Record giving lifts Campbell Leads campaign past $75 million goal
Campaign increases goal to $100 million through 2021
By Billy Liggett | Nov. 18, 2020
The Campbell Leads campaign — an ambitious five-year $75 million campaign created to benefit student scholarships, the Oscar N. Harris Student Union and the Fund for Campbell — hit its goal this fall just four years after its launch.
The campaign crossed that milestone on the shoulders of record giving from Campbell University alumni, friends, parents and employees. The campaign received a major surge from the largest single gift in Campbell University’s 133-year history — a $13 million donation from former Campbell President and First Lady Norman and Mildred Wiggins to create the Wiggins Arts & Sciences Endowed Scholarship, which will benefit to undergraduate students for years to come.
Campbell Leads was among the first initiatives set forth by President J. Bradley Creed when he took office on July 1, 2015. Launched exactly one year later, the campaign’s goal was to raise $75 million by the end of 2021. With that end date still in mind, Creed and the Office of Advancement at Campbell University have increased the goal to $100 million.
“I could not be more pleased that we met our campaign goals within four years, and can announce a stretch goal to $100 million through 2021. The generosity of Dr. Norman and Millie Wiggins and thousands of others in the Campbell family is remarkable. We're deeply grateful.”
More than 48,000 contributions were made to the Campbell Leads campaign over the past four years. Twenty-six of those gifts surpassed $1 million, and nearly 500 exceeded $25,000.
Of the $75 million raised, $25 million built the Oscar N. Harris Student Union, which opened its doors in the spring and welcomed students for the first time in August. The 115,000-square-foot facility is home to a large-scale banquet hall, new campus dining options, offices and meeting areas for students and student-led groups, a 200-seat movie theater, a two-story fitness center and a new Campbell merchandise and gift shop.
Bob Barker (’65), chair of the Student Union Fundraising Campaign, said he and his wife Pat knew when they agreed to lead the funding efforts that it was a special project for Campbell students. The Barkers have been part of many major initiatives at Campbell, but perhaps none bigger than a new student union.
“More than 3,000 individuals stepped forward to help make this historic facility a reality for the campus community and our alumni,” Barker said. “Thanks to the naming gift from my classmate Oscar Harris (’65), the Oscar N. Harris Student Union will serve Campbell students for generations to come.”
Roughly $32 million of the money raised has been designated for endowed scholarships for Campbell students. Donors make it possible for Campbell to award approximately 900 scholarships each year.
Additionally, $20 million raised for the Campbell Leads campaign has been committed to establishing and funding several projects over the last four years, including the creation of the First Citizens Bank Wealth Management Center, BB&T Business Fellows Program, development of the law school’s Blanchard Community Clinic, renovations to the soccer stadium, construction of locker rooms and a new scoreboard at Jim Perry Stadium, a new scoreboard at Barker-Lane Stadium, expansion of the wrestling facilities at the John W. Pope, Jr. Convocation Center, renovations to the Cornelia Campbell Alumni House and more.
The campaign also established the Fund for Campbell, which provides the University with the leverage to embark on new learning opportunities while continuing to address immediate needs. The flexibility of this fund allows for the institution’s continued growth through investments in facility enhancements, innovative technology, life-changing financial aid, enrichments to the student experience and more.
“The generosity of Campbell alumni and friends during the Campbell Leads campaign has been encouraging to me and every member of the university advancement team,” said Britt Davis, vice president for institutional advancement. “There is no campaign or a student union or new endowed scholarships without the partnership of our alumni and friends. It’s humbling to know we met our five-year campaign goal in just four years and that we have an opportunity to substantially increase the results and impact for our students in the years ahead.”
According to Davis, the next phase of the campaign will look to generate at least $25 million to focus on the following areas of need:
- Fund for Campbell supports every aspect of the Campbell experience and makes it possible for the university to embark on exciting opportunities while responding quickly to new challenges and emerging priorities. Gifts to this fund are unrestricted meaning they can be spent immediately and directed wherever the need is greatest.
- Increasing Existing Scholarship Funds: Campbell maintains over 1,000 scholarships funds that have been created by alumni and friends to benefit future generations of students; small increases to these funds can have big benefits for students.
- New Scholarship Funds: new endowed scholarship funds to benefit Campbell students in any school or program can be created for an investment of $25,000 (which can be pledged over as many as five years).
- Capital Needs: additional naming opportunities exist across campus in many facilities, including spaces inside the student union and many academic buildings and athletic facilities.
- Student & Faculty Research: many new research opportunities exist for Campbell faculty and students in pharmacy, medicine, law, business, nursing and many other disciplines where funding is greatly needed.
- Library Resources: Wiggins Library, serving as Campbell’s academic hub, is always in need of resources to best serve our student body.
- Athletics: many opportunities exist to support facilities and scholarships to benefit the nearly 600 student-athletes who compete for the Fighting Camels.
The Mildred & Norman Wiggins Arts & Sciences Endowed Scholarship will provide support for Campbell University undergraduate students for generations.
The $13 million donation on behalf of the Wiggins estate is the largest single gift in Campbell’s 133-year history. It comes 13 years after the death of Campbell’s third president, Norman Adrian Wiggins, who held office for 36 years and just over a year since the passing of Mildred (Millie) Wiggins in May 2019. Most notably, the Norman A. Wiggins School of Law, the Lundy-Fetterman School of Business and the College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences carried Campbell into the 21st Century and made possible the growth and expansion the University has enjoyed since.
“He laid the groundwork for all of it,” recalled his friend and successor, former President Jerry Wallace. “He had courage, and he elicited courage from the people around him. It took courage to open a law school. It took courage to open a pharmacy school. His example laid the groundwork for the medical school. He’s the reason all of it is here today.”