it, they feel really prepared to start their professional programs.”

Because of that family atmosphere, Dailey says she gets to know the students well and hears many inspirational stories of hard work to get to this point.

Emerson Bouyi earned his Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine degree from Campbell in 2020, but he needed the MSBS program to build his resume and earn acceptance into the program in 2016. Bouyi, whose path to North Carolina started in Africa and eventually West Texas before coming to Campbell, says the MSBS program showed him that his dreams were possible and taught him to never give up.

(Above) Sofia Rodriguez is a 2022 MSBS graduate who started medical school at Campbell University this fall. “What stood out to me was the clinical experience this program offered and the fact that it was taught in a medical school by medical school faculty.” (Left) Vanessa Bernardo has been accepted into a Physician Assistant program thanks to Campbell University’s two-year Master of Science in Biomedical Science degree. “I love all aspects of medicine. What attracted me to become a physician assistant is I can do it all — I’m not stuck with just one speciality. Campbell’s MSBS program has given me the flexibility to pursue a career like this and have options.”

That determination would prove crucial during his med school residency at the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, when he witnessed the worst of the virus in nearby rural Dunn, North Carolina. Three years later, he still thinks about one patient who spent weeks in ICU on ventilators. When the patient pulled through, Bouyi was among the group of doctors who cheered as they left the hospital.

“There was a lesson for me — no matter how bad or difficult it gets as a doctor — or to become a doctor — it’s important to stay optimistic. Never give up.”

When Vanessa Bernardo made the lifechanging decision to return to school and go after her dream of working in the medical field, she was immediately met with obstacles — her academic record and lack of experience had her just below the cut lines for four-year medical schools. Dismayed but undeterred, Bernardo remained focused and discovered the MSBS program. Bernardo

excelled, but as she neared 30, she wondered if a four-year medical degree was still the right step. Fortunately, she learned, an MSBS degree provides flexible outcomes.

Bernardo was accepted into a two-year physician assistant program, and she is excited to continue pursuing her dream in a career field she is passionate about.

“What attracted me to become a physician assistant is I can do it all — I’m not stuck with just one speciality,” she says. “Campbell’s MSBS program has given me the flexibility to pursue a career like this and have options.”

A career saving lives was always in the cards for Dorian Mitchell. Until just recently, he thought that would mean a career as a paramedic. The goal changed while Mitchell was an undergrad when he met his mentor, a young African-American physician who planted the idea that, perhaps, Mitchell would make a pretty great doctor someday.

“Seeing how hard she worked, knowing her character and seeing how she talked to her patients and really cared for them, I was like, ‘Wow, that’s pretty cool,’” Mitchell recalls. “I shadowed her and instantly, I knew this is

what I wanted to do. I just needed to do what it takes to get there.”

Unfortunately, he didn’t have the academic resume for medical school. His GPA was average, and he’d never heard of the MCAT. Enter Campbell University. Mitchell saw a program that would not only prepare him for that next step, but provide real-life experience along the way. The idea of six more years of school (two in MSBS and four in a med school) seemed daunting, but it all seemed worth the work.

“I look at it like, ‘Do I enjoy what I’m doing?’ The answer is yes. I’ve loved this program — it hasn’t felt like two years.”

Having medical school professors teach his courses and hearing lectures delivered by seasoned physicians have been valuable to Mitchell, and the experience has only strengthened his desire to follow in his mentor’s footsteps and become a doctor — to save lives.

“You’re getting your education, but you’re also getting your confidence,” Mitchell says. “It’s building you for that next step, but it’s also making you believe you can do it.”

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(Above) Dorian Mitchell’s says his dream of becoming a doctor has been kept alive by his experience in Campbell’s MSBS program. (Left) Dr. Sarah Ryals Lassiter, featured in the Spring 2023 edition of Campbell Magazine, is a graduate of the MSBS program and, today, a family physician in Dunn, North Carolina.



Campbell University invests in each student. We prepare each one to make a life, to make a living and to make a difference. Our students are welcomed into an inclusive community of family, and mentored to become leaders who will impact the world. Inspired by our faith and belief in the power of education, we encourage each student to grow academically, spiritually and socially through the world of opportunities that surround them. Our students, faculty and alumni are energized with the charge to lead with purpose.






The Cape Fear River has provided for Campbell University for over a century. A biology professor is leading efforts to give back and preserve the area’s natural beauty.

Aproduct of the postCivil War Industrial Revolution, this portable sawmill was considered a state-ofthe-art piece of machinery, and it arrived in one piece by boat along the nearly 200-mile trek up the Cape Fear River from Wilmington to Chatham County on Friday, March 1, 1901.

The mill’s owner, tired from the day-long journey upstream, decided to not unload his new purchase that night and instead opted to worry about it the following Monday. He was unaware of the massive storm heading his way that would dump about three inches of rain overnight — enough to raise the river and send his unmanned boat and his mill back toward the Atlantic Ocean.

It wouldn’t make it that far.


Drone photography by Evan Budrovich

Story by Billy Liggett Photography by Catrina Moretz

Just 30 miles away in the small community of Buies Creek, an engineer named Zachary Taylor Kivett faced a similar dilemma from that same storm. Kivett was two months into building what would become Kivett Hall — a towering structure made of wood and brick designed to replace the buildings destroyed in a massive fire on the campus of Buies Creek Academy the previous December. But the hand-pulled ferry he used to cross the Cape Fear from his home to the job site had also washed away in the storm.

Kivett was standing on the river’s edge with his sons and a few student workers debating how they would get to work that day when the floating sawmill — a gift that could only have come from the heavens — came into view.

“They lassoed it, pulled it in and tied it up,” wrote Everett McNeill Kivett, a Z.T. Kivett descendant and author of The McNeill’s Ferry Chronicle. “When the river went down, they brought that sawmill on over and sawed the lumber. Then after they sawed the lumber, they used the engine … and burned the brick.”

Kivett viewed the sawmill as divine intervention. But he also knew it belonged to somebody. When the owner was discovered, Kivett convinced him that the storm was an act of God to “help build Mr. Campbell’s school,” the owner agreed to sell the machine for $50.

When the Cape Fear delivered a miracle in 1901, it did more than ensure and expedite the construction of a building that would serve as an iconic symbol for the fledgling academy and future university. It kept alive the vision of J.A. Campbell to provide an education to the young men and women in his rural community. For 136 years, the Cape Fear has remained a vital resource for the school —a living research laboratory and a driver of nature and humanity.

“Like the land through which the Cape Fear runs,” President J. Bradley Creed writes in his ode to the Cape Fear (found on Page 3), “the river continues to shape us and tell our story.”


Verbesina occidentalis (the Yellow Crownbeard) is one of the most visible flowering plants in North Carolina. Found in the Piedmont and mountains of North Carolina (often in pastures and wetlands or near rivers), the flower is considered a very important source for honey bees. It can be found all over the Pollinator Trail along the Cape Fear River near Keith Hills subdivision.

Queen Anne’s lace. Texas lilacs. Yellow crownbeards. Black-eyed Susans. Asters and goldenrods. Purple coneflowers. Rose of Sharons. Butterfly bushes.

They’re but a few of the flowers spotted and named by Dr. John Bartlett, associate professor of biology at Campbell University. He points them out during a tour of his pride and joy, the Pollinator Trail, which occupies 370 acres between U.S. 421 and the Cape Fear River, next to the Keith Hills community and golf course.

Over a century since the Kivett miracle, the river continues to serve Campbell University. For Bartlett — who teaches courses in biology, ecology, zoology, ornithology and vertebrate natural history — the Cape Fear and the nature that surrounds it is like an enormous outdoor laboratory. And he and his students have become more than teachers and learners; they’ve become caretakers of this lab — in particular, the 370 acres of meadows, forest and winding trails that connect Campbell students with the shores of the river.

“It’s a wonderful teaching space,” says Bartlett, a former research scientist for the USDA Forest Service now in his 22nd year at Campbell. “I’m a huge proponent of learning by experience, and for much of what I teach in the classroom, you have to get out here


The Cape Fear River and the nature that surrounds it has become a second laboratory for Dr. John Bartlett, associate professor of biology at Campbell University. Bartlett has been instrumental in preserving the 370 acres for recreation, research and classroom activities, and he hopes to see the area become part of a trail system that would connect the entire county.


