Photos: A look inside Campbell’s new student union

Photographer Ben Brown offers a first look at the long-awaited student union

When the Oscar N. Harris Student Union finally earned its certificate of occupancy in April of this year, the occasion was bittersweet. The certificate marked the end of over two years of construction and was the result of millions of dollars in generous gifts given to the University through the University’s ambitious Campbell Leads campaign. 

But the long-needed and highly anticipated 110,000-square-foot facility opened its doors in May to an empty campus. In a twist of irony, the building born to serve as a social hub for Campbell’s student body was finished at a time when the only “social” activities happening are of the “distant” variety.

Instead of opening its doors to a large crowd of students, faculty and alumni, the student union was introduced to the Campbell community on May 6 through a virtual tour on Facebook Live that garnered more than 20,000 views online. The tour wasn’t quite the celebration imagined back when construction began in 2018. But it provided hope that one day soon, Campbell students will be together and life in Buies Creek will return to some level of normalcy. 

“This student union is something that started as a dream, and today, that dream is a reality,” President J. Bradley Creed said to begin that virtual tour. “The campus has essentially been talking about doing this since the 1970s, and it’s here today because of the hopes, dreams, prayers, dedicated efforts, hard work and generous and selfless contributions from our friends, our donors and our alumni.”

Smithfield photographer Ben Brown toured the student union in late April to collect images of the architecture and interior design for this edition of Campbell Magazine.

We’re excited to share this building with the Campbell community when we can come together again. Consider these pages a sneak peek and a celebration of a building certain to have a transformational effect on the campus in the coming years.