category: Faculty Emeriti - In Honor Of

Sue Champion Camp

Professor Emerita of Business Administration

Sue Camp

Dr. Sue Champion Camp was born in Shelby, N.C., to W.H. and Gladys Champion. Her father owned a small grocery store where family members worked and much of the community shopped. She worked at the store and learned much about entrepreneurship, hard work, business ethics, and increasing the bottom line.

After graduating from Shelby High School, Camp attended Appalachian State University (Boone, N.C.) for two years and then returned to Shelby and married Charles Camp. About three years later, the couple was blessed with a son, Charles Jr.  When he was 2 years old, Camp enrolled at Gardner-Webb and completed her degree in business administration. She taught three years at Cleveland Community College while working on her master’s degree at Winthrop University (Rock Hill, S.C.).

When she finished her master’s degree, Camp approached the GWU business department chair to ask for a recommendation to the University of Tennessee doctoral program. The chair agreed to provide one but said, “I would rather have you come to work here instead.” Within two months, she was teaching at GWU and working on her doctorate. “I was graduated from Gardner-Webb in 1973 and came to work at my alma mater in 1976,” she related. “I just couldn’t believe that I had changed sides of the desk in less than three years.”  

Camp describes herself as a self-diagnosed workaholic. She completed her doctoral studies in 1987, successfully combining her teaching career, student career, wife and mom career, and writing career. Her first textbook was published by McGraw-Hill Publishing Company in 1980. She has now authored or co-authored more than 25 textbooks and workbooks. Some of these publications were adapted for the international market. The book topics ranged from developing proofreading and editing skills to improving English and business communication competencies. Other publications include articles, instructors’ manuals, teaching ancillaries, and a limited amount of ghost writing. She also wrote a biography of Charles I. Dover, an astute business executive and GWU benefactor. Gardner-Webb published this book, which was later translated into Japanese. Based primarily on her business communication publications, she was invited to speak at events and conferences and made presentations in about 20 states.

During her tenure at Gardner-Webb, she served as department chair, retention director, self-study director, and chair of the faculty. She served as faculty marshal from 2007 until her retirement. She enjoyed her contact with students and sponsored Phi Beta Lambda, a business honor organization, and worked with the Student Senate for several years. She accompanied student groups to Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Ga., and Mexico. She took the initiative, and with help from School of Business faculty members, began an annual tradition of providing homemade chili and desserts for the students.

Alumni often contacted Camp to inform her how they applied the communication skills learned in her class. “Five of my former students have become University trustees. It is such a blessing to hear about the successes of my former students and to see photos of their families.”

She appreciated Gardner-Webb’s family atmosphere and the relationships built with faculty and staff. She and other women in the business school met for Bible study once a week. Camp also traveled with other colleagues to England, Egypt, Kenya, Israel, New York City, and Tanzania. Dr. Anthony Negbenebor, professor of economics and international business and Dean Emeritus of the Godbold School of Business, worked with her for nearly 30 years. “She was a maverick, a pacesetter, a pioneer and part of the blueprint here,” he praised.

Camp felt a responsibility to serve her community. She volunteered at several elementary schools, assisted in grant writing, and served on the board of a service organization. A member of the Boiling Springs Rotary Club, she was one of the first women Rotary presidents in North Carolina. She is a Paul Harris Fellow. 

Camp was honored to receive many awards during her career. She was presented The Women of Achievement Award by the University of Tennessee. For her educational consulting throughout Arkansas, she was named an official Arkansas Traveler by the state’s governor. She was recognized by two national business education magazines and was honored for participating in the national task force to establish communication competencies for kindergarten through post-secondary classes.

The Godbold School of Business honored her with The Faculty Scholarship Award and The Teaching Excellence Award. She was inducted into the GWU Gallery of Distinguished Alumni for significant service contributions. When she completed 40 years of university service, she was inducted into the Faith, Service and Leadership Hall of Fame. Only five other professors have achieved this award.

Camp retired Dec. 31, 2018, after teaching a total of 45 years—the last 42 at Gardner-Webb. Her main classroom objective was overall student success. “I feel like I can help students achieve their goals,” she offered, “because communication is important no matter which field each student chooses.”

During retirement, Camp enjoys traveling, pursuing writing and music interests, and spending time with family: son, Charles Jr. (Chip), his wife, Amber, and their sons and daughter-in-law, Charles III (Tripp) and wife Jill, and John Camp II.

Source: Personal Interview—Jackie Bridges

Written by GWU 2020 alumna Claire Coile

September 2020

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