Lillington Lillington

The Cape Fear River’s northern-most town is also the county seat for Harnett County and a community that’s experienced slow, but steady growth in the last 10 years. Lillington residents enjoy small-town hospitality, convenient location in central North Carolina and access to beautiful natural resoruces like the river and nearby Raven Rock State Park. The Lost Paddle Tavern and Kayak Shop offers kayak and tube rentals and boat access to the river at the U.S. 421 bridge. The shop’s manager Kayla Walvatne says Campbell students are regular customers during “tube season,” and on a busy day, as many as 600 people will come to enjoy the calm waters of the Cape Fear.

to see it to really understand what you’re learning. I’ve had students from larger cities who’ve never seen areas like this — they’d never stepped off an asphalt path before and were terrified of being out in nature. But after a few weeks, they own the space. They fall in love with it.”

Science classes aren’t the only groups occupying the space. ROTC students can be found using the trails and meadows for training purposes. Campbell’s cross country team has found a perfect track with rolling hills and scenic views for their training. There’s history all around. Inspiration can be found for artists, writers and musicians.

Twelve years ago, the only Campbell students using this land were carrying golf bags instead of backpacks. Keith Hills Golf Course, owned and operated by Campbell University and occupied by Campbell Athletics’ golf teams, did away with the “back nine” of its 36-hole course in part to make way for a new health sciences campus, which today includes the Leon Levine Hall of Medical Sciences and the Tracey F. Smith Hall of Nursing and Health Sciences. Construction of those buildings was completed in 2013 and 2016 respectively, and their addition left an additional 370 acres of unused land to the west.

Even when it was a golf course, Bartlett was bringing his classes out there to study the native plants and wildlife surrounding the freshly mowed fairways and manicured greens. But with the land no longer needing intense landscaping, Bartlett saw an opportunity.

“There were people who said this was originally the most beautiful, remote part of the golf course,” he says. “Now, it’s returning to a natural habitat.”

A little known fact — those feeling nostalgic for the old Baldwin and Kitchin residence halls that stood where the Oscar N. Harris Student Union is found today can visit the far western side of the back nine to see what’s left of those buildings. After their demolition in 2017, the concrete and brick was crushed to pebble-sized rocks and used to grade a long strip along the former golf course. Bartlett and Campbell staff then came in and populated the area with native flowers (brick debris is easy to find near the Club Road entrance to the land).

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As nature took over, the fairways quickly became meadows. Fastgrowing sweet gum trees sprouted, and small wooded areas began popping up. It’s common to hear of a forest or other natural habitat being destroyed for residential or business development, but it’s a rare opportunity to oversee a transitional forest. Bartlett took it upon himself to oversee nature’s return — not only would it be a terrific learning opportunity for his students, but the area had recreational potential, too.

Greenways are “in,” and elected officials in Harnett County were once in serious talks to develop a greenway system spanning from Fort Liberty’s military reservation in the southwest portion of the county, north to Raven Rock and southeast along the Cape Fear through Lillington, Buies Creek, Erwin and Dunn.

Bartlett created the Cape Fear River Initiative to manage the area, and soon after, he named the 370 acres, “Campbell Pollinator Meadows and River Park.” He created maps highlighting hiking trails, wildlife viewing areas, camping sites, kayak and canoe landings, fishing areas and even a “Ghosts of the Cape Fear” trail. In 2021, he was named to the board of directors for the Three Rivers Land Trust, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to conserve land, natural areas, rural landscapes, family farms and historical places in North Carolina’s Piedmont and Sandhills regions.

He’s not the first biology professor from Campbell University to take a leadership role in overseeing the creation of a (hopefully one day) beloved natural park. He’s inspired by the former head of Campbell’s biology department from the 1960s through the 80s, Bob Soots,


When Keith Hills decided to do away with the back nine of its 36-hole course, Campbell University biology professors like Dr. John Bartlett and Dr. Michael Larsen saw an opportunity for a natural lab. Bartlett has led the work to the nine former golf holes into a 370-acre “Pollinator Trail,” using the course’s old golf paths for walking trails and its fairways for natural meadows.

the man called the “primary force” behind the creation of Raven Rock State Park just west of Lillington. While teaching a course on invertebrates’ natural history early in his teaching career, Soots became acquainted with the giant “Raven Rock” formation near the northernmost point of the Cape Fear. He began using the area as his own outdoor lab and soon took an interest in greasing the gears to make the area a public park. He even got the support of Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright (and Buies Creek Academy grad) Paul Green, and in 1969, Raven Rock became a state park.

“I like to think of Bob Soots as my academic grandfather,” Bartlett says. “And, really, the work he put into creating that park was impressive.”

Bartlett met Soots in 2019 before the 50th anniversary of Raven Rock to tell him about plans to honor him and his achievement. Soots died in December of 2022 at the age of 88, and Bartlett says he’s thankful he got to meet him and show his appreciation.

“I felt so blessed to be a part of that event,” he says. “He had a clear vision, and what he did has been an inspiration to me ever since.”


The mountains of Utah were Dr. Michael Larsen’s outdoor nirvana as an undergrad at Utah State University in the 1970s. Larsen was studying environmental science with a concentration in fisheries and wildlife, and the Logan River — a pristine body of water just minutes from the Utah State campus — was Larsen’s lab. Fast forward to the early 80s — after a nine-month assignment with the U.S. Army in the jungles of Ecuador — and Larsen was on the other side of the country earning his master’s degree in ecology from Rutgers University in northern New Jersey, where the rivers and reservoirs were anything but pristine.

In New Jersey — and later in Raleigh while earning his Ph.D. at NC State — Larsen studied water pollution, both its causes and solutions. When he interviewed for a faculty position at Campbell University in 1995, Larsen was intrigued by the school’s proximity to the Cape Fear, which had its own issues with pollution on the southern end near industrial sites around Wilmington and in the middle and upper portions due to runoff from swine and poultry farms.


Dr. Michael Larsen, associate professor of biology and coordinator of the College of Arts & Sciences’ environmental science program, collects plant and water samples from Buies Creek. Larsen, who studied fresh water rivers and lakes in Utah and New Jersey before coming to Campbell in 1995, has also led organized service efforts to clean local creeks and rivers.

At roughly 200 miles long, the Cape Fear is only the 10th longest river in North Carolina (the Neuse, at 275 miles, is the longest river completely within the state, and the 410-mile Roanoke River begins in Virginia). But it is the largest of the four river basins contained entirely in the state, covering 9,300 square miles from north of Durham all the way to Wilmington. Whereas a river is just the one continuously flowing body of water, a basin includes the entire area drained by a river and all of its tributaries.

Buies Creek is a tributary of the Cape Fear River. The creek is also a big part of Larsen’s curriculum at Campbell. The back room of the McLamb Environment Sciences Center is a true “mud room” where Larsen stores the boots and hip waders he and his students wear for creek excursions. The work serves dual purposes — his students, like Bartlett’s are “learning by doing” — and much of what Larsen does is aimed at protecting and preserving the area’s natural resources.

“I had one student, Emily Mitter, who’s doing graduate work at Louisiana State University now, where she also plays volleyball, and she did her research project on the pollution levels in the creek that runs from the Cape Fear through Erwin [Juniper Creek], and she presented her findings at the Wiggins Symposium,” Larsen says.

Photo by Bill Parish

“That area is very urbanized, and the creek’s been negatively impacted. There are biological indicators, like the canary in the coal mine, that tell you if there’s potential toxicity — certain organisms that aren’t present if the water quality is poor. It doesn’t tell you why it’s polluted, but it sets the stage for the next step, such as chemical analysis.”

Larsen’s hope is to get more students involved in this kind of work — possibly partnering more with other departments like chemistry and physics and possibly the School of Engineering — to restore areas like Juniper Creek and portions of the Cape Fear. At NC State, Larsen worked with a conservation group called the Neuse River Foundation and their riverkeepers (now known as “Sound Rivers”) to keep waterways and natural areas in the Neuse River basin clean.” He points to the work Bartlett is doing with the Cape Fear River Initiative as a step in the right direction locally. The Upper Cape Fear and its watershed, compared to the Wilmington area, is relatively clean, with the notable exception of more recent contamination of parts of the Cape Fear River downstream of Fayetteville, but diligence and research is needed to keep it that way.

