POTSDAM, N.Y. -- A class of 1961 alumnus and his wife believe that Clarkson University played a very important role in where they and their family are today. So much so, in fact, that they are presenting the Potsdam, N.Y., university with a $250,000 contribution to allow today's students to share the same opportunity.
The gift from Robert A. Campbell and his wife, Cynthia, of Grantham, N.H., and Dallas, Texas, to Clarkson Men's Hockey will become a significant part of an ice hockey endowment through Clarkson's "Claim the Title" campaign.
"Clarkson has been very good to Cindy and me," said Bob (Soupy) Campbell. "Being able to give back to the organization that has meant so much to us over the years is very important to us."
In recognition of the Campbell's generosity, the recipients of two player scholarships will be known as the Campbell Scholars.
"Clarkson University is most grateful to Cindy and Bob for their munificent donation to our scholar-athletes," said Clarkson President Tony Collins. "This commitment will give many young men a chance to enjoy the benefits of NCAA Division I athletics and a foundation for the same kind of success that the Campbells have achieved."
A Lachute, Quebec, native, Campbell came to Clarkson as a freshman in 1957, successfully tried out as a walk-on hockey player, and received an athletic scholarship for the next three years.
Like many students at the then all-men's college, Campbell met his wife-to-be across town at SUNY Potsdam. "I met Cindy in Potsdam and, of course, that adds immensely to the value of the experience," said Campbell. "This gift was a decision we made together.
"The sense of community existing in Potsdam had an impact on me. The faculty and staff at Clarkson and the residents of Potsdam were all good to us. And that's the kind of attitude I had in later years with the people I worked with, worked for, and had working for me. An equally invaluable gift is the lifelong friendships we made with my teammates and our fellow students."
Campbell graduated in 1961 with a B.B.A. in accounting, and went to work for Touche Ross in Montreal. He returned to Clarkson in 1963, working as an admissions counselor, freshman hockey coach and accounting instructor, taking off a year to complete his MBA at the University of Colorado Boulder. He returned to Touche Ross in 1968, became a partner in 1975, and rose through the ranks, retiring in 2003 as managing partner and CEO of Deloitte & Touche Asia Pacific, based in Hong Kong.
Campbell credits his professional success to his time at Clarkson. "The experience I had as an athlete was phenomenal, and had a very important impact on my future business success," said Campbell. "I would like to see more hockey players continue to have that opportunity. Clarkson provided an excellent base for my professional career."
As a former hockey player and coach and lifetime Clarkson fan, Campbell has always been proud of Clarkson. "The hockey team is the one program that can compete with the best and the larges -- the Michigans, the Boston Colleges and the Harvards," said Campbell. "I want to see that competitiveness continue to flourish."
Clarkson and Potsdam remained an important part of the fabric of the Campbell's life, even long after they left the North Country. "I never move away from my past," said Campbell. "I am what I am today as a result of the bricks that have been laid in many different places -- including, most importantly, in my hometown Lachute, at Clarkson and in Potsdam -- and to me you should never cut off that link. I encourage every alum who has the ability, to remember that, and to give what they can to the University."
The Claim the Title campaign is raising $10 million toward an endowment for men's and women's ice hockey at Clarkson. To learn more about the campaign, call Clarkson University's Office of Philanthropy at 315-268-7718.
Clarkson University crosses the boundaries of disciplines, nations and cultures in order for discovery, engineering innovation and enterprise to come together. As a result, faculty and graduates grasp the full impact of their calling, direct their research to the world's pressing issues and lead with confidence and distinction. One in seven alumni is already a CEO or other senior executive. Located in Potsdam, N.Y., just outside the six-million-acre Adirondack Park, Clarkson is home to 3,000 students preparing for rewarding careers through 50 rigorous programs of study in engineering, business, arts, science, and health sciences, as well as unparalleled outdoor recreation and life experiences beyond the classroom.