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Jerry Campbell '68
McMurry University has named Dr. Jerry Campbell '68, President Claremont School of Theology in Upland, CA, as its 2011 Distinguished Alumnus. Dr. Campbell will be recognized at McMurry University’s Homecoming activities set for Oct. 6-9, 2011.

In an outstanding career in higher education, Dr. Campbell credits his education at McMurry as being vital to that success. “McMurry introduced me to professors who helped me get serious about theological studies.” During his four years on McMurry’s campus he credits many former professors like Dr. Robert Monk, Dr. George Coats and Dr. Walter Hofheinz for being a strong foundation in the formation of his career.

After ten years as a chief administrator of the Information Services division at the University of Southern California, Campbell was named President of Claremont, a United Methodist School of Theology, on March 23, 2006. As President, he quickly took over a school that was in serious financial trouble and not only turned it around but led the board and the faculty to a highly creative and significant vision for the future and is turning the school into a University that will attempt to address the issues of a complex society.

Prior to his position at Claremont, Dr. Campbell served at the University of Southern California as Chief Information Officer and University Librarian (1997-2006) and Dean of the University Libraries and University Librarian (1996-1997). He also has served in senior administrative positions at Duke University, Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University and The Iliff School of Theology.

Dr. Campbell holds a Ph. D. from the University of Denver and a Master’s of Divinity from Duke Divinity School and a Master’s of Science in Library Science from the University of North Carolina. As his academic and professional journey culminated at Claremont, Campbell still credits McMurry for being a special part of that process. “The religion professors at McMurry were able to interest me in the critical study of theology and biblical criticism which eventually led me to focus my doctoral dissertation on the history of biblical criticism in America.”

As a youth raised on a farm in Matador, Texas, Campbell came to an understanding that he was being called into the ministry. Influenced by his local pastor, he decided to attend McMurry. “I came to McMurry at a time where they had a wonderful generation of staff that became very influential for me.” Now as the President of Claremont, Campbell is eager in his role to help address the issues that face the Church.

“One of the challenges that I face is to help a school of theology carry out its job in how to address the declining membership of the church. It is our intent to help equip our students in order to help the church carry out its ministry,” said Dr. Campbell, who is an ordained Elder in the North Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church.

Dr. Campbell is a member and has served as President and Board member of the Association of Research Libraries; as president and board member of the American Theological Library Association, and as a board member of EDUCAUSE (formerly EDUCOM and CAUSE).