Remembering Bill Campbell

Posted on Behalf of Columbia Alumni Association President Donna MacPhee 
Dear fellow alumni, 

I wanted to share with you the sad news that Bill Campbell '62CC, '64TC has passed away. As an outstanding alum, a University trustee, former Chair of the Trustees, football coach, and a devoted fan and supporter of our students and athletics, Bill had a vision and tireless energy that helped shape our University. He embodied what we all should feel—that Columbia is an incredibly special place. 

Bill has been a guiding light to the Columbia Alumni Association and the University-wide alumni community. Bill did not need or want recognition for what he gave to Columbia and to so many students and alumni. I am so glad that he knew of the CAA's decision to honor select graduating students who embody the values we see in Bill: humility, encouragement to others, always making things better, and a balance of tradition and innovation. This year and in future years, a recipient of the Campbell Award from each school will be just one way we celebrate and remember Bill.

Last May, when announcing Bill as a recipient of the CAA's highest honor, the alumni medal, and an honorary degree from the University, President Lee Bollinger said it all: "If a great university like Columbia could have a single, beating heart, it would be you." It's not that Bill exemplified the best of the CAA, but that the CAA can only hope to reflect the true-blue Columbia spirit that lived in Bill. He will be missed.

All my best,
Donna MacPhee '89CC, P: '17CC
Vice President for Alumni Relations
President, Columbia Alumni Association


President Bollinger sent the following message to the campus community:

Dear fellow members of the Columbia Community: I cannot begin to compose a statement that fully expresses the grievous sense of loss we experienced early this morning when Bill Campbell passed away. Bill was a beloved alumnus, football coach, trustee, former Chair of the Trustees, and, above all, a friend and source of boundless joy and counsel to everyone who knew him. Columbia will forever remember Bill.

We extend our love to Bill's family at this sad time.

Sincerely, Lee C. Bollinger


For ongoing updates about how the University will be remembering Bill Campbell, please visit and

Additional information:

Columbia Athletics Mourns the Loss of Bill Campbell '62CC '64TC (Columbia Athletics)

Bill Campbell, Coach of Silicon Valley Stars, Dies at 75 (New York Times)

If you have a story or memory of Bill, we encourage you to share it with your Columbia alumni community.