Planned Giving | Alumna creates scholarship for law students

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Her life as a wife, mother, librarian and teacher took an abrupt turn when Bobbie Redding enrolled in Campbell Law School in her late 40s. The road there hadn’t been easy, nor was the journey a solitary one as she often leaned on her classmates, professors and faculty to resume the role of “student” she had left behind some 25 years before.

Redding grew up on a small farm in rural North Carolina where she learned that people of all walks of life had value and purpose. Her curiosity and adventurous spirit led her to meet a variety of people and turned her curiosity about cultures all over the world into a life-long passion to travel. Mark Twain wrote: “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow-mindedness … Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.”

Redding exemplified this belief.

She graduated from Campbell Law at 50 and worked at Legal Aid in Fayetteville, helping those who couldn’t afford to pay for legal assistance. Two years later, she moved to Cumberland County Department of Social Services and was the first full-time attorney in the state to provide legal representation to the social workers in the adult services area. Her role expanded to cover children and adults who were abused, neglected and exploited. She retired 30 years later in 2019 as the assistant director for legal services.

For many years, Redding was a member of and served on the Board of the N.C. Guardianship Association. She also taught legal aspects for adult service social workers across the state with the state program educator. Her dedication to the elderly was recognized in 2016 when Redding received the George L. Maddox Award for “Excelling in Creative Programming for Older North Carolinians.” It was the first time the award had been given to a DSS employee.

Redding gives Campbell Law credit for much of her success. Being a “mature” student, she found the staff and faculty very supportive and helpful. Her Campbell peers have also supported her through her career — including Talmadge Baggett, who encouraged her to apply for the CCDSS position and was later a district court judge. She joined David Kennedy, another Campbell Law alumnus who was already at CCDSS.

As the demands on the legal unit at CCDSS increased significantly, another Campbell Law graduate, The Hon. Judge Robert J. Stiehl III (now retired) was helpful in meeting the court challenges. And when Redding retired, her successor was another Campbell Law graduate, Christopher Carr.

Redding has chosen to say “Thank you” to Campbell Law in a tangible way, by creating a scholarship. She hopes other Campbell Law graduates will find ways to help the underserved members of our communities.

After all, everyone has value and purpose.

— by Peter Donlon