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Honorary Degree Recipient: Duncan Campbell
Honorary Degree Recipient: Duncan Campbell

Duncan Campbell is dedicated to creating real and permanent change in the lives of disadvantaged children. Overcoming his own childhood experiences, Mr. Campbell worked his way through college and after attending Portland State University for two years, earned both business and law degrees from the University of Oregon, after which he became a lawyer and a CPA. In 1981, he founded the Campbell Group, a successful timberland investment company. When he sold it 10 years later, he had the resources to deliver on a promise he made years before—if he experienced financial success, he would do everything in his power to help at-risk children.

Mr. Campbell went on to found four children's organizations—Youth Resources providing funding for individual children to experience personal growth such as music or dance lessons or a trip to the beach; the Children's Institute promoting investments in early childhood programs; the Children's Course, a Gladstone golf course for at-risk children and their families; and most notably, Friends of the Children.

Before creating Friends of the Children, Mr. Campbell commissioned a two-year study to identify approaches that help at-risk children succeed. Based on this research, Friends of the Children provides paid, professional mentors for high-risk children from kindergarten through high school graduation. Now serving over 800 young people in Oregon, Seattle, New York and Boston, and Cornwall England, the program received national recognition in 2009 when Mr. Campbell received the Purpose Prize for passion, experience and innovation in helping solve a social problem.

At PSU, Mr. Campbell has helped fund the Duncan and Cindy Campbell Professorship in Children, Youth and Families in the School of Social Work and a week-long summer institute for top researchers and practitioners on youth mentoring. As a school principal said of Mr. Campbell, he truly is 'the friend of children.'

Duncan Campbell will be awarded his honorary degree at the June 2014 commencement.