It was in the summer of 1961 that I entered Campbell College (University). It may have been my mother’s idea. I guess she didn’t know how to handle me. I was interested in getting an education because I had the concept that education might lead to more money. I also liked to have a good time and my mother thought there was nothing to do at Campbell. Boy, was she wrong!
Summer ended and fall arrived with all the excitement of the new year. New classes and a new crop of boys. About the third day of the semester, I was standing in line at Marshbank Hall for dinner when one of those tall, dark and handsome guys tapped me on the shoulder. I don’t remember the line he used but I am betting it had been used before. His name was Bob Gresham from Oxford, NC. He was a transfer student from NC State. We sat at the same table for dinner that night and he walked me back to my dorm. We talked a little while before the seven o’clock curfew.
The next day this guy was standing on the steps of Marshbank Hall when I arrived for dinner. Was that a coincidence? Somewhere in the next week, I introduced Bob to my roommate and her boyfriend. Shortly thereafter Bob ask me out but in those days we had to double date. So the four of us went out together. Never had I ever had so much fun or blushed so much. Bob loved the blushing and asked me for another date.
We had a wonderful time at Campbell. We had every meal together, took some classes together and spent every moment we could together. I had found my soul mate. We were married during our senior year and lived in student housing. That was a fun place to live. We were poor as church mice but happy and in love.
After graduation in 1964, I became an elementary school teacher and Bob went to work with an accounting firm. We were in one of Campbell’s first graduating classes as a four-year college. Our first jobs were in Raleigh. We left Buies Creek behind but never forgot the opportunities afforded us because of the education we received there. In 1993, Bob became the president of the North Carolina CPA Association. As years passed, I became a stay-at-home-mom with the children while Bob worked his way up the business ladder.
As we reflect on our lives, we have been blessed with two children and four grandsons and much of what life has to offer. We live in the retirement community in Trinity Oaks in Salisbury, NC and spend much of our time traveling and enjoying the good life.
We both want to give back to our community, Masons, our church and to our college because without that education our lives may have been much different. We are grateful to Campbell University for opening doors for us. We had to borrow money for college and we know first hand how hard it is to pay back. I hope that our gift will allow students a path to get their education. We are so indebted to Campbell University for so much. We would certainly encourage others who attended Campbell to give back. Education is a gift that will keep on giving.
Carolyn, ’64 and Bob Gresham, ’64 are co-sponsoring the big Campbell Giving Day challenge (1,300 gifts in one day will unlock $50,000 to student scholarships).
To learn more about Campbell Giving Day, visit campaign.campbell.edu/givingday.