Founders Week to celebrate 135 years of Campbell University Feb. 7-11

Campbell University will celebrate its 135-year history and heritage with its eighth annual Founders Week, beginning Feb. 7 and running through Feb. 11. 

What began in 2015 with the unveiling of the campus’ now iconic bronze statue of founder J.A. Campbell, Founders Week has grown to include several campus-wide events and University history projects over the years. This year, the festivities will coincide with Campbell’s annual Thank A Giver (TAG) Day, scheduled for Feb. 9, where students, faculty and staff take to social media and tag landmarks on campus to thank the many donors who have made the buildings and programs possible. 

“Founders Week is an opportunity to celebrate our past and remember our school’s history, rooted in service and community,” said Sarah Swain, assistant vice president for alumni engagement. “We invite our students, faculty, staff and alumni to celebrate the legacy of Dr. Campbell and honor his perseverance and vision for establishing Buies Creek Academy 135 years ago.”

Campbell University’s history goes back to Jan. 5, 1887, when James Archibald Campbell, then a 26-year-old Baptist minister, welcomed 16 students to a small church in Buies Creek for the first day of classes for Buies Creek Academy. By the end of that first term, there were 92 students.

Since then, Buies Creek Academy has grown and evolved to become Campbell Junior College (1926), Campbell College (1961) and Campbell University (1979). Throughout these transformations, the university has remained true to its founding principles to address the most pressing needs of North Carolina and to educate men and women for Christian service around the world.

Below is a list of events planned for this year’s Founders Week. Learn more at the University’s Founders Week website.



CAB Carnival

The Campus Activities Board will host a “mini carnival” from 6 to 8 p.m. on Feb. 7, in the ballroom of the Oscar N. Harris Student Union. Details are coming, but students can expect games, food and other fun to celebrate the University’s 135-year history.


Community Garden

The Mustard Seed Community Garden workday will run from noon to 2 p.m. at the garden located on Kivett Road near the recycling center. The garden is a sustainable, growing and vital bridge between the University and the community. Food that is produced from the garden through student and faculty-led efforts is donated to the local community. The Founders Week garden workday will connect the service of Cornelia Campbell, wife of founder J.A. Campbell. 



Each year on TAG Day, more than 400 tags are placed on campus to mark buildings and programs that were made possible by the generosity of Campbell donors. Learn more about TAG Day, and find out how you can win a $1,000 scholarship and other prizes here:

Men’s Basketball hosts Gardner-Webb

Fans in attendance at the men’s basketball game against Gardner-Webb at 7 p.m. in Gore Arena will receive a free T-shirt. Support the Camels as they continue to fight toward a Big South Conference regular season title. 

Rhymes With Orange Podcast

Dr. Glenn Jonas, associate dean for the College of Arts & Sciences and a member of Campbell’s faculty since 1994, joins the Rhymes With Orange podcast to talk Campbell history and some of his best memories over the past 28 years. 


Vintage menu at Gaylord’s Kitchen

Gaylord’s Kitchen in the Oscar N. Harris Student Union will offer a throw-back menu to honor Founders Week. Menu items include:

  • Southern Kitchen Station will be serving country fried chicken, collard greens, boiled new potatoes, cornmeal muffins and Brunswick stew.
  • Smokehouse Station will be serving baked smoked ham, stewed apples, turnip greens and griddlecakes.
  • Dessert will include blueberry pudding and a special cake with “Happy 135th Birthday, Campbell!” on the top. 

Menu items are subject to change due to supply chain restrictions. 


Women’s Basketball hosts Charleston Southern

Campbell’s women’s basketball program is undefeated in conference play and currently sits atop the Big South standings. Watch them at Gore Arena on Feb. 12 as they host Charleston Southern. 

Follow Campbell University, the Office of Alumni Engagement, Campbell Athletics and the Campus Activities Board to learn more about other events during Founders Week.