Bartlett’s vision for the Campbell Pollinator Meadows and River Park is to have a natural area that everybody can enjoy. Meadows with beautiful plants, strips of cultivated and maintained pollinator flowers to provide ecosystems for ever-important honey bees, inviting sanctuaries for native and migrating birds, inviting trails for joggers and walkers and anybody wishing to experience the Earth’s natural wonders — the seeds have been planted, so to speak, but help is needed to maintain and improve upon what is already there.

In his lifetime, Bartlett would love to see a more formal parking area and entrance for the park. He’d love to see bathrooms and other facilities and perhaps a pavilion for professors and their students to gather under in case a storm comes in. It doesn’t matter that it used to be a golf course and, perhaps, none of this was ever part of the “big plan” from the beginning. It’s here now, and there’s great value in having it, he says.

“My plan is to keep doing what I’m doing,” he says. “You work hard, and you hope that others can see your vision and see what’s happening. And I do think people are starting to see the value of it.”

Dunn & Erwin Dunn & Erwin

History, nature in one of the U.S.’ hottest micropolitan AREAS

A fun fact: Erwin, North Carolina, was originally named “Duke, North Carolina” but the name was changed after the formation of the University in Durham to avoid any confusion. The Erwin Cottom Mill, built in 1902, would make the town an important contributor to the U.S. denim industry, becoming one of the top producers of the fabric for the first half of the 20th century. Erwin and its neighbor, the City of Dunn, experienced little growth for decades until recently. Over the last decade the Dunn Micropolitan area is considered one of the fastest-growing micropolitans in the U.S. thanks to its proximity to the booming Triangle area and the bustling I-95 corridor. Dunn and Erwin residents can experience the benefits of business growth while also having access to history and natural beauty. The Cape Fear parallel with both, and in between the Averasboro Battlefield draws thousands of Civil War historians and enthusiasts every year.




From the fIRst SCOTTISH FAMILIES TO THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A COMMUNITY THAT WOULD BRIDGE THE CAMPUS TO THE RIVER, We share a history of campbell’s connection to the cape fear.

The Cape Fear provided the sawmill that built what is today the oldest and most iconic building on the campus of Campbell University in 1901. Over 160 years earlier, the river delivered the men and women whose names have since withstood the test of time.

Buie. McNeill. Campbell.

The year 1739 saw the first wave of Scottish immigrants who would call the central region of a 10-year-old colony named North Carolina home. These families crossed the Atlantic to escape persecution and unfair rent and tax hikes from their English king to find new land and a new life.

Among the group was a man named Archibald Buie, who set foot on North Carolina soil for the first time at the mouth of the Cape Fear in Wilmington.

The Kivett miracle

In 1901, architect Z.T. Kivett intercepted a wayward sawmill floating along the Cape Fear River and used it to build Kivett Hall after a fire destroyed the campus of Buies Creek Academy a few months earlier. The sawmill had broken loose from a pier up north in Chatham County during a big storm, and its owner eventually sold the equipment to Kivett and BCA for a reasonable price.

Ghost Stories Ghost Stories J


Nathaniel Smiley was among the large group of Scots who arrived in America in 1739 (along with Archibald Buie). He settled in Erwin and became a prominent businessman with his brother. In 1773, his son Matthew was shot “by an unknown assassin through the open shutter of his cabin, killing him dead at his table.” Matthew had no known enemies, and an investigation revealed no suspects or motive. After his burial, citizens reported seeing a glowing figure along the river —”a man who approaches people inquisitively, then vanishes after having inspected them.” Was it Matthew Smiley, looking for his killer? (They Passed This Way, 1955)


Where the Deep River and Haw River meet to form the Cape Fear, there’s an area known today as Mermaid Point. Before the Buckhorn Dam raised water levels, the confluence of those rivers gave way to a sandbar that — legend has it — was a popular spot for mermaids who’d “swim 200 miles from the coast to relax on the sand and rocks and wash the salt from their hair.” In the mid 1700s, when patrons of a nearby tavern would leave for home at end of the night, they would often pass the sandbar. The mermaids, they said, would sit on the sandbar and comb their long hair in the moonlight. People walking home from the tavern would see them laughing, singing, playing and splashing in the water. They would dive below the surface if anyone should call out to them or try to approach. The fact that these sightings often followed a trip to the tavern is irrelevent.


Neill “Red” McNeill was a huge man, a 6-foot-6 former Scottish sailor who roamed the river and claimed unpatented land with his friend, Archie Buie.

According to legend, Red was traveling west beyond the Yadkin Valley when he was overcome with fever in 1761. “Knowing death was inevitable, he cut a gum log, split it length-wise and began hewing out his own coffin ... between spasms of chills and blood-filled coughs.” Before he died, he gave instructions to be buried across the Cape Fear near Erwin. At the time of burial, the river was too high to cross, so friends buried him on the other side instead. Soon after, travelers in the area “claimed to see a red-bearded ghost pointing, his hand extended west pointing toward Smiley’s Hill.” A “great flood” hit in 1765, and McNeill’s coffin was found washed ashore. It was moved and buried on the other side of the river, and the satisfied spirit was never seen again.

(They Passed This Way, 1955)

According to legend, his only possessions were the clothes on his back and whatever else he and his family could carry with them. The Buies were part of the first organized group of Highlanders from Argyllshire to reach Wilmington before sailing up the Cape Fear and settling in what would one day become Cumberland and Harnett counties.

Other Scots would follow over the next few decades to escape strict English rule under King George II. They were drawn to promises of a 10-year exemption on all land taxes in North Carolina, and by the time the first U.S. Census was drawn up in 1790, over 27 percent of the state’s population was Scottish.

Buie and a small group boarded small pole boats and made their way up the Cape Fear, their journey lasting over a week. He found a place to settle where “the bottomland faced the Cape Fear near the mouth of a small stream,” where the creek that bears his name today meets the river. He would return to Wilmington the following year to officially sign for the title of 320 acres of what is now Buies Creek, North Carolina.

Another family that would settle in the area that same year was led by a man named James Campbell, the great-great-great grandfather of James Archibald Campbell, eventual founder of a small academy over a century later.

“The Cape Fear region where the progenitor of our present Campbells settled was a ‘goodly land,’” wrote Campbell historian J. Winston Pearce in his book, Big Miracle at Little Buies Creek. “It was, to quote a historian, ‘A land of rolling hills and fertile bottoms covered with forests of longleaf pine [and] mighty oaks. Through these forests ran scores of streams, emptying their waters into a great river, known as the Cape Fear.”

The region along the river that would eventually become Harnett County saw two wars — Gen. Cornwallis marched along the west side of the Cape Fear on his retreat from the Guilford Courthouse to Wilmington in 1781, and the Battle of Averasboro (near Erwin) became one of the final fights of the Civil War in 1865. By 1887 — the year J.A. Campbell founded Buies Creek Academy — just over 10,000 people lived in Harnett County.

In the 1955 book, They Passed This Way, the local population was described as follows: “There are gentlemen and scholars; elders and deacons among them; roughnecks, drunks and cardplayers, too.

... Occasionally, they have shot one another for good cause — or no cause at all. They have never taken a beating lying down, and they get up most unexpectedly. They have left undone the things they should have done and done the dangdest things instead. There is good blood in the worst of them and bad blood in the best.”



When the school’s founder and patriarch J.A. Campbell died in 1934, his vision had grown from a class of 16 students meeting in a small wooden school house to a two-year junior college with an enrollment of around 700. He oversaw considerable growth in his nearly 40-plus years with the school, but even he likely couldn’t predict what the next 40 years would have in store.

By 1973, Campbell’s third president, Dr. Norman A. Wiggins, had set in motion plans to launch a law school in Buies Creek, an idea that spawned great excitement locally but drew criticism from the outer circles. How could a small then-college in a rural area — far from big city courthouses and other amenities a law student or professor would demand — support such an ambitious idea?

A new community along the Cape Fear River with large lots, surrounded by a professionally designed golf course was one way of attracting faculty, according to Joe Wynns, a 1975 Campbell graduate and member of the NAIA powerhouse men’s golf program. Wynns was teaching in Murfreesboro, N.C., when he received a phone call from Lonnie Small — Campbell’s vice president for business and treasurer at the time — asking him to work for the new Keith Hills Country Club.

