Campbell loses storied dean Walter Barge

June 7, 2009 | 2 Comments

Buies Creek, N.C.-Historian, decorated service man, professor and Academic Dean of Campbell University's College of Arts and Sciences (1984-2001), Dr. Walter S. Barge, Jr. passed away on Sunday, June 7, after a long illness.

During his tenure at Campbell, Dr. Barge not only earned a reputation for teaching excellence, but for building an outstanding faculty and Arts and Sciences program.

"They are a faculty of very high quality and deep Christian commitment," he once said. "They are wonderful Christian people."

Other highlights of Barge's career as an administrator and professor include expanding the Arts and Sciences program by developing new courses and learning experiences, leading the school through two intensive reaccreditation processes as director of Campbell's Self-Study for Reaccreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and supervising the revision of the college's core curriculum. In addition, Barge developed the university's Honors program and played an important role in the expansion of its mission statement to integrate faith and learning in the curriculum.

But Barge was also known for his compassion and integrity.

"He was one of the most gentle, wisest men I've ever known," said Dr. David Steegar, who was chairman of the Foreign Languages Department when Barge was dean. "He was an extremely good dean, very understanding and fair minded. Students were uppermost in his mind at all times, but he was also very supportive of his chairs and willing to listen to both sides of a situation."

A graduate of Durham High School, Dr. Barge received a Bachelor of Arts, (magna cum laude) from Wake Forest University, a Master of Arts in European history from Columbia University and a Ph.D. in European history from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He retired from the U.S. Army in 1979 after 21 years of active duty in which he served in Korea and Vietnam. From 1971-79, Barge was a permanent associate professor of European history at the United States Military Academy. He also received the Legion of Merit, two Bronze Stars and the Vietnamese Police Honor Medal, for his exemplary military service. Prior to coming to Campbell, Barge was the founding headmaster of a nine-grade private Christian school and chairman of the board of directors for Trinity Academy, a classical Christian High School in Raleigh, N.C.

He is survived by his wife Sarah Patterson Barge, three sons and five grandchildren.

In 2009, the College of Arts and Sciences honored Dr. Barge's legacy with the establishment of the Walter S. Barge Honors Colloquium Student Lecture Series which was inaugurated in April.

Funeral arrangements are set for Saturday, June 13, at 11 a.m. at Grace Community Church in Angier. A private family service will be held with burial in Wake Forest, N.C.

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