Top 10 Campbell events of 2013

December 31, 2013 | Leave a Comment

It was a monumental 2013 for Campbell University for many reasons. As we celebrate the coming of a new year, we'd like to also look back at a 2013 that brought new schools, new programs, new sports and new pride to Buies Creek. 

We're counting down the Top 10 stories that defined the year for Campbell, with the top story of 2013 to be revealed Saturday, Jan. 4. Happy New Year from all of us at Campbell University

10. ‘Nine Putts’ golf video goes viral

View the video HERE

A video that featured nine seniors in the Lundy-Fetterman School of Business’ PGA Golf Management University Program hitting nine putts into one golf hole, at one time, went viral in February 2013.
National news organizations such as CNN and USA Today, sports sites such as Sports Illustrated’s and Yahoo Sports, and news stations from around the world — from 23ABC News in Bakersfield, Calif., to Zweites Deutsches Fernseher in Germany — picked up the video and described the trick shot with plenty of superlatives. Among them: “improbable,” “an incredible moment,” “astonishing,” “awesome,” “impossible trick shot,” “tremendous,” “the most impressive shot you’ll ever see” and “the all-time trick shot.”

On Feb. 16, ABC’s World News included the video among its “Instant Index” feature, meaning it was one of the stories being talked about the most on social media that day. ABC’s Good Morning America also named the trick shot its “Play of the Day.” The five weekend hosts of the morning show even tried their best to putt five golf balls into one hole in unison (unsuccessfully).

Local news organizations, including The News & Observer, The Fayetteville Observer, WRAL and NBC 17, also picked up the story, as well as overseas media from New Zealand to Great Britain.
“I can’t believe it has gotten so much attention,” said the program’s student association president, Nathan Mead said. “It’s exciting to wake up each morning with new texts from people saying, ‘I just saw the video.’”

9. Fraternities, sororities form on campus

Read the Campbell Magazine feature HERE

The Creek went Greek in 2013 as Kappa Sigma Fraternity, Phi Delta Theta Fraternity and Sigma Alpha Omega Sorority became Campbell’s first three social Greek organizations a year after the University approved the addition of Greek Life to the undergraduate population in 2012.

At year’s end, about 100 students total are involved in the organizations, and future semesters should mean the inclusion of more Greek organizations, according to Dennis Bazemore, vice president for student life at Campbell and the man tasked with making sure Greek Life at Campbell doesn’t live up to the stereotypes visible on some campuses.

“We decided that for recruiting and retention and for a continuing enhancement of campus life, this would be another initiative to help the university continue to grow,” Bazemore said.

Sigma Alpha Omega became the University’s first chartered Greek organization in November, while Kappa Sigma is expected to receive its charter in January. Phi Delta Theta is planning to begin recruitment in spring 2014.

8. Charter class of physician assistants graduates

Read more about the charter PA class HERE

All 34 members of the charter class of Campbell University physician assistant program — which launched in August 2011 — walked the stage to receive their Master of Physician Assistant Practice degree in Turner Auditorium in December.

The Master of Physician Assistant Practice degree was launched in August 2011 as the first step towards enhancing Campbell University’s health care education offerings, and the first classes were held in the renovated Carrie Rich Memorial Hall. As the program grew and the university inched closer towards its goal of opening an osteopathic medical school, the PA students and faculty were relocated to the newly opened Leon Levine Hall of Medical Sciences in June 2013.

Over the past two and a half years, students from this class created the Wallace Student Society, a PA student organization dedicated to philanthropy and community service and established an annual golf tournament which has raised over $10,000 for the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Eastern North Carolina.

During commencement, each student selected a significant person who helped them in their journey — husbands, wives, fathers, mothers, grandfathers and children placed the coveted long white coats on the shoulders of the Class of 2013.

7. A new look for Campbell stadiums

For five years, Campbell University has been home to a first-class convocation center and arena housing its basketball, volleyball and wrestling programs. In 2013, two other stadiums on campus underwent major renovations to live up to the new standard.

Barker-Lane Stadium, home to Campbell's football and new lacrosse programs, replaced the temporary seating it used for the first five years of the stadium's existence with a new, permanent 3,000-seat structure and the multi-story Carlie C's Hometown Proud press tower and presidential suites. The additions mark the second phase of the stadium's construction and allow more seating to the stadium should the university choose to up capacity, which currently stands at just over 6,000.

On Sept. 14, the stadium set a new attendance mark with a crowd of 6,044 on hand for Campbell's game against Charleston Southern.

Earlier in the year, Campbell's baseball program marked the beginning of what would become a record-setting year by opening the newly named and newly renovated Jim Perry Stadium.

Improvements to the facility formerly known as Taylor Field included a grandstand that spans dugout to dugout and seating for 630 spectators, including 310 chair-backed seats. The Camels played their first game in the refurbished Jim Perry Stadium on Feb. 15, beating Eastern Michigan 8-2.

