BUIES CREEK — Campbell University’s president, Jerry M. Wallace, will step down after the next school year, ending what will be a 12-year run as head of the university.
Wallace, 79, has been a member of Campbell’s faculty for 44 years and is the school’s fourth president in its 127-year-history, according to the school. He announced his retirement Wednesday.
As president, Wallace expanded Campbell’s health programs, last year opening North Carolinia’s first new medical school in 35 years. He also launched programs for physician assistants, public health and physical therapy, and won preliminary approval for a new nursing program.
After a year-long sabbatical, Wallace will take the honorary title of university chancellor.
“During my time as president, my goal has been similar to that of my predecessors – remain true to the university’s founding principles and to meet the education and professional program needs of North Carolina and our students,” Wallace said in a written release.
Undergraduate enrollment at Campbell’s campus has increased from 2,500 to 4,500 during Wallace’s presidency and applications are at record highs, according to the school. Wallace led a long-term campus planning process that brought more open space, traffic roundabouts, landscaping and a brick thoroughfare, among other additions.
Wallace also led the relocation of the Norman Adrian Wiggins School of Law to downtown Raleigh, oversaw the return of intercollegiate football to the university and helped establish a study-abroad program.
Wallace, a native of Rockingham and a father of three, is a Baptist minister and a graduate of East Carolina University, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and N.C. State University. At Campbell, he has taught sociology, chaired the Department of Religion and Philosophy and been dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, director of graduate studies, vice president for academic affairs and provost.
Campbell has begun a search for a new president.