Renee McMannen: Creating a Legacy of Service 

Renee (right) with her family on her father's graduation day.

The Campbell University legacy means a lot to Renee McMannen (MBA, ’90); largely due to the fact that her life has been surrounded by Campbell’s history for as long as she can remember.

Some of McMannen’s earliest memories are set against the background of the Buies Creek campus. She grew up in the Campbell family home, situated right next to campus, and across from the current Medical School. She can still recall her 4th birthday party, held at the then Paul Green Theatre, which is now home to Campbell’s Taylor Hall.

Though she may not have realized the influence of Campbell’s campus on her life as a young child, the impact of Campbell as an institution soon became abundantly clear through one of the most important people in McMannen’s life: her father.

Rev. Dr. Lewis McMannen (’64), in the eyes of his daughter, exemplified the idea of service. After serving his country in the Korean War, Dr. McMannen went back to school, studying Political Science and Religion on Campbell’s campus. His years of involvement at Campbell were ones that Dr. McMannen greatly cherished; he served as a men’s RA while living at the Campbell House, and even helped lay tile in Kivett Hall.

After finishing his degree, Dr. McMannen used his education to further serve his community, working as a teacher and minister for many years. Once again, showing his young daughter, Renee, the value of community involvement and service. It was the presence and influence of her father that Renee says “helped shape [her]” into the person she is today.

A few years ago, Renee was reminded of her father’s legacy and his time at Campbell yet again when she rediscovered his old year books while cleaning out her home. The moment reminded her of how integral Campbell was to her father’s journey, and her own. She gifted the yearbooks to the Campbell library, and then made the decision that she wanted to reestablish her connection with Campbell through giving and service.

In honor of her father, Renee and her husband, Keith Beard have named an office for Rev. Dr. Lewis McMannen in the new Oscar N. Harris Student Union.  The generous gift is part of the families’ estate planning.

The McMannen’s story serves as a reminder that the legacy of meaningful service is one that stands the test of time, and that the mark left by those who choose to dedicate themselves to helping others can and should be carried on by those who bear their memory.

For more information about planned gifts, please contact Peter Donlon, Director of Planned Giving at (910) 893-1847 or