Valuable Gifts to College Memorialize Campbell Legacy

August 4, 2004

The legacy of Elizabeth Pfohl Campbell, former dean of Mary Baldwin University, continues. After her death in January at the age of 101, her family decided to present the college with some of her possessions that have a Mary Baldwin connection. They have also loaned a silver sugar and creamer set. Donald Campbell, the son of Elizabeth and Edmund, represented his family as he personally delivered several items to campus this summer.

Like the Campbell family, the set of a sugar bowl and cream pitcher has a long connection to Mary Baldwin. On loan to the college for the next five years, the coin silver set was originally given to Rufus Bailey, founder of the Augusta Female Seminary (now Mary Baldwin University), by the Presbyterian Church. Bailey was Edmund Campbell’s great-grandfather. President Pamela Fox hopes to place the pieces in the display case outside her office so students, faculty, staff, and guests can enjoy them.

Donald Campbell and Pamela FoxAccompanying the loan of the sugar and creamer set is the gift of a silver tea service and a dozen red Mary Baldwin University Wedgwood plates. The service was originally given to Mrs. Campbell by the student body when she left the college in 1936. The tea service, pictured, will be kept in the President’s house and used at formal functions. A previous gift from the Campbell family includes a Mary Baldwin University captain’s chair that had been presented to Edmund by the Board of Trustees.

Mrs. Campbell — then Elizabeth Pfohl — served as Mary Baldwin’s dean from 1929 to 1936. Just 26 when she started in the position, she worked with Martha Stackhouse (later Grafton) to establish a student government association. She wrote the first official student handbook, which included the college’s Honor Code. The 1936 Bluestocking was dedicated to Mrs. Campbell — who is also noted as the “champion stone skipper” in the volume. “Wherever she is in years to come, she will remain in our hearts as the embodiment of the thing we hold closest to us — the Mary Baldwin Spirit,” the dedication reads.

In 1936, the young dean married the son of Mary Baldwin University’s Board of Trustees Chair H. D. Campbell. She went on to become the founder of WETA-PBS and mother of public television in the U.S. Her husband, Edmund Campbell, who later became famous as a principled and courageous civil rights lawyer, eventually became a Mary Baldwin University trustee (1942- 1976), associate trustee (1976-1989), and trustee emeritus from 1989 until his death in 1995.