August 13, 2008

You Do These Things Because Lafayette Was There For You

Frank Campbell Jr. ’74 serves College in student mentoring, admissions, fundraising, and alumni events

Not every man can say that he’s been both a football player and a cheerleader. Yet Frank Campbell Jr. ’74 not only carried for Lafayette during his playing days as a fullback, he carries Lafayette with him throughout the Boston area, championing the small-college atmosphere, Division I athletics, and alumni school spirit that make Lafayette unique.

The devotion to Lafayette that won Campbell the Greenip Award in 2001 for his services to the College resulted from the past personal interest shown him by then-President Roald Bergethon. “He took an interest in the football players,” Campbell recalls. On hearing of Campbell’s desire to attend Boston University’s law school, Bergethon proactively wrote a letter of recommendation. When asked why, Bergethon replied, “You’ve been out there blocking for us all these years; now we’re going to do something for you.” Campbell, today a tax attorney with Adorno & Yoss P.C. in Boston, says, “That’s the difference between our college and other institutions.”

When it came time for him to return the favor, Campbell ran with it. “I’ve organized numerous events over the last 34 years, worked as an alumni admission representative, attended a ‘million’ alumni events, participated in nearly every fundraising phonathon, and been active as a mentor for students,” he says. Class fund agent, Maroon Club, Marquis Society member, executive committee member of the Greater Boston alumni chapter—Campbell finds many outlets for involvement. In addition, he serves on the McDonogh Committee, working with other African American alumni to foster diversity and a sense of individuality at Lafayette.

“One of the most important things about The Lafayette Experience is understanding that the individual matters. The small classrooms, the low student-teacher ratio, the type of campus, the curriculum—everything is geared toward the individual,” he says. The faculty’s care for the specific intellectual needs of each student inspires Campbell today in his own profession. “The challenge is to see each client as an individual and to fashion solutions that fit that particular client’s needs.”

The history graduate indulges his love for American history in his free time, keeps his athleticism up—albeit with less tackling—by playing tennis and basketball, and cites jazz as an aid to freeing his thoughts to help untie knotty legal and tax issues. He is also a member of the Massachusetts Black Lawyers Association and a member of the board of directors of Organization for New Equality (O.N.E), which promotes economic initiatives for women and minorities.

But it’s his devotion to Lafayette and desire to give back that best frame Campbell’s life postcollege. Love for alma mater is “all the little things that you do: the calls you make, the checks you write, the meetings that you attend, the amount of time you put into the mission of the school, and your willingness to promote that mission.” It’s the gratitude for what you received, or as he says, “You do these things because Lafayette was there for you.”

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