For the Carters, Campbell and Buies Creek are a family tradition

Carter family tradition photo

EDITOR’S NOTE: The following essay is written from the perspective of Chris “Chip” Carter, who graduated from Campbell College in 1973 with a BBA Degree in Business Administration, thus starting what would become a family tradition. His grandparents and his mother also had special ties to The Creek.

 Campbell University and Buies Creek have, quite by accident, become a tradition in my family. Upon high school graduation I chose to enroll in one of the large, public universities in North Carolina. My freshman year went well, finishing with a GPA of 3.2.  

During that year my father was transferred by his employer, and I learned at Christmas break that we would be leaving my hometown and all my old friends. I was not a happy camper. That, plus a change in major from psychology to business administration, coupled with my own immaturity led to poor grades in my sophomore and junior years. 

I knew I was wasting my parents’ money and a lot of my own time. An opportunity came to me in the form of an internship with a regional bank. I went through the same management training as my college graduate associates and was assigned as installment loan and Mastercard manager for a branch in a small town in southeastern North Carolina.  

Reality set in when I realized I was making less money than my note teller, and that the basics of my job, besides making loans and trying to get local merchants to enroll in the Mastercard system, was to “chase” past due loans and repossess collateral vehicles, etc. I imagine I looked quite silly when I had to repossess a combine and drive it back to the bank in a suit and tie. 

My employer’s Personnel Manager called me to the home office for a meeting. He encouraged me to return to college, obtain my degree and promised a better position at a higher salary once I graduated. I knew I had learned quite a bit about banking in that short period, but also knew I had wasted two years in college and needed to get serious about my studies and grades. I knew if I went back to the large, public university things would not change for me. I had heard a lot about (then) Campbell College, the quality of the faculty and business school. I decided I needed that smaller school atmosphere and less distractions. I have often said that the two semesters and one course in summer school taught me more about accounting, economics, finance and all other aspects of business than two full years at my former school and the internship. I graduated from Campbell in 1973. 

My son, Rob Carter, elected to attend Campbell University. He had his share of college fun, but also had a great advisor, who cared about him and his success. I sometimes wonder if he would have graduated without that advisor, who has become a friend to us both. Owing to that close relationship with faculty that really cared about the individual student, my son graduated from Campbell University in 1998.  

Both of us earned our degrees in Business Administration from the Lundy Fetterman School of Business. We have returned to Buies Creek several times for Alumni Teaching Days. Recently we visited his former advisor and met Dean Kevin O’Mara and several other members of the staff. We also informed them that our family’s association with Campbell and Buies Creek did not begin with me but goes back to the Buies Creek Academy era.

I have photos of my grandfather’s class in front of D. Rich at Buies Creek Academy. My grandfather, Henry Franklin Baxley, was a devout Christian and was studying to be a minister. While in Buies Creek, my grandparents had their fifth child, my mother, Emma Lois Baxley. She was born May 21, 1927, in a house down the street beside the infirmary.  

While she was the fifth child, two children of their five died in infancy. My mother treasured one document that was always displayed in my parents’ bedroom. That is a “Cradle Roll” Certificate from Buies Creek Baptist Church. It was a “special” keepsake for her. It was signed on Oct. 4, 1928, by Dr. J.A. Campbell, the university’s founder. Unfortunately, my mother passed away in 1987, and the certificate is now in my possession.  

With three children, and recession beginning in 1929, my grandfather was unable to finish his ministerial education due to a lack of funding. He remained a devout Christian, a true Bible scholar and was invited to preach at several Baptist churches in their area. 

Hopefully the Campbell family tradition will not end with me and my son. My grandson, Jackson Carter, has decided to pursue a law degree, and Campbell is his first choice. We are hopeful he will earn an undergraduate degree in Business School’s Trust and Wealth Management Program, then be accepted to Campbell Law School.  

Grandpa Henry Franklin Baxley is pictured in the third row, second from the right in front of the D. Rich Building at Buies Creek Academy.

“Cradle Roll” Certificate signed by then Pastor of the Buies Creek Baptist School Dr. James Archibald Campbell.