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Preserving Our Past

She has the unique distinction of having earned both her undergraduate and graduate degrees from Brockport as well as having forged a long and successful career at the College. Now retired, Virginia (Ginny) Campbell ’89/’96 still calls Brockport her second home.

“When I step on campus, I say I’m home,” she says. “When I walk into the Allen Administration Building where I spent most of my career, I say I’m home. When I walk into the library, I say now I’m really home.”

Campbell’s ties to Brockport go back nearly 30 years, starting from the time she began pursuing her bachelor’s degree in communication. She would spend more than two decades working at the College, including more than 15 years as assistant and acting director of Marketing Communications. In fact, you undoubtedly recognize her from her years as managing editor of this magazine.

“The College has always been important to me,” says Campbell. “I knew shortly after beginning my undergraduate program that this was where I wanted to spend my professional career.”

Along the way, Drake Memorial Library – specifically the College Archives – gained a special place in her heart. That’s why Campbell recently made a planned gift to support the archives, which are now known as The Rose Archives.

“My love for Drake and the archives goes back to the 1980s when I was an adult learner in what is now the Delta College,” says Campbell. “One of my first assignments was to take a self-guided tour of the library.

“I thought I already knew pretty much everything I needed to know about a library, but I quickly learned that was not the case,” she recalls. “From archives to research journals and all other materials in between, it was like Christmas morning for me.”

Campbell envisions what she calls a “sort of renaissance” for Drake Library and The Rose Archives and looks forward to taking a lead role in that transformation.

“The library touches the academic, professional and intellectual aspirations of every person on campus, including students, faculty, and staff, as well as friends in the greater community. If Drake is the heart of the campus, then I believe the Archives is its soul in that it’s where the College’s memories are kept,” says Campbell. “It’s a vault in which we entrust our treasured history. I want to help retrieve the memories made in our past, capture the memories being made today, and preserve them all for those who will follow in our footsteps. Charlie Cowling, our archivist and librarian, is an expert on Brockport’s history and does a tremendous job.”

The new name of the archives is derived from the flower. “The rose is the symbol of perfection – perfect devotion, perfect fidelity, perfect friendship, and, yes, perfect love,” says Campbell. “Joining my love of the College with my love of history and the archives is a perfect match.”

Campbell’s efforts to continue strengthening the future of the library include collaborating with the Division of Advancement and Mary Jo Orzech, Director of Library Services, to establish the Friends of Drake Library (FODL). The group’s goal is to increase public awareness for Drake and the events, exhibits and other activities of the library and The Rose Archives. Campbell serves as the chair of the FODL Executive Committee, which held its first meeting this past fall.

“The Friends of Drake Executive Committee is an engaged and creative group of people who share a love for Drake and the archives. Working together, we’re helping to nurture this new era in the life of the library.” 

Ginny and her husband James, a 1965 graduate of the
College, outside The Rose Archives at April’s formal