Alumni visits inspire current students

Campbell Business School honored and celebrated alumni on Oct. 26 as past graduates returned to engage with current students on Alumni Celebration Day.

“Alumni week means so much to a university,” said Dean Kevin O’Mara. “It provides a time for alumni to reconnect with friends, their university, and great memories. It also allows current student to hear from people who literally sat in the same seats they sit in today, so it offers a potential glimpse of their own futures.”

Held in conjunction with Campbell’s homecoming festivities, the day featured an awards ceremony attended by more than 200 students from all majors within the college. They applauded Tom Jacobs, who received the 2018 Outstanding Alumnus Award, and Phillip Strickland, named 2018 Outstanding Young Alumnus.

Dean O’Mara said, “We are so proud of Phillip and Tom not only for their career successes but for the impact they have made on their communities.”

Tom Jacobs graduated cum laude from Campbell University in 1993. In 2008 he co-founded Activent Marketing, an experiential marketing agency that works with Volkswagen of America, PUMA, The Nature’s Bounty Co., FOX Sports, among other national and global brands. Prior to co-founding Activent, Jacobs worked for two large global advertising agencies as vice president of sports and event marketing, where he strategically identified sponsorship opportunities, negotiated sponsorship agreements for brands, and created powerful event marketing campaigns.

Phillip Strickland was a member of Campbell’s baseball team who earned a Bachelor in Business Administration with an emphasis in Trust Management and a minor in Financial Planning. He then received a Master of Business Administration and a Master of Trust and Wealth Management from the Lundy-Fetterman School of Business. Currently an adjunct professor in Campbell’s Business School, Phillip joined First Citizens Bank in December 2005 and since then has served in various roles in the Institutional Trust Department. Phillip is a Certified Retirement Services Professional (CRSP), President of the Trust Education Foundation, and a member of the Southeastern Trust School faculty.

During the day, other alums spoke with students in various classes, presenting information and experiences relevant to their course material. Returning graduates included Tatiana Amador ’16, Melanie Beebe ’18, Amanda Burke ’16, Jonathan Choi, ’17, Veronica Hammond ’18, MacKenzie Koeller ’18, Gene Lewis ’94, Rebecca Lindhout ‘02, Joshua Menold ’01/’04, Christian Moss ’18, Katherine Spradley ’03, and Tara Wilson ’89.

Moss, CSS Business Analyst at Duke Energy, participated in a Young Alumni Panel, a new feature of the program this year. He said, “It was a pleasure for me to be able to talk to the students and give them some advice!”

Menold, chief financial officer and integrator at Bobbitt Design Build, agreed. “It was my pleasure to come back to the Creek,” he said. “It was really fun and I always love to help out. I would love to come back to work with the students in the future.”