Founders Week

What is Founders Week?

In 1887, Dr. J.A. Campbell came to Buies Creek to start a school with a commitment to educate any students who had a desire to learn. From those humble beginnings, the institution eventually grew from Buies Creek Academy to Campbell College to the Campbell University we know today.

Through hardships, triumphs and the perseverance of dedicated men and women committed to Dr. Campbell’s vision, Campbell still stands and has now educated thousands of students over the years, preparing them to become leaders in their communities.

Originally intended as a way to celebrate Campbell’s history and heritage, Founder’s Week has expanded to recognize the full breadth of the Campbell story, where each student, faculty member, staff member, alumni and friend plays a role in shaping this institution.

The Campbell story of triumph is not just a story of our past, but for our future.  This week, we celebrate the people who shape this institution – Then, Now and Next. 

View Founder's Week 2024 Schedule of Events


About Our Founder

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, thousands of students pursue degrees in more than 100 programs across all campuses and online.

"Here, [students] would not only learn to read, to write, to become educated men and women, to become leaders, but most of all it was their chance to improve themselves." J.A. Campbell Founder of Campbell University