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Poole Advisory Board Spotlight: Henry Campen

There are few individuals across the university who, without having an NC State degree attached to their name, have played as significant a role in furthering the mission of the university. Henry Campen, who is in his 14th year on Poole College of Management’s board of advisors, is one of those individuals.

Campen, retired in 2018 as a partner in the Raleigh office of Parker Poe Adams & Bernstein LLP, a 250 lawyer regional law firm. He grew up in Fayetteville, N.C. and received his undergraduate degree from Wake Forest University, his master’s degree in public administration from American University and later his law degree from North Carolina Central University. However, when he was approached to join the Poole College of Management advisory board after a colleague had to step down from the board due to health issues, his connection to the university quickly blossomed.

In addition to his role on the advisory board, Campen represented the board on the search committee to find a successor to Dean Ira Weiss and also interviewed finalists for Dean Annette Ranft’s successor. With other board members, he has met with accreditation committees during two Poole College accreditation cycles, served eight years on the university’s Board of Visitors, and currently serves on the University Foundation Board. A zealous supporter of Poole College, Campen also accepted a role as the college’s representative on the university’s Think and Do the Extraordinary Campaign Cabinet. 

“My wife Ellen and I have loved every moment spent serving the college and university. It’s been one of the great honors of my life,” Campen shares. “The university, and this college, have become a significant part of our lives, and we count among some of our closest friends people we have met through our university work. The campus has so many bright, fascinating people who play such an important role in the fabric of this community and our state.”

During his time spent at Poole, Campen has seen the college take bold moves to set itself apart from peer institutions – carving out a different niche from UNC’s Kenan-Flagler Business School and Duke’s Fuqua School of Business – and believes the college is just beginning to reap the rewards. 

“Poole’s entrepreneurship emphasis is a major distinguishing factor for our college, and one which has earned it national recognition,” Campen says. “The same is true of our focus on business analytics and enterprise risk management. And our Jenkins Online MBA program is among the highest-rated in the country. ‘Think and Do’ is more than a motto,” Campen says. “The emphasis on thinking boldly and broadly and then translating those ideas to practical application underlies the entire fabric of NC State and is a big part of how Poole educates its students. Over the years, hearing students give presentations to the advisory board about their internships and special projects has always been a highlight for me because the students are so impressive.”  

As Poole looks to the future, Campen is confident that the same enthusiasm and mindset that has allowed the college to thrive thus far will continue in the years to come.

“We need to continue on the same trajectory, to be nimble, creative and not afraid to break the mold,” Campen says. “And Frank Buckless is the perfect person to lead the college in this direction. I believe I am correct in saying that he has been at the university for twenty-five years – though he remains youthful – and he is well-respected across the campus. He is perfectly positioned to take Poole College to even greater success. I regard my very small contribution to the success of the college through my time on the board as the most important community service of my career. This place means so much to me.”

This post was originally published in Poole College of Management News.

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