We Are UNCW Telling our story, one Seahawk at a time.

Sadie Campbell

November 5, 2018

Sadie Campbell ’09, ’14M needed a new direction in life after her youngest child left home, so she decided to pursue a bachelor’s degree at UNCW.

“My first impression of UNCW was the welcoming ambience and the enthusiastic approach to teaching,” she recalled. “As a non-traditional student, those favorable impressions helped me adjust to academia.” She returned to UNCW five years later to obtain her master’s degree following the death of her 36-year-old daughter.

“The extensive studies necessary to earn a graduate degree not only helped me work through the grief process, but I also discovered that studying and working on the master’s degree was one of the most memorable times of my life: the lively classroom discussions, the challenges of deadlines and the positive classroom atmospheres generated by excellent educators, made the entire UNCW graduate school experience rewarding,” she said.

Her experience at UNCW has enriched her life “beyond measure,” said Campbell, a grandmother, a great-grandmother and an immigrant from London, England.

“Working toward an undergraduate and then a graduate degree provided numerous opportunities to broaden my knowledge in a plethora of subjects; the educational rewards have had a profound effect on how I communicate with and relate to those around me,” she said. “The UNCW educational experience motivated me to recognize the depth and meaning of our roles as human beings. The same educational journey inspired me to re-examine my own ambitions and to seek a moral and emotional balance to my life.”

Campbell’s ties to the university go beyond being an alumna. Her husband, Perry Walter Campbell ’96, ’04M, earned his bachelor’s degree in Spanish with a teaching licensure and master’s degree in liberal studies from UNCW. Perry Campbell, a retired officer in the U.S. Coast Guard, worked in UNCW’s financial aid office from 1992 to 2002, where he started as a VA work-study student before becoming a financial aid counselor/computer liaison assistant. After retiring, he temporarily worked in Academic Affairs and later in the Graduate Liberal Studies program.

Campbell spends much of her free time working with the Women’s Impact Network of New Hanover County and volunteering with the Salvation Army homeless shelter, WHQR Public Radio during pledge drives and the Historic Wilmington Foundation during Azalea Festival weekend.

Now that Campbell has obtained her degrees, the only thing left on her bucket list is to participate in a flash mob.

“Seriously,” she said. “As I’ve secretly watched countless YouTube tutorials on the flash mob dance moves, I feel confident I’ll succeed when and if I’m offered the opportunity to participate.”

-- Venita Jenkins
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