Dr. Norman Adrian Wiggins, past President and Chancellor of Campbell University, died this morning at the Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center from complications with lymphoma. He was 83 years old. Campbell University's press release as well as a News & Observer release are available online. Dr. Wiggin's visitation will be held Saturday afternoon and his funeral will be held Sunday morning.
It's often hard to know all the people to thank when one begins to wonder how a place like Campbell University comes to be, but for the later part of the 20th century there has been no leader more prominent at Campbell than Dr. Norman Adrian Wiggins. In his 36 years as President, he created the extended campus programs at Campbell, helped found our five professional schools, pushed for the then Campbell College to become Campbell University and, in 2003, was named Campbell's first Chancellor. I think Dr. Wiggins was the kind of leader that every future President at Campbell will want emulate and he will remain a model for tens of thousands of students, faculty and staff at Campbell for years to come.
In our Commencement Speech this year, at the May 2007 Graduation, Dr. Wiggins challenged all of us to serve others and to always try our hardest to be the best people that we can be. He told us of his youth and his journey to Campbell as a prospective student, and he also relived his days in World War II when on one occasion he bumped into a Campbell peer while out in field. "Yes," he said, "I can say for certain that Campbell University is a very special place. I have been to institutions all over our state, but when I come home to Campbell it's the people that make the difference. We have very special people here, friends you will all have for the rest of your lives." I couldn't agree more.
Thank you Dr. Wiggins, for all of your hard work and dedication to Campbell University. Until the very end of your 83 years you remained a strong mentor and leader for all of us at Campbell, including our administration, professors, staff and students, and you made us even more proud of our school and ourselves. Thank you also Millie for your decades of love and support to which Dr. Wiggins so often referred. Seeing Dr. Wiggins embrace you after he finished his speech this Spring said volumes about the life that you have both had together. I hope that you have a strong peace about you as you move throughout the next few weeks, remembering all the wonderful times both you and Norman had together. You deserve all of the support, love and respect that we can give to you and I hope that is exactly what you receive.