Giving Back with Marsha McCoy (’08)

Marsha McCoy challenged Campbell’s incoming freshmen at last fall’s medallion ceremony to meet her at graduation, subverting the fear-inducing convocation cliche, look to your right, look to your left; odds are one of these people will not complete their degree.

McCoy herself remembers moments of hesitation and fears that college wasn’t for her. 

“The family joke is I came to Campbell because I didn’t have to write an essay to get in,” McCoy says. “I applied last-minute at my mom’s suggestion, figuring I had nothing to lose. But Campbell moved so quickly that I received my acceptance and scholarship information before even hearing back from the other school I’d applied to.”

The quick turnaround impressed McCoy, and when she found out that Campbell had Christian values, she decided that an environment where faith was freely exercised and even encouraged was where she wanted to be. McCoy decided on Campbell and arrived on campus for move-in day without so much as a tour beforehand.  

A native of Goldsboro, McCoy appreciated the campus’ location — close, but not too close — and the way the university lends its space to local organizations. Once in Buies Creek, she realized that she had been to Campbell before, having once attended a high school leadership conference there without registering the location.

“It’s often said and it’s true,” she said. “Campbell was and is home. Campbell was a place where I could connect to people and feel like a student who is known and not just another number.” 

When it comes to giving back, McCoy’s philosophy is a simple one that she learned from Dean Farmer, chair of the Department of Communication Studies: The value of a degree depends on the institution it came from, so invest in your alma mater to help it grow.  

“You don’t need to give the whole world or all of your bank account to keep your degree looking good. When you invest what you can in your alma mater, people with deeper pockets join to support you, because they see that you appreciate and want to continue to build up that community.” 

When McCoy was at Campbell, there was no medical school building, no student union blueprints and no marching band. Now on the alumni board, when she feels as though she isn’t doing enough, McCoy can look at Campbell’s growth and feel very proud of her alma mater. 

“As long as Campbell keeps the closeness and Christian presence that helped me so much, I will always support it.”