Winter commencement to honor trustee, graduate first doctors of health sciences

Campbell University will award more than 400 degrees at its Winter Commencement ceremony, scheduled for 10 a.m. on Dec. 16 at the John W. Pope Jr. Convocation Center. 

Sixteen associate, 241 bachelor and 59 master degrees will be handed out, in addition to 43 doctor of physical therapy degrees, four doctor of osteopathic medicine degrees, 21 juris doctorates and 19 doctor of health sciences degrees. 

Those 19 doctor of health sciences graduates will be the first at Campbell University, three years after the launch of the program. The degree gives post-professionals the necessary skills and abilities to help shape the future of health care and health-related organizations. Graduating students work in health care, academia and government relations.

“The first class did a really great job of breaking through the glass ceiling, if you will, of setting the precedent,” said Dr. Paige Brown, the program’s director in the College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences since August. “The program started at the right time, in the right place, and everything has worked great.”

Dr. Leah McCall DevlinBuies Creek native and current Campbell University trustee Dr. Leah McCall Devlin will receive the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award during commencement. Devlin has more than four decades of experience in public health practice in North Carolina, including 10 years as the Wake County Health Director and 10 years as the State Health Director for North Carolina where she served under two North Carolina Governors.

Devlin also served as professor of the practice at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health from 2009 until her retirement in 2023.

The daughter of legendary Campbell basketball coach Fred McCall, who also served as vice president for development for many years, and Pearle McCall, Devlin has served on Campbell’s Board of Trustees since 2014, including service on the Executive Committee of the Board and as Vice Chair of the Board.

The award is named for late 19th century lawyer Algernon Sydney Sullivan, whose foundation’s mission is to inspire young people to lead lives of integrity, characterized by service above self and service to the community.