Alumni volunteers add a “little extra”

Christie Stafford, ’06 is a member of the Alumni Board of Directors and guest contributor to the Alumni Engagement blog. This annual card writing campaign is facilitated by the Office of Alumni Engagement  and hosts more than 100 alumni volunteers within the program. This year, alumni wrote cards to more than 1,600 prospective students for this year’s incoming fall class. These cards are a way to encourage the next generation of Camels to attend our alma mater. To find out more about becoming an alumni volunteer, please email us at 

“The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is that little extra.” – Jimmy Johnson, football coach

With so many colleges and universities competing in today’s race in the higher education arena, what sets each apart? What makes one stand out from the rest? I believe the quote above answers these questions. It’s the “little extra”.

It was that “little extra” that brought me to Buies Creek in 2002. I submitted one application for college – to Campbell University. I knew before I even stepped foot on campus that Campbell University was extra special. As an alumni volunteer and current member of the Alumni Board of Directors, this fact has been confirmed time and time again through my involvement with the University’s various campaigns.  Although I love every opportunity I am afforded to be a part of Campbell’s mission, one that is the most dear to my heart is the “Alumni Card Writing Campaign”.  This campaign takes something ordinary – the simple act of writing a card, and transforms it into an extraordinary act of love. With every stroke of the pen, the love for Campbell that resides within the heart of the writer, is extended to the undecided masses.  The writer gets to relive some of their most cherished memories and give strangers a glimpse of what could be.  With each line that is written and each envelope sealed to be delivered to prospective freshman, a message of encouragement, excitement and that extraordinary act of selfless love is extended through an ordinary postcard, written with an ordinary pen that is sure to have an extraordinary impact.

This simple act truly expresses the university’s message of “Leading With Purpose”, the University’s tag line. In 2001, I saw this as I submitted my application to Campbell University.  Some people thought I was crazy- going to college in an ordinary little town that most had never heard of.  Attending a University where I knew no one- unthinkable right? However, even eighteen years ago, Campbell stood out as extraordinary, and there was no doubt that I wanted to be a part of that great purpose.

Sometimes, we forget the impact of a simple act of kindness, no matter how small.  As a Resident Assistant in Kitchen Hall during my senior year, I received a handwritten card from Residence Life congratulating me on a meaningful program presented to the dorm.  In that moment you would have thought I won the lottery- it hung on my bulletin board in my room the rest of the year.

Even as an alumna now, a written card from campus holds a huge impact, and STILL gets displayed proudly. You see, it isn’t just the fact that a card was sent but what it represents.  It’s the sacrifice of time that was given, the connection that you feel through the words, and the heart behind the words that appear on the page.  It’s what we all bring together, working for one common purpose.  It’s sharing with the world what makes our little spot on the map bigger than it seems. It’s ordinary people coming together to do extraordinary things.  Like taking a simple card and a pen- and creating a little extra in our world.