BUIES CREEK, North Carolina – Fred Whitfield, the president and COO of the Charlotte Hornets and a two-time graduate of Campbell University, delivered the keynote address during the Campbell’s Founders Day Celebration in Connections Monday morning to kick off the school’s second annual Founders Week.
He encouraged the students in a packed Turner Auditorium to embody the vision of Founding President J.A. Campbell, who opened what is now Campbell University in 1887 to prepare students for purposeful lives and meaningful service.
“Regardless of how successful you get, you have the duty to reach back and help the next young person fulfill their dream,” Whitfield said. “There is always a duty to give back and help the next group.”
Whitfield set the example by announcing he has endowed The Coach Danny and Barbara Roberts Undergraduate Scholarship at Campbell. The scholarship honors former Campbell head men’s basketball coach Danny Roberts, who coached Whitfield at Campbell, and Roberts’ late wife, Barbara. The scholarship will be awarded annually to deserving current and future undergraduate students at Campbell based on criteria agreed upon by Whitfield and Coach Roberts.
“I’m thrilled to be able to endow this scholarship in honor of my former coach Danny Roberts and his late wife, Barbara,” Whitfield said. “Coach Roberts had a tremendous impact on my life as a player, a student and as a young man. This is a small way that I can show my gratitude toward him and his wife for all that they did for me, and hopefully impact current students at Campbell University.”
During Monday’s Founders Day Celebration, Whitfield was also presented with the Alumni Heritage Award. The award honors a Campbell graduate who carries on the vision of Campbell’s Founding President, J.A. Campbell, through leadership and service. The award he received reads: “In celebration of his outstanding dedication to Campbell University as a dedicated alumnus and for his leadership among his peers to serve the university and his community.”
A member of Campbell’s Board of Trustees, Whitfield earned a degree in economics from the school, where he was a member of the men’s basketball team and earned All-South and team MVP honors.
He was inducted into the school’s Sports Hall of Fame in 1995. Additionally, he completed his MBA in marketing while serving as assistant basketball coach for the Camels. — Part of this release was prepared by the Charlotte Hornets