Small, Wynns says, was the brainchild of the golf course and the man who picked renowned golf course architect Ellis Maples to design

Keith Hills’ course. The course was up and running by 1976 — with Wynns running the pro shop and serving as head golf professional — and in December of that year, the University announced it had sold 100 out of 180 possible home lots and had begun installing water and sewer lines, the final steps of the “pre-construction” phase. That same month, the law school was wrapping up its first semester in Kivett Hall, and plans were in place for the transformation of a major portion of Kivett to house the new school.

Big things were happening at Campbell, and Keith Hills was a big part of it.

“Campbell and Keith Hills go hand in hand,” Wynns says. “Campbell needed Keith Hills, and Keith Hills doesn’t exist today without Campbell. There are residents today who were part of that original group of faculty who moved here [50 years ago]. It’s a unique community, and it’s a close-knit community. Not everybody here plays golf — but you can’t deny the importance of the course and the country club here.”

Braxton Wynns, the son of Keith Hills Country Club’s first golf professional Joe Wynns, grew up in Keith Hills and is a 2004 graduate of Campbell University. He met his wife, Jessica, at Campbell, and the couple — along with their two daughters — now live in the Keith Hills community just a stone’s throw from where Braxton grew up.


The two empty grain silos near the eighth green of Keith Hills’ White Course are remnants of an old Harnett County dairy farm that existed long before the country club. Maples kept the silos — now part of the visual branding of Keith Hills — to honor Buies Creek’s agricultural history.

Fifty years since its opening, Keith Hills Golf Course remains an important draw to both local golfers and out-of-towners, and more importantly, it’s a training ground for Campbell’s renowned championship golf programs and a 27-hole classroom for the University’s PGA Golf Management program.

“Our students play here, obviously, but for our PGM students, it’s part of the business school,” says Martha Sutton, a 1996 Campbell graduate and golf team alumna who’s been with Keith Hills for 27 years (joining shortly after graduation).

“They can see our budgets, see the number of rounds played and work in merchandising in our pro shop. They’ve used it as a laboratory, so there’s an important learning element to what we do here.”

According to Sutton, Keith Hills averages about 42,000 rounds a year, and it’s consistently named to statewide and regional lists for best “bang for the buck,” as a round of 18 holes will only set one back $45 during the week (with a cart) and $69 on the weekend.

Campbell University Vice President for Admissions Dr. David Mee joined Campbell in 2020 and, shortly after his hiring, moved his family to the inviting Keith Hills community, just a three-minute drive to campus on a busy day. Mee welcomed Campbell Magazine photographer Catrina Moretz inside for our Keith Hills feature.


Keith Hills serves as the corridor between Campbell University and the Cape Fear River. The community is home to roughly 200 families, many of whom are also part of the Campbell family as faculty, staff or alumni. It’s also home to one of the best golf courses in central North Carolina, training grounds for Campbell’s successful golf teams and PGA Golf Management program.


Find your true golfing potential at Keith Hills, the premier destination for golf enthusiasts at Campbell University. Nestled amidst a picturesque North Carolina landscape on the Cape Fear River, Keith Hills Golf Club offers three championship 9-hole courses designed to challenge and inspire golfers of all abilities and skill levels.

State-of-the-Art Facilities

Keith Hills is committed to providing a world-class golfing experience. Our facilities include a fully equipped practice range, putting greens, and a dedicated short game area. Take advantage of our state-of-the-art technology, including video analysis and launch monitors, to analyze your swing and improve your on-course performance.

Expert golf instruction

Unlock your true golfing potential with our renowned Teaching Academy. Our team of PGA-certified instructors is dedicated to elevating your game through personalized coaching and cutting-edge technology. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned pro, we’ll help you refine your skills, improve your scoring and your enjoyment of the game.

Membership and Golf Packages

Indulge in the benefits of being a Keith Hills member. Gain access to special events, preferred tee times, and exclusive discounts. We also offer customizable packages for group outings, corporate events, and golf tournaments, tailored to your unique needs.

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Braxton Wynns, the son of Joe Wynns, has known Keith Hills all his life. Braxton grew up there, the golf course was literally his back yard, and the nearby University his playground.

“As a kid, this place was magical,” he says. “I could go to the soccer fields, the baseball field or the basketball courts any time I wanted to. A lot of the professors here had kids my age, and so we had our own local soccer team. And then you had this community of students and professors who came from all over the world, so I was introduced to all of these different cultures. I always loved that aspect of living here.”

His father a college golfer and a golf pro, golf was inevitable for Braxton. And he made the most of his four-year career at Campbell — he was the only Camel to be a four-time ASUN All-Conference selection and the only to earn three first-team selections. He finished in the top 10 at the ASUN Championship in 2002 and 2004 (finishing second in his senior year), and he compiled 19 career Top 10 finishes (second in school history). In 2020, he was one of four Camels named to the ASUN All-Decade Team. He played on the PGA Tour from 2004 to 2008 before trading in his clubs and founding his own audio-visual company.

He and his wife, Jessica, whom he met while both were students at Campbell, returned to Keith Hills to raise their two daughters. Braxton says the makeup of Keith Hills is ever-changing — professors come and go, and families grow up and move on. But they’re seeing more younger families with children the same age as theirs, and now the 50-year-old community is home to multiple generations.

And their home in Keith Hills has become a second home for a number of Campbell students — every Tuesday night, anywhere between 20 and 50 “college kids” come by for a weekly Bible study and worship group. There’s teaching, testimonies and guest speakers, but most important, it’s a welcoming environment for a group of young people who, for many, are far away from home.

“We wanted to create a space for students to feel welcome, to follow the Lord and to grow,” says Jessica. “We’re supporting these kids, and we feel like we’re supporting the University, too.”

KeithHills KeithHills J


When you think golf in central North Carolina, Pinehurst usually comes to mind first. But the Piedmont and Sandhills region is home to a number of championship golf courses, and Keith Hills Golf Course in Buies Creek is considered among the best. Nearly 50 years ago, renowned golf course architect Ellis Maples, a native of Pinehurst, designed the first 18 holes of Keith Hills near the end of his illustrious golf course architecture career. In 2001, Dan Maples created what is today known as the White Course, a ninehole tract that complements the original 18-hole design of his father. Martha Sutton, a Campbell grad and current director of golf operations at Keith Hills, says the course is considered one of the top values in the state. “People travel from all over the state, and the majority of them to come play because of the great price that we offer,” Sutton said. “And, of course, because of the great course that they get to play.”


The tallest

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Chastity Pickett competes at the NCAA Championships in Austin, Texas, where she finished fourth in the nation in the 400-meter hurdles, earning All-American status.


Knocking on the doorstep of her crowning achievement as an athlete, Chastity Pickett nearly walked away from the sport.

tallest hurdle

In a sport where confidence and swagger can only take you so far, Chastity Pickett speaks volumes with her heart. That pulse stems from her mother, Shernise. A mother and role model to many — she fostered more than 15 children in her home over the last decade — Shernise was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2021 at the start of Chastity’s sophomore year in Campbell University’s track and field program. A winner for 40 first-place medals and a four-time all region hurdler at her high school in Albany, Georgia, Chastity sacrificed training at the collegiate level to drive six hours each way every weekend to be by her mother’s side during treatments. What she missed in training, Chastity gained in strength.


Chastity Pickett will enter her final year at Campbell — her redshirt senior season — already the most successful women’s track athlete in school history. In 2023, she was the Big South Conference Track Athlete of the Year, the Big South’s Indoor Most Valuable Athlete, a five-time Big South Athlete of the Week, an NCAA Championship qualifier and a first-team All-American. She holds school records in seven events — both as a sprinter and as a hurdler.

Her season culminated with a third-place overall finish in the 400-meter hurdles at the NCAA Championships in Austin, Texas. It was the highest individual finish in the program’s history, earning her the title of All-American.

Going back to those drives to Albany in 2021 to be with her mother — 12 hours round-trip spent in a car — Chastity Pickett never thought twice about the sacrifice. “Whenever I’m anxious, my mom is always there for me,” she says. “I absolutely needed to be around for her. Whatever it took to make her happy and safe.”

