From the Director
While Bill Campbell was dean of the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy, he demonstrated by his actions the importance and lasting value of mentorship. We embrace his vision, and with the help of the Pharmacy Foundation of North Carolina and the School of Pharmacy, we began this formal mentoring program to support our junior faculty.
Bill and Karen Campbell came to UNC in 1992 when Bill took up his position as dean of the School. They had come from Auburn University, were Bill was dean of the School of Pharmacy, and before Auburn, he served on the faculty of the School of Pharmacy at the University of Washington-Seattle. Bill’s vision was that the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy would become the nation’s leading school of pharmacy in education and research. In his eleven years as Dean, Bill transformed the school and created a framework for its sustained growth. His approach was unique. While Bill developed his strategy along major programmatic themes, he enabled these programs by focusing on the individuals who would lead and participate in them: the faculty, the staff, and the students. Thus, Bill was the mentor of us all.
It was no surprise when friends of the Campbells and supporters of the School honored the couple’s contributions to the School by creating the Campbell endowed chair through the Pharmacy Foundation of North Carolina, Bill and Karen stipulated that the funds be used to foster junior-faculty mentoring. Bill has been one of the first and one of the strongest advocates within our profession for faculty mentoring. His paper “Mentoring of Junior Faculty” (American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education, 1992) outlines the benefits of mentoring for faculty progression and how a university and community are enriched by these efforts.
We all have heroes and mentors. And one person’s hero may be another person’s mentor. My childhood hero was Harold Henry Reese, known to baseball fans as Pee Wee Reese, the captain of the Brooklyn Dodgers in the late 1940s and 1950s. Reese, a World War II veteran, was born and raised in Kentucky and is a member of Major League Baseball’s Hall of Fame. He led the Dodgers to seven National League championships and one World Series title. Most important, he was the team’s leader. In 1947, Branch Rickey, president of the Brooklyn Dodgers, brought a young baseball player from California named Jackie Robinson into the league. Robinson was the first African American baseball player in the majors. During one of the first road games of 1947, Robinson was met with racial epithets, derision, and hostility by the crowd and the opposing players. In a simple gesture of support and encouragement, the captain of the Dodgers, a natural mentor, walked from his shortstop position to second base, put his arm around Robinson’s shoulder, and told him to play ball the way only he could. Through that gesture Reese helped Robinson to play from within himself, to grow as a ball player, and to contribute to the Dodgers becoming a championship team.
As Reese’s encouragement of Jackie Robinson changed the game of baseball, so Bill Campbell’s natural mentorship in the School of Pharmacy brought out the best in each of us. Bill invited and enabled us to contribute to his vision of becoming the leading institution of pharmacy learning and research in the nation and to serve the citizens of North Carolina.
Harold Kohn, PhD
Director, Bill and Karen Campbell Faculty Mentoring Program
Kenan Professor of Medicinal Chemistry