The stadium is named for Jim Perry, who attended Campbell from 1956 to 1959, playing basketball for the Camels and pitching one season with the baseball team. He went on to pitch for 17 years in the Major Leagues and won the 1970 Cy Young Award when he was with the Minnesota Twins.

6. New programs launched, announced

Recent years have seen the addition of several new programs and majors at Campbell University, and 2013 was no different.

This fall, Campbell's Doctor of Physical Therapy program, part of the College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences, received positive Candidate for Accreditation status from the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education, allowing the program to formally enroll students. Already, the first class of approximately 40 students will begin classes in January. The charter class will graduate in December 2016.

That news came off the heels of the college's announcement that it would seek approval and accreditation for a new nursing program, which could start as early as fall 2014. In October, the university named Dr. Nancy Duffy as director of the proposed program. Students in the program would work toward a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree.

In December, Campbell handed out more than 350 degrees during its Winter Commencement, and among that group of graduates were the first group of students to earn four-year undergraduate degrees in homeland security, graduate degrees in public health and professional degrees in physician assistant practice.

2013 was also the year of the dual degree at Campbell. The College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences launched a dual degree program that provides physician assistant students with an extensive background in public health. Campbell Law and Campbell Divinity also teamed up to allow students the opportunity to pursue and obtain a Juris Doctor in law and Master of Divinity dual degree.

Finally, Campbell Law made statewide headlines in December when it announced the establishment of Campbell Flex, a flexible enrollment option that will begin in fall 2014 and will enable students to earn a Juris Doctor by taking fewer hours each semester than required by the full-time program. The option will be ideal for students who work full time and don't mind spending more than the typical three years it takes to earn a law degree.

5. Big wins for Campbell athletics

Campbell's longtime head women's basketball coach earned her 500th career win, the baseball team won a school-record 49 games and three new head coaches and one new program earned their first wins in 2013.

Wanda Watkins won her 500th game as head coach of the women's basketball team on Nov. 16 at home against Western Carolina. Watkins became the 27th active coach in Div. I with at least 500 wins. A graduate of Campbell University who was the school's first female scholarship student-athlete, Watkins is one of only six coaches in the nation to have completed 32 seasons at the same school.

Coming off its first 40-win season in program history, the 2013 Camels set another record with 49 wins (the seventh-most wins in the nation) and a share of the Big South Conference title. The Camels beat in-state power East Carolina twice during the year and swept ACC rival Duke. Coach Greg Goff picked up his 300th career win in one of the ECU wins. The dream season and the chance for an automatic bid in the NCAA tournament ended with a 2-1 loss to Liberty in the Big South title game.

New head coaches in three sports earned their first victories at Campbell University in the fall. Former Carolina Panther safety and new head football coach Mike Minter notched his first win in the Camels' home football opener against Virginia Wise in September. New volleyball head coach Greg Goral won his first two matches at the William & Mary Invitational in August, and new men's head basketball coach Kevin McGeehan won his first game at Campbell at home over Shenandoah in November.

Another historic first win was earned by Campbell's new lacrosse program, which played its first season in the spring and finished a respectable 6-7 in Year 1. The squad won its first game in decisive fashion on Feb. 23, beating Kennesaw State 21-4 at Barker-Lane Stadium.

4. Three new deans and a new provost

Campbell’s provost was chosen to lead a college in Kentucky, and one dean at Campbell called it a career and retired in 2013. The resulting domino effect led to quite a bit of turnover at the top for the university’s administration.

Campbell alumnus, provost and vice president for academic affairs Dwaine Greene left Campbell in the fall become the 24th president of Georgetown (Ky.) College, a liberal arts Christian school founded in 1829. On his way out, Greene was honored by Campbell with the J.A. Campbell Meritorious Service Award, presented to him by his longtime friend, Campbell President Jerry Wallace.

His departure led to the promotion of Mark Hammond, the former dean of the College of Arts & Sciences and biology professor for 21 years, as provost and vice president. Hammond assumed his new role in September, leading to the promotion of chemistry professor and department chair Michael Wells as the college’s new dean.

Across campus at the Lundy-Fetterman School of Business, Benjamin Hawkins announced in 2013 his retirement (effective Jan. 1, 2014) after nine years of service. Former law school interim dean and Campbell alumnus B. Keith Faulkner took over as dean of the business school on Jan. 1.

In Raleigh, former U.S. Bankruptcy Judge J. Rich Leonard was officially installed as the new dean of Campbell Law School in August. He replaced Faulkner and Dean Melissa Essary, who returned to the faculty in 2012 after serving six years as dean.

3. Campbell hits Level IV, other national accolades

With the addition of the Jerry M. Wallace School of Osteopathic Medicine, Campbell University was upgraded to a Level VI university by the Southern Association of College and Schools Commission on Colleges in 2013

A Level VI classification is given to schools that offer four or more doctoral degrees. Before the med school, Campbell offered three professional doctorates — law (JD), pharmacy (PharmD) and Divinity (D.Min). Graduates of the med school will leave with a DO degree, a doctorate of osteopathic medicine. “Level VI is the highest level of accreditation with our accrediting group,” said Campbell president Jerry Wallace. Only two other private universities [Duke and Wake Forest] in the state can say that.”

