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Frank '42 and Edith Campbell

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In Honor of a Clarkson Education
Fall 2006

In 1938, Clarkson University offered Francis B. "Frank" Campbell an academic scholarship to attend the University and play on the football team. As Frank recalls, "Clarkson gave me more than an opportunity to play winning football. I also completed the rigorous coursework for a degree in chemical engineering and developed leadership skills as class president. Not to mention the time I spent with my future wife, Edie, who was then a student at the Crane School of Music."

Frank and Edie recently gave a generous $1,000,000 gift to the University in honor of all that Clarkson has given to them. "I've always been proud to be associated with this University," says Frank. "I have very good memories of my student days. I always had it in the back of my mind that I should give back."

Frank retired from General Electric in 1982 after a successful 37-year career. Most of his career was spent at Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory where he held various managerial positions. "It was my participation as a GE employee in their stock purchase program," Frank noted, "that put me in a position today to make this gift."

The Campbells used part of their appreciated GE stock to establish a charitable gift annuity that pays them a guaranteed income for life that more than offsets their dividend income from the GE stock. At the same time, another part of their gift is an outright gift that will help the University today.

"We've been involved with Clarkson and the extended community since Frank graduated," recalls Edie. "Of course, I spent a lot of time at Clarkson and knew a lot of the people here when I was a student at Crane, so I adopted it as my own." The Campbells designated their gift as "unrestricted," which allows the University to apply their support to those areas of greatest need and impact. Their generosity is only the latest milestone in a lifetime marked by giving. "For over six decades, Edie and Frank have offered their leadership, support, time and loyalty to Clarkson," says Clarkson President Tony Collins. "They are a selfless, warm and engaging couple who cherish the idea of helping our students achieve an education."

For years the couple attended alumni reunion each year and kept in touch with old Clarkson friends like George Maclean '42. "George and I were Sigma Delta brothers and we both worked at Potsdam Hospital," explains Frank. Frank and Edie were also very involved in their local alumni chapter in Schenectady, organizing and hosting regional activities including dinners, presidential receptions, and hockey events. Frank also served as his class reunion chair "on and off" over the years, including the 40th and 45th reunions. He regularly served as a Clarkson Fund volunteer for regional phonathons and served as class planned gift coordinator.

Frank's decades of involvement at both the regional and national levels also included membership in the Alumni Association Board of Governors. He completed his service on the board as Alumni Association vice president in 1976-77, and president in 1977-78. In 1992, Frank was recognized with a Golden Knight Award, the University's highest alumni honor.

Footnote: Frank Campbell '42 passed away in April 2016.  This article is published in thanks and admiration to a loyal Clarkson alumnus.