Undergraduate commencement features address by Keith Campbell ’77 and baccalaureate speech by Frank G. Helman '51
Muskingum College held its undergraduate commencement exercises on May 9, featuring an address by 1977 alumnus Keith Campbell, chairman of the board, Mannington Mills. The baccalaureate address was delivered by Frank G. Helman '51, president of the Otto and Fran Walter Foundation.
Both bachelor of arts and bachelor of science degrees were conferred.
In recognition of his lifetime of achievement, the college bestowed upon Mr. Campbell an honorary doctor of humane letters degree. Mr. Helman’s professional and personal achievements were recognized with an honorary doctor of humane letters degree.
Mr. Campbell is chairman of the board of Mannington Mills, Inc., one of the world’s largest manufacturers of commercial and residential flooring. Headquartered in Salem, New Jersey since its 1915 founding by John Boston Campbell, the award-winning, privately held firm is now in its fourth-generation of family ownership. Mannington has been recognized for its innovation in design and manufacturing of carpet, wood, tile, and laminate products; for its family-oriented corporate citizenship; and for its outstanding commitment to its surrounding community. Mr. Campbell joined Mannington following his graduation from Muskingum and has held a variety of positions throughout the company. He became a member of the corporation’s board of directors in 1983 and its chairman in 1995.
In 2008, Mr. Campbell was elected to the Board of Directors of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia. From its Philadelphia headquarters, the Bank is responsible for the Third District of the Federal Reserve, encompassing Delaware, eastern Pennsylvania, and the nine southern counties of New Jersey. The Bank’s monthly manufacturing index is an important barometer of national manufacturing conditions.
Mr. Campbell is a corporate director of South Jersey Industries, an energy services holding company; Skytop Lodge Inc., a Pocono Mountains family resort; and the World Floor Covering Association. His civic leadership roles have included chairman of the Board of Rowan University, of Memorial Hospital of Salem County, and of the Stand Up for Salem Main Street program. He is also a trustee of the John B. Campbell Center (formerly known as the Salem Community Center). He is a member of the Muskingum College Board of Trustees.
In his commencement address, Mr. Campbell told the graduates, “Life is full of challenges, and it will always be filled with challenges, but all that you have in front of you is opportunity. Don’t fail to take advantage of that wonderful fact.”
In her remarks to the graduating class, Muskingum College President Dr. Anne C. Steele “You have worked hard and pursued your goals with vigor. Now, your Muskingum College education will serve as the cornerstone to help and guide you through all that you do.”
Ashley M. Hamilton ’09 represented the class of 2009. The charges to the class were presented by Professor of English Alan Chaffee and Harold W. Burlingame, chair of the college’s Board of Trustees.
The baccalaureate service was held at 10:00 a.m. Mr. Helman’s address, titled Learning How To Live, centered on the teachings of Mathew 22:35-40 and the importance of a spiritual quest in life. He told the students, “ As you go forward in life, respect creation, respect your neighbor and respect yourself. ”
A member of the Muskingum class of 1951, Mr. Helman earned his law degree from New York University’s School of Law. He is fluent in German, Norwegian and Russian. He served our country in the diplomatic corps as vice consul to the United States Embassy in Oslo, Norway and in the United States Air Force.
Mr. Helman was the chief financial and administrative officer of Mannesmann Demag Corporation in New York City for 17 years. He led the company’s development from a representative outpost of its German parent corporation to a multi-million-dollar sales enterprise in the industrial manufacturing sector.
In legal practice with Walter, Conston, Alexander and Green, P.C., in New York City for 15 years, Mr. Helman specialized in complex trust, estate and tax matters which crossed international legal boundaries. He is a prolific author with scholarly writings published in both U.S. and German legal journals.
As president and director of the Otto and Fran Walter Foundation, Inc., Mr. Helman furthers the humanist and intellectual values exemplified by Otto and Fran Walter. Recent foundation projects include Safe Passage, an educational and literacy program for children of families working in the Guatemala City garbage dump; the Human Rights Watch office in Berlin, Germany, which centers its advocacy efforts in Europe, Central Asia and the United Nation’s Humans Rights Council; the Mount Olive Food Ministry in Slidell, Louisiana, which supports the ongoing recovery from Hurricane Katrina by feeding more than 300 people each day; and the Rise to Action program for victims of domestic violence, serving new immigrants and poverty-stricken families through the University Settlement Society of New York City’s Lower East Side.
Theodore P. Sharp ’09 read the scripture for baccalaureate and Heather E. Giffen ’09 led the Collect.