David and Vicki Campbell, of New Harmony, Indiana, can't say enough about the University of Southern Indiana. "How could we not support USI." said David. "We believe in the educational mission of USI and see its positive impact, not only on New Harmony, but the entire Tri-state area."
As past president of the New Harmony Town Council, David appreciates the collaborative relationship USI has with New Harmony. Students, faculty, and staff conduct research projects and participate in service learning projects, internships, and experiential learning opportunities. New Harmony Theatre has been produced by the University since 1988 and the New Harmony Gallery of Contemporary Art has been overseen by the University since 1985. Vicki serves on the USI Foundation Board of Directors, is a member of the Campaign Cabinet, served on the USI Campaign Planning Committee, and was a member of the Society for Arts and Humanities board.
The Campbells' daughter, Laura, graduated with a bachelor's degree in psychology from USI in 2005. She earned a master's degree in forensic psychology and counseling psychology from Marymount University. Now a case manager for mentally ill individuals in Reston, Virginia, David and Vicki credit the education Laura received at USI for their daughter's success. "She got a great education at USI," they said. "She was very well-prepared for graduate school."
Vicki's uncle, Bill Hitch, turned the first spade of dirt at the ceremonial groundbreaking for the USI campus, and served on the USI Foundation Board of Directors for 22 years. He was an advocate for the University and took enormous pride in the development of public higher education in Southwestern Indiana. Continuing the family legacy, David and Vicki support the goals of Campaign USI: Elevating Excellence, seeing their investment in the University as an investment in the future of this region.
Advocates of culture, the Campbells made a considerable gift to the Teaching Theatre and an unrestricted gift to Campaign USI: Elevating Excellence - Greatest Needs. Gifts to the Greatest Needs initiative will be used where they have the most impact.
"We really feel a part of the University," they said.
"Each president of USI has had a mission, and we've witnessed remarkable changes with each tenure. We admire President Linda Bennett and the current administration immensely. For us, it was best to give to the Greatest Needs initiative."
David and Vicki own DRC Transportation, a barge transportation company, and say as business people, they know a good deal when they see it. When they receive phone calls from their alma maters asking for support, "We always say 'We choose to support our local university.' Other universities charge far more for tuition than USI—they are doing fine. We choose to invest in the future of USI and the Tri-state area."
The Campbells stress the importance of USI's campaign and encourage everyone to give back.
"USI is never going to get from the State of Indiana all we need to continue the success of USI," David said. "I'd like to say to all alumni, 'After graduation, start giving back to your University. Even a few dollars per person adds up to a tremendous amount when you consider the University's 32,000-plus alumni.'"