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Camp’s name officially attached to WCU building

A Western Carolina University building now bears the name of a beloved community leader in public education as the WCU board of trustees unanimously approved a resolution renaming the University Outreach Center as the Cordelia Camp Building.

The board voted to officially attach Camp’s name to the building that once housed the Camp Laboratory School. The action came in response to numerous requests by alumni and friends of the university.

After reviewing the situation, university officials said that the official board of trustees’ action more than 40 years ago resulted in the naming of the school, but not the building in which it was located. Given the strong feelings by many friends of the university, Chancellor John W. Bardo decided it would be appropriate to ask the trustees to officially name the building in honor of Camp.

“In reviewing the record, it became clear that there was confusion between the board’s official action and how people interpreted that action,” Bardo said.

The Camp Laboratory School, dedicated in May 1965, was designed to provide training opportunities to Western students who were studying to become school teachers. It operated as a public school for children in grades one through 12 until it was vacated in 1994 when the Jackson County School System opened the Cullowhee Valley School. The building was then named the University Outreach Center, a step designed to reflect different activities taking place in the building as the university’s distance education, economic development and external engagement divisions moved into the facility.

With Friday’s vote by the board of trustees, the building is now the Cordelia Camp Building. The trustees also directed that a suitable likeness of Camp be appropriately displayed in a prominent location in the building.

“Miss Camp served on the staff of Western Carolina University, then known as Western Carolina Teachers College, for a period of 23 years as professor of educational methods, social studies for elementary grades and North Carolina history, and as director of student teaching,” Bardo said.

“Through these endeavors and others throughout her professional career and retirement, including the writing of important textbooks on the settlement of North Carolina and pioneer women teachers, Miss Camp left an indelible imprint on teaching and teachers in the state’s public schools,” he said.

Before her appointment at Western, Camp had taught in the public schools of North Carolina, including terms as supervisor of schools in Forsyth and Burke counties.

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