Western Carolina University

WCU TRUSTEES OK NAMING                                                                                                                         

A Western Carolina University building now bears the name of a beloved community leader in public education as the WCU board of trustees unanimously approved a resolution renaming the University Outreach Center as the Cordelia Camp Building.

The board voted during its quarterly meeting Friday, Sept. 1, to officially attach Camp's name to the building that once housed the Camp Laboratory School. The action came in response to numerous requests by alumni and friends of the university.

After reviewing the situation, university officials said that the official board of trustees' action more than 40 years ago resulted in the naming of the school, but not the building in which it was located. Given the strong feelings by many friends of the university, Chancellor John W. Bardo decided it would be appropriate to ask the trustees to officially name the building in honor of Camp.

“In reviewing the record, it became clear that there was confusion between the board's official action and how people interpreted that action,” Bardo said.

The Camp Laboratory School, dedicated in May 1965, was designed to provide training opportunities to Western students who were studying to become school teachers. It operated as a public school for children in grades one through 12 until it was vacated in 1994 when the Jackson County School System opened the Cullowhee Valley School. The building was then named the University Outreach Center, a step designed to reflect different activities taking place in the building as the university's distance education, economic development and external engagement divisions moved into the facility.

With Friday's vote by the board of trustees, the building is now the Cordelia Camp Building. The trustees also directed that a suitable likeness of Camp be appropriately displayed in a prominent location in the building.

“The name Cordelia Camp has long been synonymous at Western Carolina University and in North Carolina with excellence in public education. Miss Camp served on the staff of Western Carolina University, then known as Western Carolina Teachers College, for a period of 23 years as professor of educational methods, social studies for elementary grades and North Carolina history, and as director of student teaching,” Bardo said.

“Through these endeavors and others throughout her professional career and retirement, including the writing of important textbooks on the settlement of North Carolina and pioneer women teachers, Miss Camp left an indelible imprint on teaching and teachers in the state's public schools,” he said. “Miss Camp not only taught the ideals of democracy to a generation of students in a young and developing Tar Heel state, but exemplified them in her own life.”

Before her appointment at Western, Camp had taught in the public schools of North Carolina, including terms as supervisor of schools in Forsyth and Burke counties.

The naming of the building in honor of Camp is in recognition of “her untiring devotion to the profession of teaching, her high standard of personal and professional ethics, and her service to the university, the state of North Carolina, and residents of the state,” Bardo said.

In other action at Friday's board meeting, the trustees also approved a resolution modifying existing procedures and policies for the recognition of outstanding contributions to the university by affixing the name of contributors to buildings, spaces or units.

The amended policy states that such recognitions are not transferable to other buildings, spaces or units upon the demolition or removal of the named building or space, or the discontinuance of the activity for which the unit was named. In the event that a named building or space is demolished, removed or discontinued, the university will appropriately memorialize the person in another manner, the resolution states.

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Last modified: Tuesday, September 5, 2006
Copyright 2006 by Western Carolina University