The Women of Campbell University


A decade-by-decade look at 14 amazing, trailblazing women who shaped Campbell University

Illustrations by Amanda Dockery
Stories by Kate Stoneburner and Billy Liggett

On the first day of classes, Jan. 5, 1887, an 18-year-old Cornelia Pearson entered the schoolhouse doors of Buies Creek Academy as a student and was immediately put to work as a teacherShe was asked to take charge of the youngest of the children, schooling them alongside J.A. Campbell, the academy’s founder.

From that day on — until the day he died in 1934 — she would be by his side, teaching, praying, planning and directing. Cornelia quickly rose from teacher to assistant principal and business manager, and became Mrs. J.A. Campbell in 1890.

Today, Cornelia Campbell is considered the true matriarch of Campbell University, setting an example for the countless women who have made the school what it is today.

The fall 2019 edition of Campbell Magazine features “14 amazing, trailblazing women who shaped Campbell University” over the last 132 years. Writers Kate Stoneburner and Billy Liggett chose 14 women to represent a decade of the school’s history, starting with Mrs. Campbell in the late 1800s.  Fuquay-Varina artist Amanda Dockery was then brought in to illustrate each woman based on photos provided by the University. 


“Campbell has a long and storied history, and as a school with only five [male] presidents, we often focus on them and their accomplishments,” says Stoneburner. “We got to thinking — what if this year we chose to celebrate the women who were also a huge part of the University’s founding and that success that it’s seen over the years.”

The Stories

14 women representing 14 decades of Campbell University history


Digital Edition


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