Thirty-two years with one employer would make some people complacent. Not so for Mary Campbell of Hebron, the 2006 Distinguished Professional, Administrative and Technical (PAT) staff member at Plymouth State University. Campbell, who has been at Plymouth State since 1974, is director of curriculum support in the Office of Undergraduate Studies. She says, “My job is all about students, and we have a new class every year. It doesn’t get old.”
The annual award, which solicits nominations from colleagues, alumni and students, recognizes comprehensive job knowledge, resourcefulness, leadership on campus committees, activities and functions, participation in professional organizations, ongoing professional development, participation in projects to enhance PSU programs, policies and procedures, and respect and value for all individuals.
Campbell is described as a loyal, unselfish and devoted member of the PSU community, and one of Plymouth State’s “unsung heroes.” Her work involves academic advising, administrative coordination of the University general education program, service on numerous committees, providing information to transfer students, and editing the University Academic Catalog. She also works with the New Hampshire College and University Council (NHCUC) as PSU’s student exchange coordinator. She has been the PAT observer to the Faculty Senate and Faculty Executive Council for nearly 20 years.
One nominee wrote, “Mary has played a pivotal role in shaping the academic experiences of many students … and providing them with the support they needed to succeed.” University Provost Virginia Barry was out of town, but sent a letter to be read at the ceremony. She wrote, “Your incredible sense of order and detail, and your dedication, perseverance and long, arduous hours of work are known throughout Academic Affairs. I know that I can always count on your professionalism and dedication. Your commitment to Plymouth State is evident, as is your devotion to the students which are its heart. … I am very proud of you and your accomplishments. Bravo!”
Campbell is known as “the institutional memory” of Plymouth State, according to Professor Robert Miller, former associate dean for academic affairs. He says, “The numerous faculty committees on which Mary sits as member or observer routinely rely on her as a source of information and value the wisdom that her experience with the curriculum gives her. I believe she knows more about the curriculum of Plymouth State University than any other individual.”
Campbell has also been a strong supporter of Panther athletics over the years, enjoying a particularly close bond to the men’s soccer and basketball programs. She developed an interest in student athletics while working with students as an advisor, mentor and friend. She serves all students, giving endless support throughout their academic lives, but always keeping the athletics family at PSU close to her heart. She received the James J. Hogan Award for significant and lasting contributions to Plymouth State Athletics in 2005. Campbell says, “This is not a job duty, it is an opportunity. We all have different roles to play. I help students with the academic side of their experience, and celebrate them as students and as athletes.”
In November 2004, Campbell was recognized as an outstanding educator by N.H. Women in Educational Leadership at their conference in Concord. She was recognized for her 16 years of service to the Newfound Area School Board as well as for her work at Plymouth State University. At the time of that award an alumnus wrote, “Her contribution as an advisor and as a friend to the students of Plymouth State University is one that cannot be matched. Mary’s leadership and outstanding contributions year after year go well beyond the call of duty, which should provide a role model for everyone in the education field.” In March she was elected to another three-year term on the Newfound Board and was recently elected board chair.
In addition to her service to the school board, Campbell has been a member of Sawhegenit Chapter #52, Order of the Eastern Star since 1992. From 1979–1992 she was a member of Bethlehem Chapter #12 and served as Worthy Matron. She also serves as an advisor to girls 11–20 years of age in the International Order of Rainbow for Girls and is Past Mother Advisor of Plymouth Assembly #10.
Of her years at Plymouth State Campbell says, “It is not my nature to pat myself on the back. It is my nature to serve. Plymouth has given me many opportunities to serve and because of those opportunities, what I do is not a ‘job.” What job would allow you to attend the commencement ceremony of a senior lady who managed to graduate a semester ahead of her grandson? What job would allow you to explain the many academic opportunities that Plymouth offers, to see the light bulb go on, and to have students find their direction? What job would allow you to listen to a student talk about his summer job experiences and realize that he has put the pieces together that his professors gave him? For many years, Plymouth State has talked about the value we add to our students. I know that the students and the many opportunities that Plymouth has given me to serve have added great value to my life.”