Campbell University celebrates its years of history and heritage during Founders Week each February. What began with the unveiling of the campus’ now-iconic bronze statue of founder J.A. Campbell has grown into a week of commemorative events, notably Campbell Giving Day on Wednesday, historical trivia and traditional Scottish games for students and a chapel service dedicated to Campbell’s past, present and future.
Founders Week allows the Campbell community to celebrate the vision of J.A. Campbell and his commitment to educating men and women who have the desire to learn. It introduces students to the story of Campbell’s transition from Buies Creek Academy to Campbell College to the Campbell University they know and love. Our hope is that each student who hears the story of Campbell’s humble beginnings is inspired and encouraged to consider what legacy they will leave in Buies Creek.
J.A. Campbell, the young Baptist minister turned school founder and principal, had a vision for a school in rural North Carolina. With determination and charisma, he successfully secured enough families to settle in Buies Creek and work the land while he taught their children in a one-room church classroom. Campbell, his wife Cornelia Pearson, Z.T. Kivett and many other early contributors to the school’s success persevered through economic downturns and several serious fires, earning the right to bear the school motto “ad astra per aspera,” or “to the stars, through difficulties.” Their perseverance paid off. Buies Creek Academy opened its doors on January 5, 1887 with just 16 students. Today, more than 6,500 students pursue degrees in more than 100 programs across all campuses and online.