Legacy law student fulfills family’s ‘dream’ by attending Campbell

To say that Marsha Silvester (’95) and her father James Silvester (’68) are proud Campbell alumni would be putting it mildly.

In 2018, Caleb Fisher, Marsha’s son and James’ grandson, broke the news to them that he would be attending elsewhere for his undergraduate education. Caleb recalled them being “heartbroken”.

James remembered it differently.

“I wasn’t sad; I was mad,” James said. “I had always envisioned Caleb’s mom going to Campbell. I always envisioned Caleb going to Campbell. I wanted him to experience that uniqueness – that Campbell Way.”

James had to wait a few years to get his Campbell way, but it happened; Caleb began pursuing his law degree with Campbell in fall 2023, continuing the family’s Campbell legacy, much to James’ delight.

“When I found out he was accepted, it was like my dream had returned,” James said. “It was wonderful – my lifelong dream for Caleb to go to Campbell was restored. We’re going to have another Camel in the family – another hump in the pack.

While Caleb made his decision to apply to Campbell Law with autonomy, his family’s attachment to the university factored in. The Campbell legacy runs deep, and Caleb felt its pull.

Caleb’s genuine appreciation for his Campbell legacy was apparent in an essay he wrote when applying for the Alumni Association Legacy Scholarship this spring. A Campbell legacy is a student whose immediate member graduated from Campbell.

“Campbell, nestled in the heart of my family’s history, became the place where the foundational values of perseverance, integrity, and compassion were formed,” Caleb wrote. “From my grandfather’s tales of his days spent on campus to my mother’s fond reminiscences of her college years, I could not escape the importance of Campbell to my family. The emphasis on community, service, and academic excellence became the cornerstone of our familial culture.”

In June, Alumni Association Board of Directors President Rebecca Brock informed Caleb that his essay helped him earn the Alumni Association School of Law Scholarship. Caleb, and five other incoming legacy students at Campbell, were selected as scholarship winners by the Alumni Association Board of Directors scholarship committee following a review of more than 60 applications. The Alumni Association awarded more than $25,000 in scholarships to legacy students.

“This is all a blessing. I began saving money for law school when I was a child. I mowed lawns or helped with neighborhood chores to put together enough money to one day go to law school,” Caleb said. “Moments like this, where the generosity of others makes my dream more easily accomplished, are everything.  This scholarship relieves me of part of that burden and allows me to focus more on my studies.”

The world was a different place when James attended Campbell. Like many young men at the time, it “kept (him) out of Vietnam.”

“It gave me a pathway to a future that I wanted. It kept me out of trouble,” James said.

James said at Campbell, he grew stronger in his relationship with God and his faith was fostered by a sense of “close community for those who participated in service initiatives.”

“I was more than just a number there. I was something more meaningful,” he said. “I always wanted Caleb to know that Campbell offers that sort of community, and I knew if he attended Campbell Law, he would experience that there.”

Caleb stood out as a Legacy Scholarship applicant because of his commitment to service and his embodiment of the school’s mission to Lead with Purpose. In his first year at Campbell Law, Caleb started a club called the “American Bar Association Student Judiciary Division,” aimed at providing students with the means to connect and learn about the judiciary system.

“This is more than a chance to network; it is an opportunity to create relationships with people who are involved with judges and litigation daily,” Caleb said. “Creating these relationships will do more than open doors. It will hopefully allow students to peek behind the curtain of uncertainty of law and learn more about the expectations and duties of the people who make our system run. I really want this club to last, and I intend to make frequent trips back to Campbell after I graduate to ensure its success.”

Caleb and his scholarship-winning peers will be recognized August 16 at the annual Legacy Family Luncheon and Pinning Ceremony, held for incoming legacies and their families.

Click here to learn more about the Legacy Luncheon and how the Alumni Association celebrates its Campbell legacy families. To make a gift in support of the Legacy Scholarship, go to give.campbell.edu, select “other” in the “please give my gift to” field, and type “Legacy Scholarship” in the designation field.