Buies Creek, N.C. – Being a career adviser for Campbell’s Lundy-Fetterman School of Business wasn’t just a job for Peggy Lawrence, who retired this month. As Lawrence packs up the remnants of her 51-year career helping students find jobs in the corporate world, you get the feeling that she isn’t really going anywhere.
“I’ll never stop representing Campbell,” Lawrence said. “I love the atmosphere, I love the people here, people I will treasure forever.”
Lawrence came to Campbell in 1959 at the invitation of then president Dr. Leslie Campbell to help with the college’s transition into a university. She was fresh from a job with the North Carolina Department of Insurance and had just moved to Dunn with her husband Bill. After the transition, Campbell asked Lawrence to stay and work for one year.
“I’ve been here ever since,” she said. “But I loved Campbell. Although there were some eccentric characters, they were wonderful! And I loved the students. I never met a student I didn’t like.”
Before becoming a career adviser for the School of Business, Lawrence advised all Campbell students concerning career opportunities. Bill Macek, a national bank examiner with the Office the U.S. Comptroller of the Currency (’76), remembers Lawrence’s kindness and determination.
“I always found her to be one of the gentlest people I’ve ever known,” Macek said. “Years later, I lost touch with the college, but in 2003, Mrs. Lawrence tracked me down. She was always interested in placing people with the U.S. Treasury Department and wanted to know any advice or information I could give her.”
Thousands of students have passed through Lawrence’s door, including Campbell’s Dennis Bazemore, Vice President for Student Life, John Roberson, Vice President for Enrollment Management and Marketing and Kim Johnson, Senior Executive Vice President for Wealth Management for BB&T.
“The list looks like a Who’s Who in banking and business,” said Jimmy Witherspoon, chair of the Department of Financial Planning and Accounting and director of the Trust and Wealth Management program at Campbell. “Literally 2,000 plus graduates over 41 years owe their success to Mrs. Lawrence.”
But Lawrence deflects any praise. “It’s a brilliant group of young people,” she said. “They give us bragging rights. When I think of where some of them are today, you would never dream that they came out of little Buies Creek. I look at them, and they have made a name for themselves. They are well-trained. They are giants in their industry.”
To the School of Business, the diminutive Lawrence is no less than a giant herself. “We’re going to do everything we can to keep her involved with the school,” said Witherspoon. “She’s so much a part of our program and the lives of the students who have graduated from Campbell.”
Developed from Campbell’s first Department of Business, established in 1893, the Lundy-Fetterman School of Business was formally established in 1983. It offers undergraduate degrees in business administration, accounting, trust and wealth management, economics, international business, and golf management, as well as a Master of Business Administration degree. The Lundy-Fetterman School of Business is one of the few schools in the nation to have a golf management program approved by the PGA.The business school’s PGA Golf Management program is accredited by the Professional Golfers Association.
Photo Copy: Peggy Lawrence