The announcements and national accolades didn’t stop there. In the spring, Campbell Law School moved into the top tier for law schools and collected its highest ever ranking as released by U.S. News & World Report. Previously unranked, Campbell is listed as 126th out of the 149 ranked schools, placing high in student/faculty ratio, bar passage rate and recent graduates with full-time jobs.

Campbell was also included in Victory Media’s annual list of Military Friendly Schools for the first time this year. The list honors the top 20 percent of colleges, universities and trade schools in the U.S. that are “doing the most to embrace U.S. military service members, veterans and spouses and students. Campbell was also ranked 60th in the nation by The Military Times on its list of best four-year universities for veterans. More than 1,000 students currently enrolled are using veteran benefits at Campbell, which offers programs for veterans on its main campus and its extended campuses at Camp Lejeune, Fort Bragg/Pope Air Force and the Research Triangle Park.

Campbell was again named to national lists compiled by The Princeton Review and U.S. News & World Report in 2013.

The Princeton Review, an education services company, named Campbell University one of the best colleges in the Southeast in its “2014 Best Colleges: Region by Region." Campbell was one of 138 colleges in the Southeast and one of only 643 in the nation selected a regional best. That constitutes about 25 percent of the nation’s 2,500 four-year colleges. The Princeton Review also designated best colleges in the Northeast, West and Midwest.

In September, U.S. News & World Report ranked Campbell University among the best regional universities in the South in its 2014 edition of Best Colleges. U.S. News ranked 621 regional universities that offer a full range of bachelor’s and master’s programs, as well as a few doctoral programs, against their peer groups in four geographic regions — North, South, Midwest and West. In the South region, Campbell tied with Mississippi College to rank 27 out of 92 institutions on the list of top-tier universities in the South. That’s an improvement from the previous year, when Campbell was ranked No. 28.

No. 2: Ribbon cut on new health sciences campus

See a video of the ribbon-cutting event HERE

The ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Leon Levine Hall of Medical Sciences felt much like a church revival under a large tent on a beautiful mid-September day in Buies Creek.

From the organist’s hymnal that accompanied the march-in of 200-plus medical school and physician assistant students to the speakers who spoke passionately about how God’s will played a big part in Campbell’s decision to launch North Carolina’s first medical school in 35 years — the event felt like it better belonged on a Sunday morning. More than 700 people were on hand for the celebration on Sept. 19, 2013, including several local and state dignitaries and Gov. Pat McCrory, who applauded Campbell University’s efforts in treating the medically underserved population of North Carolina.

The 96,500-square-foot Levine Hall, which houses the new School of Osteopathic Medicine and Campbell’s physician assistant program, marks the cornerstone of a health sciences campus that will eventually include more buildings and more medical programs. Levine Hall was lauded by state and national media in 2013 for its state-of-the-art simulation and anatomy labs, and students have had glowing reviews of its large classrooms and high-tech offerings.

The ribbon-cutting ceremony came 22 months after the groundbreaking event — also held under a large white tent — on what was then a bare pasture where Levine Hall now stands. In December, Campbell graduated its first class of nearly 40 physician assistants, and the 162-member charter class of the School of Osteopathic Medicine is scheduled to graduate in May 2017. By 2020, Campbell will have graduated approximately 1,000 students between the two programs. In addition, the university continues to graduate pharmacists and clinical researchers and is currently seeking accreditation to begin physical therapy and nursing programs.


1. A medical school is born

See the med school special edition Summer 2013 Campbell Magazine HERE.

It’s not only Campbell’s biggest story of 2013, but perhaps the last 30-plus years as well.

In August, Campbell’s Jerry M. Wallace School of Osteopathic Medicine opened its doors to the charter class of 160 students, marking the official beginning of the university’s seventh school and the first medical school in North Carolina in 35-plus years.

The school marks Campbell's boldest move yet in its commitment to health science education and improving North Carolina's ability to provide top-notch health care to its rural and underserved areas. By 2016, more than 600 students will be working toward their DO degree at Campbell University, and many of them will remain in North Carolina to practice as primary care physicians.

Already an established leader in pharmaceutical sciences, Campbell is becoming a leader in North Carolina in interprofessional health sciences education with the addition of the medical school, its physician assistant (established in 2011) and public health (2013) programs and expected physical therapy and nurse programs.

“Campbell will make a huge difference," Campbell President and medical school founder Jerry Wallace said. "We are now the second-largest medical school in North Carolina, and soon we’ll have graduates in the communities where they’re needed most. This will open many doors for Campbell. And I pray Campbell will be just as bold for the next challenge as it has been for the physician assistant program and this medical school.”


  • Story by Billy Liggett, assistant director for publications