Gift Supports Aspiring Teachers, Honors Former Dean

Photograph of Donald Campbell presenting a donation to the university

Gift Supports Aspiring Teachers, Honors Former Dean

Celebrating a pioneering figure in education, Donald Campbell stands with MBU President Pamela R. Fox in front of a portrait of his mother, Elizabeth Pfohl, who was dean of Mary Baldwin 1929–36.

In memory of his mother, Campbell made a generous gift of $150,000 to create The Elizabeth Pfohl Campbell, Dean ’29 – ’36 Scholarship Fund. Consisting of three scholarships a year of $5,000 each, it will support undergraduate students pursuing teacher education at MBU. Campbell’s gift was one of the earliest toward what is now the MBU Empowers Campaign.

“I am pleased to use part of my foundation for this scholarship fund where you can see the results,” said Campbell. “I know it will be put to good use.”

Determined and forward-looking, Elizabeth Pfohl Campbell dedicated her life to education. After her time at Mary Baldwin, in 1947, she became the first woman elected to a school board in the state of Virginia. She was also an early champion of educational television, founding the Washington-area public television station, WETA, which went on air in 1961.

“Without a certain amount of education, you can’t get very far in most cases,” Campbell said. “It’s not just learning a subject, it’s learning how to live for good. You have to make the effort to take education and use it.”

Campbell has a long relationship with Staunton and MBU, dating back to before his birth. When his mother represented Mary Baldwin at the unveiling of a Trustee’s portrait — the late Henry Donald Campbell, dean of Washington & Lee and grandson of MBU co-founder Rufus Bailey — at W&L’s Lee Chapel, she met his son, Edmund Campbell (who also served MBU as president of the Board of Trustees and in various other capacities from 1942 to 1976). Edmund and Elizabeth were married in June 1936 and moved to Arlington. “And the rest, as they say, is history,” Campbell said.