The Lewisburg Foundation invites community members to join them for the dedication of the William Cammack Campbell American eagle statue on Sunday, Oct. 16, at 12:30 p.m. on the grounds of the New River Community and Technical College Library located at the intersection of Washington Street and Courtney Drive in downtown Lewisburg. The program will feature a bagpiper and reading of the statue’s plaque about Campbell as well as a short talk by his wife Joan about her husband’s legacy. A reception will follow. The event is free and open to the public.
Known as “Bill” to his friends, long-time Greenbrier County resident William C. Campbell was one of the most notable international amateur golf champions. He won every major amateur tournament, served as the president of the United States Golf Association, and was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame. Campbell was born in 1923 in Huntington. He was first introduced to the game by his father at the age of three. His family had a tradition of playing together on Sunday afternoons. Although he never took a formal lesson, at age 15, he met golf legend Sam Snead who guided him through his formative years.
After serving in World War II and then graduating from Princeton University, Campbell returned to Huntington to work in the family insurance business. He married Joan Dourif, a graduate of the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City. In addition to his many achievements, Campbell was known for his humility, self-effacing humor, and sportsmanship. While he was a serious competitor, he was also a gentleman citizen of reliable ethics. One of his favorite quotes was from Abraham Lincoln, “I like to see a man proud of the place he lives. I like to see a man live so that his place will be proud of him.”
As part of their mission to enhance the beauty of Lewisburg’s historic district, the Lewisburg Foundation decided to raise the money for a statue to honor Campbell. The subject of an eagle was chosen because Campbell greatly admired the majestic bird. Donations were collected from friends and admirers from throughout the United States as well as within the local community. Since Campbell was exceptionally proud of his heritage, the reception on Oct. 16 will feature Scottish dishes. Joan Campbell will be preparing a special autumn soup that she and Mr. Campbell often enjoyed together.
The Lewisburg Foundation currently maintains seven gardens in downtown Lewisburg and two in the north and south gateways to the historic district. It hosts an annual membership meeting each year and encourages everyone interested in maintaining the beauty of Lewisburg to become members. For more information, contact Anabelle Galyean, 304-647-3520.