The thought of putting track and college on hold crept into her mind, but Chastity would lean on her mother’s words to find the strength to continue.

“We are not quitters,” she recalls.

Not only did that mindset keep her on the track, it gave her a distinct advantage from the starter’s gun.

“The way she attacks every rep and how she’s so ‘in herself’ during training, it’s something I’ve never seen from an athlete,” says Campbell Track and Field head coach Virgil Givens.

“Nobody, I mean nobody, trains harder in practice than Chatt,” adds teammate Nia Stephens. “She sets an incredible tone every time she steps on the track.”

“Chatt” dreamed of playing basketball growing up — she was an all-region first-teamer in high school and was named her conference’s defensive player of the year at one point. She’d never stepped on a track or cleared a hurdle until the eighth grade.

But she was a natural. A four-time all-region athlete, she won the Georgia state championship in the 300-meter hurdles twice (setting a state record in the process), and the 100-meter hurdles once. She made her mark at Campbell as a freshman in 2020 at the Big South indoor championships, where she ran a personal best in the 400 meters and finished first in a conference preliminary race. As a sophomore, despite the battles at home, she placed third in the conference in the 400-meter race and as a member of the 4x400 relay team.

That May of 2021, after months of calls and Facetime sessions — her hospital visits were limited due to an increase in health and safety protocols — Chastity surprised her mother by wearing a shirt with the message: “I never knew what strength was until I saw my mom.”

Shernise turned the tables with her own surprise for her daughter — an announcement that she was in total remission from breast cancer. Both became “an emotional bag of tears.”

“She was so put-together on the track,” says Stephens, who ran relay events with Chastity as sophomores. “We hardly knew what she was going through. But once we found out the news, Chastity was a whole new person.”

As Chastity cleared one hurdle with her mom’s health, she found another gear on the track. She closed out her junior year with a personal best 58.73 in the 400-meter hurdles at the Big South Outdoor Championships and qualified for her first NCAA East regional meet.

She was destined for much more in 2023.

“I was telling Chatt all summer you can run 54 seconds [in the 400m hurdles], and she would think I was crazy,” remembers Givens. One day, he said, she had a different response. “Coach, I’m going to leave it up to God and trust in His plan and your plan for me.”

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Chastity Pickett had the highest individual finish in Campbell women’s track history — third place in the 400-meter hurdles at the NCAA Championships in Austin in June.

She ’ s not done yet

Chastity Pickett had a big 2023, and she returns to the track this spring for her redshirt senior year. First

As a redshirt senior (she has one more year of eligibility), Chastity qualified for the NCAA Regional meet in Jacksonville, Florida in two events. In the 100-meter hurdles, which is not her best event, she fell just short of a trip to Austin. Minutes before taking her starting position in the 400-meter race, Chastity panicked and asked one of the rules officials for their cell phone.

The drive from Albany to Jacksonville is barely three hours, but Shernise wasn’t in the stands for the biggest race — to that point — in her daughter’s career. Joined by several family members, she was driving a rented SUV when a flat tire derailed their arrival time. They, too, sprinted in the stadium and arrived for the big race with little time to spare.

Once she heard her phone ringing, Shernice raced down the stadium steps, leaned through the gate and offered words of comfort.

“You got this,” she reminded her daughter. “Oh my god, we were in tears together. It brought back so many memories for me, but I knew she needed me to stay calm and composed at that moment.”

At ease, Chastity responded by punching her ticket to Texas. Among the 24 competitors who qualified for the 400-meter hurdles, Chastity posted the 17th best time. She would have to vastly outperform her best times at regionals to even sniff the Top 8 on the big stage. According to her coach, the bright lights weren’t a distraction.

“Chatt is one of those rare kids that kind of has it all,” Givens says. “She was able to handle that environment incredibly well, ready to block out the noise and compete.”

In Austin, she set another personal record and secured her spot in the final heat. In the hours leading up to the last race of the year, Chastity thought about what was on the line.

“I knew that I was from the smallest school competing, and I knew I had to get my name out there to be recognized more,” she says. “Coming from the smallest DI school isn’t the greatest in some people’s eyes. But it has done more than enough for me, and I believe that I am here for a reason.”

In front of a packed crowd in Austin in a nationally televised ESPN event, Pickett lined up in Lane 8 and glanced around one last time to soak it all in. It’s now or never. This is my moment. The gun went off, and Pickett exploded. All gas, no brakes.

A 400-meter race means one full lap on the track. Halfway through, Pickett led the field. She kept pace and finished third overall with a career-best 54.86-second race, collapsing in tears of joy while pointing to the Fighting Camel logo on her chest when she crossed the finish line.

“I always knew I was capable of doing it but actually seeing that I did it was just mind blowing,” she says.

In the stands, her mother — who had become a fan favorite in the stands for her enthusiasm — wept. “To see her fulfill her dreams meant everything to me,” Shernise says. “I was so full of emotion and wanted to jump over that fence the second that race ended.”

Her performance, coupled with teammate Dorcus Ewoi’s fifth-place finish in the 800-meter finals in Austin, gave Campbell two All-Americans and a 31st overall finish as a program on the national level, outpacing programs like NC State, Duke, UNC, UCLA and Florida State. Chastity has since competed at the USA Track and Field Championships in Eugene, Oregon and is poised for big things this spring.

Her goal is simple. An individual national championship.

“If we’re going to shoot for something, let’s shoot for the stars and land on the moon,” says her coach, who expects nothing less from his rising star.

NCAA Championships Qualifier (2023) Big South Track Athlete of the Year (2023) Big South Indoor Most Valuable Athlete (2023) 5x Big South Athlete of the Week School Record • 100m Hurdles (12.94) School Record • 400m Hurdles (56.54) School Record • 4x100m Relay (45.39) School Record • 60 Meters (7.48) School Record • 60m Hurdles (8.21) School Record • 200 Meters (23.73) School Record • 400 Meters (55.80)
Team All-American (2023)

Radar Brewing Company

Aaron Wall (’98) and Eric Peck co-founded Radar Brewing Company in WinstonSalem. The business launched just months before the COVID-19 pandemic and survived the shutdown by leaning on marketing and speeding up their canning and distribution business model. Since the taproom re-opened, Radar has become one of the city’s social hot spots.

“I invested everything, so to speak, in this project and didn’t know what was going to happen. But at the same time, it forced us as a company to accelerate things in our business plan we didn’t see happening for two to three years. We weren’t anticipating canning and distribution right away. We were really wanting to leverage the taproom business model supported by events and community involvement.”

Wall, a mass communication studies graduate at Campbell, was able to sustain through the unexpected challenges of Radar’s initial launch.

Pursuit of Hoppiness

An Orange Owned business in the Triad is rising in popularity among craft brewery enthusiasts. Those seeking an ever-increasing variety of beers in a unique, inviting space have found both at Winston-Salem’s Radar Brewing Company, launched in January 2020.

Aaron Wall (’98) is the founder, co-owner and head brewer at Radar, which has quickly carved out a successful distribution footprint in North Carolina and established its taproom as a Triad destination.

Wall and co-owner Eric Peck opened the brewery at the dawn of an unprecedented pandemic, timing that presented unique challenges. They originally intended to open the taproom to patrons, then work their way up to an external distribution operation. But the pandemic required “agility from a business perspective.”

“Our opening certainly went from a high of finally reaching the milestone of getting everything ready and being met with a lot of enthusiasm to going into shutdown with COVID and only being able to offer beer [externally],” Wall said.

“Thank you, Campbell, for my marketing and PR background in that instance,” he said. “Having a distribution footprint, by and large, involves sound marketing strategy.”

The past two years have “felt a little more normal,” with 2023 being their “best year so far,” Wall said. Patrons love to come to Radar to experience the outdoor beer garden, intentionally designed to have an “old world” feel.

Throughout the week Radar offers events like live music, bingo, trivia and yoga classes.

“Truly, the brewery scene in America is as much about experience as the availability of unique beers,” he said. “And we

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AARON WALL (‘98) Alumnus is co-founder and head brewer at popular Winston-Salem taproom, Radar Brewing Company Photos courtesy of Radar Brewing Company

have a really good team of people that make that positive experience happen for us.”

