Buies Creek, N.C.-When Fuquay-Varina businessman Bob Barker graduated from Campbell University in 1965, he never suspected he would be coming back to campus as chairman of the University Board of Trustees. Barker assumed his position as board chairman in January.
Barker, who began his business career in an office located in the back of a barber shop, is CEO of the Bob Barker Company, the industry's largest supplier to corrections facilities. The scope of the company's operations include textile manufacturing plants in North Carolina, Idaho and Florida and metal manufacturing plants and distribution centers in Fuquay-Varina and California. Barker and his wife Pat are also friends and supporters of Campbell University as major fundraisers and donors to capital campaigns such as the new football field, known as Barker Lane Stadium and Barker Residence Hall, the newly constructed, $15 million dormitory containing 75 suites and apartments.
"We are forever grateful to the Barkers for loving and being generous to Campbell University," said President Jerry M. Wallace. "Meeting the needs of Campbell students is among their highest priorities."
Bob and Pat Barker are also very active in their community. Bob has served on numerous commissions, including the Fuquay-Varina Economic Development Council and the Industrial Managers Association (founding member). A former mayor of Apex, N.C. and Fuquay-Varina, Barker also served as a North Carolina state senator from 1972-1974. Pat Barker is a member of Campbell's Presidential Board of Advisors and has served as member, secretary and president of the Apex Jaycettes and as a member and secretary of the Apex Woman's Club.
Barker credits his Campbell education with helping him succeed.
"Coming to Campbell for my education was certainly a life-changing experience," said Barker. "It opened doors for me and my family."