I became a Camel in 1997, my freshmen year at Campbell University. After two years of hanging around Day Dorm, in 1999, I finally found my Day Doll, Kimberly Huggins. I was beginning my third year at Campbell. She was finishing her third day on campus. In 2002, I proposed to her in her apartment kitchen at University Manor. Trust me. It was romantic. We went on to marry, and we have two beautiful daughters who are Fighting Camel fans. Between the two of us, we have four diplomas from Campbell, and we still enjoy cheering on the Fighting Camels, especially when they come to central Virginia.
In Buies Creek, I had the opportunity to learn about ministry, preaching, the history of the church, public speaking, pastoral care, the environment, music, theatre, and so many other topics. Lessons learned in and out of the classroom come back to me daily. I had professors who became friends and colleagues. I went to a lot of basketball games in Carter Gym. I wore a lot of orange and made a lot of noise. I made friends that, though separated by distance, still occupy much of my memory.
I was able to go back to Campbell again and again because of the support and generosity of my wife, the Taylor Family of Troy, N.C., and my parents. At each opportunity, I could have gone to other schools, great schools that I respect immensely. And I thought seriously about those schools, but I am Camel. To consider what life would be like without Campbell’s part in the story, it would not be the same life. I would not be the same person.
I have the pleasure of serving on the Board of Ministers and so have a regular reason to go back to campus. On the next trip, I will get to share this great place with college students who are considering Campbell as place to prepare for ministry. It is a place and a story I like to share.
Happy 129th Birthday Campbell University! You look as vibrant and bright-eyed as you ever have.