Re-branding not necessarily progress

Published 5:02 pm Tuesday, July 2, 2019


I recently read the article in The Tidewater News titled, “PDCCC Gets Fresh New Look.” The article informed us that PDCCC Foundation Board President James Schloss, along with an advertising agency, has re-designed the “branding” for the college in an effort to “modernize” it and make it more user friendly. Essentially, the new signage refers to the college as “Camp Community College” instead of using its full name. The article made a point of stating that “although the name of the college will remain the same, a more modern look has been designed… .”

About six months ago, my opinion was sought as to whether or not the name of the college should be changed in order to “shorten” it and make it easier to say. After some consideration, I explained that I would not be in favor of changing the name, and I gave my rationale for that answer. So, we now see what I would characterize as an “end run” around the question that was asked. With the new signage and references in brochures and ads referring to “Camp Community College,” I fear that the name originally given to the college will quickly fade away. I note, too, that J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College has also undergone this “marketing update.”

The Camp family history in the Franklin/Southampton area involves many “branches” of that large family. Paul D. Camp Community College came about as a result of the largess of one specific branch of that family. The gift of land upon which to build the college some 50 years ago was made by Ruth Camp Campbell and Willie Camp Younts, daughters of Paul D. Camp. They made that gift specifically to honor their father. At the dedication of the college, a photo was taken that included the first president of the college along with five family members who carried on the name of Paul D. Camp. They were: Dr. Paul D. Camp Jr. (son of Paul D. Camp); his son, Paul D. Camp III; and Dr. Camp’s grandson, Paul D. Camp IV. Also included were Paul Douglas Camp Marks, grandson of Paul D. Camp; and his son, Paul Douglas Camp Marks Jr. Of those five, only two survive today.

My fear is that, in years to come, the students, faculty, and the public in general will forget that the benefactors of PDCCC were Ruth Camp Campbell and Willie Camp Younts. That is a shame. They took great pride in knowing that their largess would result in a lasting memorial to their father. Now, in the name of progress, the basis for the naming of this institution has been arbitrarily altered.

Sometimes, “progress” is just not in the best interest of everyone involved.


Paul Douglas Camp Marks Jr.

(Doug Marks)

Columbia, South Carolina