History & Quick Facts

James Archibald Campbell

On Jan. 5, 1887, James Archibald Campbell, a 26-year-old Baptist minister, welcomed 16 students to a small church in Buies Creek, N.C., for the first day of classes for the school he founded: Buies Creek Academy. By the end of the first term, there were 92 students. Since then, Buies Creek Academy has evolved to become Campbell Junior College (1926), Campbell College (1961), and Campbell University (1979). Throughout these transformations, the university has remained true to its founding principles to address the most pressing needs of North Carolina and to educate men and women for Christian service around the world.

A testimony to how these founding principles still guide Campbell University today is the establishment of its School of Osteopathic Medicine. When Campbell University’s medical school enrolled its first class of students in August 2013, it was the first one to open in North Carolina in 35 years. It emphasizes preparing primary care physicians to practice in underserved and rural areas.

The School of Osteopathic Medicine is the seventh school at Campbell University. The others are the College of Arts & Sciences, the Norman Adrian Wiggins School of Law (1976), the Lundy-Fetterman School of Business (1983), the School of Education (1985), the College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences (1986), and the Divinity School (1996).

In addition to its main campus in Buies Creek, Campbell University has extended campuses in the Research Triangle Park, Camp Lejeune, Fort Bragg/Pope Air Force Base, and Raleigh, where the law school relocated to in 2009. Since 1979, Campbell has also partnered with Tunku Abdul Rahman College in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to offer a Bachelor of Science degree.

Today, Campbell University enrolls approximately 6,000 students, including 4,000 undergraduate and graduate students on its main campus. They’re studying across nearly 100 disciplines in the liberal arts, health sciences, and professions -- and continuing the university’s tradition of excellence in faith, learning, and service.

Campbell University: At a Glance

  • Year of founding: 1887
  • Undergraduate enrollment on main campus: 3,228
  • Graduate and Professional enrollment : 1,637
  • Extended campuses enrollment: 1,448
  • Total enrollment: 6,313
  • Student to faculty ratio: 19 to 1

Please note: Enrollment numbers are approximations.

Campbell is home to . . .

  • The only osteopathic medical school in North Carolina
  • A top-tier law school that produces graduates who’ve been the top performers on the N.C. Bar exam for 26 straight years
  • The only trust and wealth management undergraduate program in the U.S.
  • The first undergraduate degree in homeland security in N.C.
  • The first dual physician assistant/public health degree in N.C.
  • One of only 20 PGA Golf Management University Programs in the nation
  • One of the few accredited health care management programs in N.C.
  • Joint J.D./MPA or J.D./MBA program with N.C. State University
  • More than a 100 degree programs in the liberal arts, sciences, and professions

Campbell University has been served by only five presidents:

Name Term
James Archibald Campbell 1887-1934
Leslie Hartwell Campbell 1934-1967
Norman Adrian Wiggins 1967-2003
Jerry McLain Wallace 2003-2015
J. Bradley Creed 2015-present