Still, beer drinkers come for the beer, and Radar has a sustainable brewing operation designed for consistency in taste and variety in flavor.

Radar was designed as a “smaller scale” brew house with multiple tanks in its cellar that allow for variety. The brewery typically averages between 10 and 15 beers in house, with a couple new releases per month.

“We also have a number of core beers that we seasonally keep on, so while there’s new things coming out, there’s also things that have just really proven to be favorites of our customers,” Wall said. “As a brewer, I like to focus on Belgian styles in particular, so we offer a good a good variety of Belgian beers at any given time. We do a number German lagers and I think that we’re really good at the American styles, which are the big, bitter, hoppy India Pale Ales. It’s definitely a blend that is meant to keep up with what our customers want.”

Radar Brewing Company is located at 216 E. 9th St. in Winston-Salem. Regular evening events at the now 3-year-old taproom include trivia nights, cornhole tournaments and yoga.

Radar’s flagship is its west coast style IPA, “Reflection,” which won “Best American IPA” at the North Carolina State Brewers Guild Awards. Wall’s time at Campbell and the connection he still has with the University is a “near and dear element” of his life. He was ecstatic that his brewery was the 2023 Winston-Salem host for the Alumni Association’s Welcome to the City, an annual event which connects alumni of all generations back to their alma mater and fellow graduates. This year, Welcome to the City was held June 8 at local hotspots in Raleigh, Charlotte, Wilmington, Richmond and Radar Brewing Company in Winston-Salem.

“To have alumni here in my home city and business was an honor,” Wall said. “I certainly hope that we host another [Welcome to the City]. It is flattering to say the least.”


JEFF HOLLAND (’79) retired in July after 26 years of service in public education. Holland, who started his career in education in 1980, left the field to pursue a career in journalism for a dozen years. He returned to education after getting married. He and his wife, Tanya, live in Clayton and have three adult children and one grandchild.


BETH TYNER JONES (’85, ’88 LAW) is the managing partner of the Raleigh and RTP offices for the Womble Bond Dickinson law firm. Jones has been with the firm since 1987.


LEANNE KENNEDY (‘93) was installed as the 20th president of the Hematology Oncology Pharmacy Association.

COL. DOUGLAS HASSEBROCK (’97 MBA) retired after a 30-year career in the U.S. Air Force’s Office of Special Investigations. During his retirement ceremony, Hassebrock was presented with the Legion of Merit for his contributions as the individual mobilization augmentee to the OSI commander.

“Truly, the brewery scene in America is as much about the experience as the availability of unique beers. And we have a really good team of people that make that positive experience happen for us.” — Aaron Wall (‘98), co-founder of Radar Brewing Company in Winston-Salem
Send your announcements to Campbell’s Office of Alumni Engagement by emailing Dan Hunt at



B. KEITH FAULKNER (’01 LAW, MBA) was named the fourth president of Charleston Southern University, where he is a 1998 graduate. Faulkner will take over in October. The former interim dean of Campbell’s Norman Adrian Wiggins School of Law and dean of the Lundy-Fetterman School of Business, Faulkner was dean of Liberty University School of Law and president and dean of Appalachian State School of Law in Virginia before returning to Charleston. Over his career, he and his teams have launched online programs, developed innovative partnerships, enjoyed success in fundraising, and many other notable accomplishments.

Clinton City Schools Superintendent WESLEY JOHNSON (’03 MED) was honored as the Southeast Education Alliance’s 2023-24 Superintendent of the Year. The alliance represents the 15 school districts in southeastern North Carolina.

DANIEL B. ELLER (’03 LAW) was named to Charleston Business Magazine and Business Monthly’s Legal Elite section. Eller has spent the last 20 years representing employers before the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission, the North Carolina Industrial Commission and the appellate courts of each state.

SARAH COATES (’04 MC) launched a new counseling center in Wilmington. One-Eighty Counseling is the practice’s seventh location and the first in the Wilmington area. Coates is a licensed clinical mental health counselor, a nationally certified counselor and a distance credentialed counselor.


Word on the waterfront in Beaufort, North Carolina, is that Beaufort Creamery makes some of the best coffee ice cream. But, if you are a cold treat aficionado, you may argue that their Oreo reigns supreme.

Owner Kennedy Stroud (’18) would surely make that argument.

“It was my brother Russell’s favorite too,” she says of her late brother who had the original vision for the ice cream shop.

Stroud was a biology major and had different ideas of where her Campbell University degree was going to take her.

“Sadly, I was not planning on opening this place,” she says. “This was my brother’s dream, but he unexpectedly passed in June of 2020.”

While Stroud wasn’t looking to follow her brother into the family restaurant business, her desire to fulfill his dream has been a sweet success. Not only is business good for the East Coast creamery, it was named a Top 10 indie ice cream shop by USA Today in July of this year.

“I wasn’t totally lost and confused [coming into this],” she says. “I have family who know the restaurant business and can support me.”

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Already a local favorite in the coastal town of Beaufort, alumna’s ice cream shop honors her late brother
Photo by Robin Gordon

Much of her story as to learning to be a business owner she attributes to the lessons she learned while attending Campbell and participating in the Call Team with the Office of Annual Giving. Speaking with people and making connections are two skills Stroud said she has been able to carry into her creamery.

“Call Team taught me that everyone is their own person and has their own story,” she says. “I also loved hearing their connection to Campbell. I spoke to a woman who was the wife of a man who had helped fund the biology department, and I was a biology major, so it was cool for me to see that.”

Beaufort Creamery was named a Top 10 best indie-owned ice cream shop by USA Today in July. The Orange Owned business is located at 400 Front St. in Beaufort, N.C.

Stroud, who is a Campbell Kivett Loyalty Society member and official “Orange Owned” business owner, says that she gives back every year because Campbell was such a core part of the time she spent growing and learning. Seeing the support

of her business is a driver in wanting to support others. The Kivett Loyalty Society recognizes donors who make a philanthropic gift on an annual basis.

While the summertime rush surpasses foot traffic during the off-season months, Stroud says she is over-joyed with the local customer support yearround. As the seasons change, Stroud experiments with flavors such as sweet potato casserole with marshmallows and this past winter will be whipped up sugar cookie, peppermint, and gingerbread flavors.

“And eggnog, definitely eggnog, which would be my favorite,” she says.

Learn more about the Office of Annual Giving’s Kivett Loyalty Society and how giving benefits Campbell at


(’04) was named the cultural arts director for the town of Clayton’s Cultural Arts Department. Langston has served as the town’s interim director since June 2022.

DAVID SUMMERLIN III (’06) was named to the brokerage team at Coldwell Banker Commercial Sun Coast Partners in 2023. Summerlin specializes in land in Brunswick County that is in the path of upcoming development.


(’06 LAW) was sworn in as city attorney for the city of Hickory in July. Swanson is a Hickory native and a current partner in the law firm Young, Morphis, Bach & Taylor LLP, where he practices in the areas of commercial and business litigation, property litigation, estate and trust litigation, homeowners association law and municipal law.

KEVIN CEGLOWSKI (’06 LAW) joined the Smith Anderson Law Firm in Raleigh. Prior, Ceglowski defended clients before administrative agencies such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the United States and North Carolina Departments of Labor, in state and federal courts and in arbitrations.

The Office of Annual Giving was awarded the highest honor for its 2022 Campbell Giving Day fundraising video at the CASE Circle of Excellence Awards. The “Campbell Giving Day 2022 Flash Campaign” video won “grand gold” in the fundraising category and was one of only five grand gold winners in all categories in the Southeast. The video, produced by JerFilm Productions, owned by Jeremiah McLamb (‘06), in partnership with Campbell, highlights the different areas on campus that a gift supports and touches on the multiple ways donors can give.

RAVEN BYRNE (’06 LAW) was promoted to assistant dean of student life and pro bono opportunities at the Norman Adrian Wiggins School of Law. She had been director of those programs since September 2021.


JUSTIN WILKINS (’07) was named deputy director of athletics and chief operating officer for Campbell Athletics. He returns to Campbell after spending time in Jacksonville University athletics administration since 2015, including the last two years as senior associate athletic director for internal affairs.

CHRISTOPHER CAULEY (’08) was named to the Fayetteville Observer’s “40 Under 40” list in June.

