J. Bradley Creed named Campbell University’s 5th president

Photo by Bennett Scarborough

BUIES CREEK — J. Bradley Creed was elected as the fifth president of Campbell University Friday morning.

Creed, an accomplished leader of mission-driven institutions and a nationally-recognized historian of religion, was unanimously approved by the Campbell University Board of Trustees during a special session Friday. Creed is currently Provost and Executive Vice President and Professor of Religion at Samford University. Before his appointment at Samford, he served as dean of The George W. Truett Seminary at Baylor University.

“Dr. Creed is the embodiment of all we hoped to find in Campbell’s next president. He brings the breadth of vision and depth of experience required to lead Campbell to even greater levels of regional and national prominence,” said Benjamin N. Thompson, chair of the Board of Trustees. “He is a man of strong personal faith and deep integrity. I am confident that Campbell has found the right leader at the right time.”

“I am grateful for the opportunity to serve as the fifth president of Campbell University. I thank the Board of Trustees for the confidence they have placed in me for this strategic role, and I am genuinely enthusiastic about the future of this exceptional institution of higher education,” said Dr. Creed. “Because of the quality and dedication of the Board of Trustees, the commitment of a stellar faculty, and the outstanding leadership of President Wallace, Campbell is blessed with a strong foundation and is unusually poised for additional growth and remarkable accomplishments in the days ahead. Kathy and I are eagerly anticipating our move to Buies Creek and can’t wait to get on campus and meet the wonderful students, faculty, staff, friends, and supporters who make Campbell University a very special place.”

A search committee composed of trustees, faculty, staff and students unanimously recommended Creed to the Board of Trustees at the conclusion of a six-month process. “Dr. Creed possesses a sterling list of accomplishments and experiences as a highly effective faculty member, beloved pastor and strategic administrator in higher education,” said Campbell Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Mark L. Hammond, a member of the presidential search committee. “In the collegiate world, he’s done it all — and superbly. His career and life’s path has been varied and thorough, with each step preparing him extraordinarily well for the presidency at Campbell.”

A Jacksonville, Texas, native, Creed received a Bachelor of Arts in Religion from Baylor University, graduating cum laude. He earned his Master of Divinity and Doctor of Philosophy degrees from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. He pursued further study in Harvard University’s Management Development Program and in the Spanish language program at Academia Hispano Americano in Mexico.

Creed has led multiple transformational initiatives during his time at Samford, including the launch of the College of Health Sciences in 2013. He also played a key role in strategic enrollment efforts designed to increase the size, retention, and academic quality of the undergraduate student body. During his time as provost, Samford achieved the highest graduation rate of any college or university in Alabama and saw the average ACT score of its incoming students increase by a full point.

“It has been an honor to work alongside Dr. Creed during the time that we have served together at Samford, and I have counted him as a valued friend and confidant,” said Samford President Andrew Westmoreland. “His positive contributions to the academic environment of the campus will be cherished for decades to come, as will the many friendships that Brad and Kathy have nurtured here. Our sadness at the departure of the Creed family is tempered by our enthusiastic support for them as they move to positions of leadership at Campbell University.”

Creed and his wife, Kathy Harton, are well known on the Samford campus for welcoming students into their home and look forward to continuing the tradition at Campbell. The Creeds have been married since 1980 and have three children: Caitlin Elizabeth (1987-2007), Charles Vernon, and Carrie Grace.

Creed will take office as president of Campbell on July 1, and will succeed Dr. Jerry M. Wallace, who retires June 30 after a 12-year term marked by the unprecedented growth of the university. Campbell has set enrollment records in the face of declining trends nationwide and opened the first medical school in North Carolina in 35 years in 2013. Campbell has also added four other health degree programs over the past five years (nursing, physical therapy, physician assistant, and public health). The Board of Trustees recently approved establishing Campbell’s eighth school — the School of Engineering — as well as a Doctor of Occupational Therapy degree program. Both programs are expected to begin enrolling students in fall 2016, pending approval by accrediting agencies.

5 things you won’t find on Dr. J. Bradley Creed’s CV

  1. He has run 40 road races, including marathons and half marathons, over the last 10 years in nine states and provinces.  In the last four out of five years, he has run more than 1,200 miles per year.
  2. His previous jobs include working at two funeral homes, a discount store, a plastics manufacturing plant, a bookstore, and an electric supply company. He has also sold insulation, hauled hay, and driven a school bus.
  3. He enjoys outdoor activities, including hiking, camping, backpacking, bicycling, and kayaking.
  4. He likes sports and is an enthusiastic supporter of his school’s teams.  He is also a NASCAR fan and attends the races at Talladega Superspeedway every year.
  5. He and his wife, Kathy, enjoy hosting students and other guests in their home. This past semester at Samford University they hosted a weekly student-led Bible study and discussion group sponsored by Samford’s Office of Spiritual Life.