Some students who come to Campbell are Legacies, following in one or two footsteps of family members. Colin Kroll (‘15,’19), however, is a different story. He has had Campbell Orange running in his family for generations.
His maternal grandmother, mother, a long list of other extended family members and his brother all attended Campbell, making Colin the 21st person from his family to attend Campbell.
As a member of his local swim team, Colin grew up visiting the campus and attending swim meets in the natatorium.
“I was on Campbell’s campus at least once a year, and my mom [Alicia Kroll (’83)] would occasionally bring us up here just to see the campus and for her to relive it a little bit,” he said.
Not only did Colin get to visit Campbell’s campus regularly as a kid, but he also got to hear stories from his grandmother and mother about their time here at Campbell.
His grandmother, Maydell Baker (’41), would tell him the story about Leslie Campbell going around trying to “pitch the university to families” in local towns. When his grandmother was a Campbell student she joined the Baptist Student Union (BSU), which at the time just started allowing co-ed meetings. Maydell herself was instrumental in the push for BSU to become co-ed. BSU became a common thread in Colin’s family history. Maydell, Alicia and Colin all participated in the ministry.
Colin and his brother, Brennan (’16) shared the Campbell experience for the few years their time as students overlapped. Colin was pursuing a degree in Religion and Philosophy, while Brennan attended the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. Though they studied very different subjects, the brothers both found their place at Campbell.
“We’re called to be such different people, but there was room for both of us,” Colin said.
In addition to his brother attending Campbell alongside him, so was Colin’s (now) wife, Sarah (’14). Campbell had such an impact on Colin’s life, beyond being a legacy or a student; he and Sarah were married in Butler Chapel right on campus. The couple now has a pair of six-month-old twins who may one day forge the next Campbell chapters in Colin’s family tree.
After graduating, Colin accepted a graduate assistant position for the Campbell Youth Theological Institute (CYTI) while he completed his Divinity degree.
Colin continues his family’s Campbell Legacy, now as a full-time employee. He serves as Director of Vocation and Leadership, a position he’s held since September 2022. Previously, he was an associate campus minister and the director of the Youth Theological Institute. Campbell is many things to many people, but for Colin, it is where he found his home, his wife and his life’s calling.
Colin reflected on the legacy he hopes to leave at Campbell through his work.
“I want to help students reframe their college experience,” he said. “Instead of saying, ‘this is preparing me for this specific career,’ I want students to consider, ‘How is this experience allowing me to live more fully into who I’m called to be and what I’m called to do?’”
Colin strives to create opportunities for students to see the beauty of life, discover their agency and make the world more beautiful for those around them.