Cauley is the City of Fayetteville’s director of economic and community development. Cauley’s team engages with neighborhoods, community partners and the private sector to build a stronger economy and community for all residents.



(’10, ’17 DO) was the commencement speaker for the Jerry M. Wallace School of Osteopathic Medicine’s spring commencement in May. Davies, a graduate of the school’s charter class, returned to her alma mater to help celebrate the 1,000th DO to graduate from Campbell.

SCOTTIE LEE (’11 MBA, ’14 LAW) was named a N.C. Lawyers Weekly

“Leaders in the Law” in June. Lee is a partner at Ellis & Winters in Greensboro, where she focuses on complex business litigation and product liability litigation.

Investment in active learning

Business alumnus gives back by establishment of fund to be invested and managed by Campbell students

May 2023 marked the establishment of the Schaffernoth Family Student Investment Fund in the LundyFetterman School of Business at Campbell University. The fund was made possible through a $15,000 gift from 1987 business school alumnus Andrew Schaffernoth. It will allow for “handson” instruction within the business school in the truest sense.

The gift will be invested by student members of the LFSB Finance Club under the supervision of a faculty member(s) teaching investment management courses in the business school.

It will also cover costs in addition to the investments themselves, including, but not limited to, any brokerage or investment fees associated with such investments. The fund may receive contributions from other donors who desire to support its educational purpose.

“This is real world experience — no doubt about it,” Schaffernoth said. “You can learn about investing [at the Lundy-Fetterman School of

Business] and start applying it here. Most people sit there and they talk about investments. You can take people at an early age and help them understand what investing truly is and the importance of investment discipline.”

This is the third student investment fund established within the business school, joining the Burt Family Student Investment Fund used within finance courses, and another within the Trust and Wealth Management major.

Dr. Patrick Larkin, associate professor of finance within the business school, will lead the finance club that will be using the Schaffernoth fund.

“Many university finance programs sponsor these, but the key roles are typically reserved for upperclassmen,” Larkin said. “The Schaffernoth Student Investment Fund will give Campbell finance majors the opportunity to actively participate in the investment decision-making process from the day that they arrive on campus.”

The initiative was also spearheaded by Business Dean Dr. Kevin O’Mara. “A hallmark of the Campbell Business student experience is handson, engaged learning,” he said. “There is ample evidence and research showing that active learning is the best type of learning resulting in a deeper retention of the material. It is difficult to think of a more hands-on approach to learning financial investment concepts than to invest real money. The Lundy-Fetterman School of Business is very fortunate to have generous and involved alumni such as Andrew Schaffernoth, who supports our efforts for a truly engaging student experience.”

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The CAMPBELL UNIVERSITY ALUMNI ASSOCIATION welcomed more than 100 Campbell legacy family members to campus on movein day on Aug. 18. The legacy visitors enjoyed a program that featured esteemed speakers, a luncheon and the traditional “pinning ceremony,” a symbolic passing of the torch for legacy families.


Gov. Roy Cooper appointed the HON. C. ASHLEY GORE (’12 LAW) to serve as superior court judge in Judicial District 13A, serving Bladen and Columbus counties. Gore was the district court judge in the same district and previously served as assistant district attorney for the 15th prosecutorial district. She was an associate attorney at Gore Law Firm.

ERIC GRIFFIN (’12) was named MVP of The Basketball Tournament in Philadelphia, a 64-team, eight-region single-elimination tournament with a $1 million grand prize for the winning team. Griffin’s Team Heartfire won the million-dollar prize by beating Bleed Green, 78-73. Griffin scored 23 points and brought in 7 rebounds in the win.

ANNA HEDGEPETH (’13 LAW) was named to Triangle Business Journal’s “40 Under 40 Leadership Award” list for 2023. Hedgepeth serves as the director of strategy and business development for Cranfill Sumner LLP, where she advises the firm’s management committee while also leading the strategic planning committee and business development and marketing team.

JEFFREY M. KELLY (’13 LAW) was named to Triangle Business Journal’s “40 Under 40 Leadership Award” list for 2023. As a partner at Nelson Mullins, Kelly focuses his practice in areas of emerging technology, particularly in areas involving data analytics, digital assets and FinTech.

Photos by Dan Hunt


EMILY GHASSEMI (’15 PHARMD) received the Campbell University 2023 Preceptor of the Year award in May. Ghassemi is a clinical assistant professor of pharmacy practice and is a board-certified ambulatory care pharmacist and certified diabetes care and education specialist.

ANDREW RYAN HALL (’15 MBA) was named vice president and fiduciary advisor for the Whittier Trust Company in Reno, Nevada. In the role, Hall collaborates closely with ultrahigh-net-worth clients, their families, and other advisors to develop and execute customized wealth strategies.

MANALI PATEL (’16 PHARMD, MBA) received the Campbell University 2023 Preceptor of the Year award in May. Patel is a clinical assistant professor of pharmacy practice for the College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences and is the program director for the Internal Medicine PGY2 residency at Duke Regional Hospital.

MARK JONES (’16) was named the South Carolina Osteopathic Medical Society Resident of the Year. Jones completed his residency at McLeod Medical Center in Florence, South Carolina, in the spring.

ADAM ELKINS (’16 LAW) was named a board member of Stanly Community College Foundation. Elkins practiced law in Troy before joining the Stanly County District Attorney’s Office in 2019.

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JOSH HEIL (’21) married MADELINE FITCH (’20) on Dec. 11, 2022. Josh is a coach for Campbell Wrestling, and Madeline is the granddaughter of Bob (‘69) and Susie Fitch. The GOLDEN CLUB REUNION celebration for the Campbell College Classes of 1972 and 1973 was held in as part of Spring Commencement. The event included a campus tour, wonderful dinner filled with story-telling and special recognition at graduation. CLARA WHITAKER BOBBITT (‘22) and Douglas Neil Gresham, III were united in marriage on April 15 at First Baptist Church in Henderson.


Donors to the Fund for Campbell attended a luncheon at the Bernard F. McLeod Sr. Admissions & Financial Aid Center on July 24 honoring their contributions. Guests were recognized for their gifts to the Fund for Campbell with naming plaques placed in buildings and areas around campus, including the McLeod Center, Jones Hall and the Oscar N. Harris

“We like to say, ‘these people bleed Campbell orange,’ and I really believe this about this special group of alumni and friends,” said Britt Davis, Vice President for Advancement. “They are all-in, and fully committed to the continued success of Campbell University and our students.”


JESSICA PONE (’16) was named head basketball coach at Southwest Guilford High School, where she led the team as a player in 2011 to the state championship. Pone, who’s also a federal officer for the U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security, played basketball at Campbell in 2014.

RACHAEL WOLFE (’19) was named recreation programs coordinator for Hopkinsville (Ky.) Parks and Recreation. Wolfe studied sports management and business at Campbell.


MEGAN FRICK (’20) competed in the Miss Virginia pageant on June 29 in Roanoke, Va. Frick entered as the reigning Miss HamptonNewport News. She competed just a month after earning her doctor of physical therapy degree from Old Dominion.

DARION SLADE (’20) competed in the national SlamBall tournament in Las Vegas. SlamBall is a hybrid sport combining elements from basketball, football, hockey and gymnastics played with four trampolines in front of each net and boards around the court edge. The tournament was televised on ESPN channels for five weeks in the summer. Slade was a three-time All Big South football player for the Fighting Camels from 2016-2021.

your announcements to Campbell’s Office of Alumni Engagement by emailing Dan Hunt at
Student Union.
1 5 6 3 4 2
The following Fund for Campbell donors were honored at a luncheon on July 24: 1) Steve and Karen Gaskins; 2) Katie and Josh Smith; 3) Knox and Emily Gibson; 4) James and Jennifer Adcock; 5) Sara-Beth Testerman and Summer Cook; 6) Wil and Stephanie Bass; Gene and Patricia Harmon Lewis; Townsend and Emily Quinn.

Joyce McLamb (1935-2023)

Joyce Strickland McLamb, the matriarch of the Carlie C’s IGA chain of grocery stores based in Dunn and a longtime, ardent supporter of Campbell University and its athletic programs, died peacefully on May 9 surrounded by her family. She was 87.

