Years as a Camper: Family Camper (10 years); Camper (3 years); CILT (2 years)
Years as a Staff Member and Positions Held: Sailing staff (2 years); Sailing Master (1 year)
Current Profession and Title: Assistant Dean for Development and College Relations and Executive Director of the NC State Engineering Foundation since 2019.
What is your Camp story? My mom had been a camper and on motorboating staff in the 1970s which then built the Camp tradition within our family. There were five or six families that went to Family Camp from our town of Asheboro, NC and that’s where some of our great longstanding family friendships came from. We started going the second year Family Camp was offered in the 80s and continued for 10 years. Following that I became a camper, CILT and was on summer staff.
What was your career path? I attended Davidson College. When I was at Camp there was a strong Sea Gull/Seafarer Davidson group. Camp reinforced that Davidson was a campus that I would really engage in and that was a fun thread in my experience. I was exploring different career options and wound up taking a job at Davidson in reunion planning.
I earned my Master’s at Harvard in their school of education and then I worked for the Harvard College Fund with a focus on reunion fundraising for seven years. At that point , my focus shifted some and my husband and I became open to opportunities that would bring us down to North Carolina. My husband’s job took us to Greenville, NC and there was a job there for me at East Carolina University and that served me well until I was recruited for my current role at NC State in the College on Engineering. It’s such a big job with lots to do and plenty of growth. I was open to challenging experiences and I knew there would be a learning curve around engineering and that’s exactly what I wanted.
How do the values or skills you learned at Camp show up in your everyday work and personal life?
Positivity. Camp taught me you have a choice to show up with a really positive attitude and outlook. Judy Bright had this “pack your suitcase” idea that you could make it a great a day by choosing activities to engage in in a positive way. I think that can really carry into one’s professional and family life. There’s personal responsibility in that it’s up to you.
Professionally working in advancement there are elements that remind me of Camp. Positivity, a thrust of service and working with a much bigger group than yourself. I think Camp achieves two goals really well in tandem: individual achievement through the rank system and fostering community and I see those commonalities.
Is there a person or a situation that had a significant influence on you while you were at Camp?
From my Family Camp time, Louise Anderson Bristol and Dowling Anderson McConnell. Louise was our family’s counselor and completely bonded with our family. She became one of our baby sitters when she was in law school and was on aquatics staff and babysat us in the off-season. I’ve circled back with her in recent years and that connection when you know someone cares about you and you can call out of the blue years later is so amazing. The structure and hierarchy of Sailing UAs was aspirational and I looked up to all of them.
Favorite Camp meal: Fried Chicken
Favorite Camp song: Desperado
Favorite Camp achievement: Getting my Scott Skipper and celebrating that
All-time favorite skit memory: Dressing cabin mates as a camel and riding them from upper Camp 3 to the mess hall
What three words best describe you? Daughter, wife, mother