McCoy leads as first Black Board president

Marsha McCoy, '08

In 2020, Marsha McCoy, ’08 made Campbell history when she became the first Black president of the Alumni Association Board of Directors.

Marsha’s parents pushed her to take advantage of opportunities, instilling in her the values of “every day discipline” and the importance of a quality education. On her mother’s recommendation, Marsha applied to Campbell. When she received her acceptance and scholarship information before hearing back from any other school, she was impressed with Campbell’s quick response and Christian values. 

Shortly after arriving in Buies Creek, she and a friend went to McDonald’s for breakfast. Her friend pointed out Dr. Jerry Wallace, Campbell’s president at the time and current university chancellor, standing in line with them, saying, “That’s your president!”. Marsha whirled around, squeaked out how nice it was to meet him, and stood in shock when he “lit up like a Christmas tree” and said, “Well, it’s very nice to meet you too!”.

After they were seated, Dr. Wallace came over and asked if he could join them. “The little freshman who didn’t see herself as significant got to have breakfast with someone important. That let me know that Campbell is truly a family.”

It was through her relationship with Dr. Wallace that Marsha began to believe she mattered. “Through his actions, Dr. Wallace showed me I was just not a number. The President remembered me.”

Campbell became home for Marsha. It was the place where she felt known and could make meaningful connections with people. Dr. Wallace, Dr. Ann Ortiz, her Honors coordinator, and Dr. Dean Farmer, chair of the Communication Studies Department, were inspirations to Marsha, helping her discover her true passions. Marsha ultimately switched her major from pre-dentistry to mass communication. As her advisor, Dr. Farmer encouraged Marsha, pushing her out of her comfort zone. Marsha shares, “I am very proud to continue to make him proud of all of my accomplishments.”

While at Campbell, she joined the national mass communication honor society Lambda Pi Eta and two honor societies: Epsilon Pi Eta and Phi Beta Lambda. She won state and national-level public speaking competitions. Believing she would go into broadcasting, she got a position as a production assistant at the University of North Carolina’s TV program, North Carolina Now. While a student, Marsha never thought that she’d follow her parents’ footsteps into education. That was until she took a job as a substitute teacher. Following her graduation from Campbell, Marsha earned a Masters of Arts in Communication Studies from Florida State University. She currently serves as an assistant professor of communication at Wake Technical Community College.

“Campbell will give you an experience,” says Marsha, “but you maximize your experience…you get more out of it when you add your twist and do your part.”

Marsha joined the Alumni Board of Directors in 2013. Her passion and love for Campbell earned her the nickname “Campbell’s cheerleader” from fellow board members. In 2018, Marsha was voted to serve as Vice President of the Board. “[In that position,] I got to just see and learn leadership, to see and learn how a group of people can impact a campus.”

When asked about her position as Board president, Marsha said, “when you’re in what you love and you love what you’re in, it’s not a job, it’s not work, it’s a pleasure.”

As an alumna, one of Marsha’s favorite programs to participate in is CamelLink, the Alumni Association’s mentoring program. Marsha loves student engagement and interaction. During the pandemic, CamelLink has provided a safe digital alternative for student engagement. One of her philosophies is, “do what you can with what you have.” 

One of Marsha’s goals as Board president is to encourage alumni to give back to Campbell. She believes giving allows her to invest in the students and her alma mater, which, as she says, “keeps my degree looking good.”

“I am really grateful,” Marsha says, “They invested in me. I get the opportunity to invest back in them. I believe in my alma mater.”

The Alumni Association Board of Directors is to promote the best interest of Campbell’s 50,000 alumni through meaningful engagement. Visit our web site to learn more about alumni programming.

Marsha and JA Campbell