Joyce and her husband, Carlie C. McLamb, started Carlie C’s IGA in 1961 in Johnston County, and one year later, moved the grocery store to Dunn. The company would grow to become a chain, priding itself on “fresh, quality meats, fair prices and customer service” with 33 locations in 16 counties.

In 2011, Campbell dedicated the Carlie C. and Joyce McLamb Environmental Science Center, home of four laboratories and equipment for research in environmental sciences. In 2013, the Carlie C’s IGA Hometown Proud Press Tower was the finishing touch of a major upgrade and expansion project at BarkerLane Stadium. And in 2017, Campbell dedicated the Carlie C’s IGA video board at Jim Perry Stadium — the state-of-the-art HD display.

“Joyce McLamb was a wonderful friend and supporter of Campbell University,” said President J. Bradley Creed. “It was always a pleasure to see Joyce pulling hard for Campbell football, basketball, baseball and other sports. She was competitive and loved to see the Fighting Camels win.”


Legacy of faith, family

MBA graduate honors her father, memories of growing up on campus, with a planned estate gift

Decisions on establishing a legacy are an important step in estate planning. It’s a process that requires much thought to determine how you wish to be remembered. For Keith Beard and Renée McMannen-Beard (’90 MBA), their wish was a legacy that focused on education, faith and family. After transitioning from busy careers, Keith and Renée began to consider their estate plans. Keith had retired from Northrop Grumman where he led complex engineering projects for the U.S. Army; Renée retired from GlaxoSmithKline as director of learning and communications, managing international teams and corporate projects.

As they embarked upon the process, Renée’s thoughts were influenced by the guidance and encouragement of her father, the Rev. Dr. Lewis E. McMannen, also a Campbell graduate. She remembered one of his favorite sayings: “Everyone needs to have a liberal arts education.”

A chance meeting reconnected Renée with her Campbell roots. After her father passed away, she inherited the Pine Burr yearbooks he had treasured through the years. She decided to donate them to the University Library and as an afterthought, scheduled a meeting with Peter Donlon, director of Planned Giving, following her visit to the library. This meeting rekindled happy memories of her love for the University, which helped to shape her childhood, her family and her career. As an outcome of the meeting, Renée and Keith decided to honor her father in the new Oscar N. Harris Student Union, naming an office in his memory.

While her father was studying for his degree at Campbell, she attended Buies Creek Elementary School. Dr. McMannen was the resident hall superintendent when the Campbell House, known as the “Farm House,” was used as a men’s residence. Renée has fond memories of her parents and two sisters, Cindy and Holly, living at the Campbell House during those years. Campbell was a warm and welcoming campus then, as it remains today.

Learn more:

Keith, a native of Los Angeles, was new to the University, but it took little convincing for him to see the rich history and unique environment at Campbell. Although Renée earned her undergraduate degree at Gardner-Webb and a Master of Library Science at UNC-Chapel Hill, her love for Campbell left little doubt about which institution they would choose to support. Their decision was also influenced by the University’s mission of creating servant leaders in a Christianbased environment.

Renée is currently serving on Campbell’s Presidential Board of Advisors. “It is a wonderful opportunity to stay connected to Campbell and feel invested in the future of the University,” she said. “I enjoy meeting alumni, faculty, students and staff. The roots of Campbell run deep and last a lifetime.”

As part of their estate plans, they decided to create a scholarship in memory of Renée’s sister, Cindy McMannen Roche, a dedicated nurse, and in honor of Keith’s passion for engineering.

“We are so grateful for the expertise and guidance provided by Peter Donlon to help us with this process,” Keith said. With these plans in place, they have turned their focus to their favorite pursuits with a feeling of gratitude and satisfaction.

The Rev. Dr. Lewis McMannen (above, right) was the residence hall superintendent for the “Farm House” at Campbell College in the 1960s. His daughter, Renée McMannen-Beard (right) is a 1990 MBA graduate of Campbell and member of the Presidential Board of Advisors.




8:30 am: Golden Club Brunch

10 am: Alumni Walking Tours Begin Alumni House Open House Begins

11 am: Orange vs. Black Wrestling

12 pm: Homecoming Parade Alumni Village Opens

1 pm: Volleyball vs. Northeastern

4 pm: Football Kick-Off vs. Maine

7 pm: Men’s Soccer vs. William & Mary






I admit it. They almost got me.

The image associated with her post had a Ticketmaster screenshot of where the tickets would be — very good seats, but not “front row, dead center” or anything. All of the typical “this is a hoax” or “she’s been hacked” red flags were missing from the post. And, I noticed, I happened to be online a few minutes after she posted.

In June, I presented a session on “Generative AI in Higher Education” at a conference for marketing and communications professionals in the Carolinas, and in October, I’ll be presenting on the subject again for North Carolina’s community college system. This boastful opening sentence is presented not to impress you, but to set up the fantastic (near) failure that comes next.

I almost fell for an online scam involving Taylor Swift tickets. It’s even more embarrassing to see that sentence in print.

What comes next, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, is my defense, presented to not only clear my name but also to serve as a warning that if someone like me — a middle-aged know-it-all in emerging technologies and a man who has been baffled by those who’ve fallen for similar scams in the past — can (again, almost) fall for something like this, then you can, too.

Or maybe you would have sniffed this out from a mile away. You be the judge (and jury).

A little backstory: I have a 13-year-old daughter. For some of you, no further explanation is needed. For the rest — she’s a Swiftie. I’ve had to listen to it so much over the past five years, that I’m practically a Swiftie, too. Not in the sense that I’m ready to dress up in my favorite Taylor era cosplay and drop a few hundreds to thousands on a ticket, but I dig a few of her songs.

My daughter and her friends, on the other hand, would do anything to see her perform in Miami, New Orleans or Indianapolis in 2024. So when a cousin of mine — a third cousin whom I’ve met on a few occasions in the past — posted on Facebook in August that she was selling four tickets for the Miami shows in October of next year for “a good price,” I was blinded by the opportunity to be a hero. The cousin is a few years older than me. She’s vice president of a bank. And, most importantly, she lives in Miami. The Facebook page she posted from was hers — it wasn’t created last week — and contained photos that dated back 12 to 15 years. The language in her post was casual and even had a “hand wave” emoji.

I was first. So I messaged her: “Hey … distant relative here. How much are you asking?”

I didn’t want to seem desperate. Within a few minutes, she responded with a price that was drastically below what these tickets were going for on the open market, but still a bit out of my reach. I countered. She met me in between. I only needed two of the four, so I reached out to a friend with a daughter the same age to see if they were interested in the other two. They were. We had something going here.

Then the first red flag. “If you use Venmo, I don’t have an account, but you can use my cousin’s,” my “cousin” messaged me. My heart sank. I replied that I’d need to call her to make sure this was all legit, joking that you can’t even trust relatives these days. I went a step further and messaged her sister and asked if the ticket post was legitimate. My request to talk by phone was met with an “of course!” but I never received another message after that. The sister messaged me later that night to warn me that she’d been hacked — which was clear to me even before the reply, but still heartbreaking. I had to inform the friend that I almost got us both scammed, and the promise of the best birthday/Christmas presents ever flew out the door.

I didn’t lose any money, I didn’t share an email address and no private information was shared. But I was embarrassed, nonetheless. Someone who’s had to warn moms and dads and grandparents of these online tricks almost dived headfirst into the deep end on this one.

Let this be a warning to all of you. Or, at least, take this opportunity to call me an idiot. I deserve it.

I began this column with a quote from one of my favorite musicians on trusting your gut, but perhaps I should have listened to Taylor herself: “You play stupid games, you win stupid prizes.”

“If there’s any doubt, then there is no doubt. The gut don’t never lie.”
— Sturgill Simpson, “Keep it Between the Lines”

From the Vault

The 1991 Campbell University men’s soccer team won the first of two straight Big South Conference championships that fall, and under coach Derrick Leeson, would go on to finish as a runner-up three other times in the ‘90s. Standouts from the team included All-Decade members Kurt Berger, Rodrigo Cagide, Pete Coleman, Buddy Edwards, Brian Hunter, Rami Kauppi, Travis Maloy, Ricky Mobley and Jack Robinson.

Campbell University photo archives
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A summer sunrise over Harnett County. Photo by Evan Budrovich
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