Doak S. Campbell

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Doak S. Campbell
Doak S. Campbell.jpg
President of Florida State College for Women and, as it was later named, Florida State University
In office
Preceded by Edward Conradi
Succeeded by Albert B. Martin
Personal details
Born (1888-11-16)November 16, 1888
Scott County, Arkansas, United States
Died March 23, 1973(1973-03-23) (aged 84)
Tallahassee, Florida, United States
Spouse(s) Helen Gray Smith (1st), Edna Simmons (2nd)
Children Doak S. Campbell, Jr., and Elizabeth Caroline Campbell
Alma mater Ouachita Baptist College and George Peabody College for Teachers
Profession Professor
Religion Baptist

Doak Sheridan Campbell was president of Florida State College for Women, as it made the transition from an all-female school under that name to the coeducational Florida State University, between 1941 and 1957.[1]

Early life[edit]

Campbell was born near Waldron, in Scott County, Arkansas on 16 November 1888 the first of six children to Edward and Elizabeth Campbell.[2] He is named after his uncle, Samuel Doak.[2]

Upon graduating from high school, he became a licensed teacher, but left after one year to attend Ouachita Baptist College in Arkadelphia, Arkansas. He was an intercollegiate debate, orator, and distance runner. He was president of his graduating class, and where he obtained a Bachelor of Arts in music and speech in 1911.[2]

Family Life[edit]

Doak Campbell was married to Helen Gray Smith from May 28, 1913 until her death in 1938. They had two children: Doak S. Campbell, Jr., (b. 28 February 1915; d. 1 October 2003) and Elizabeth Caroline Campbell (b. 12 November 1920; d. 3 December 2008).

Son Doak Jr. married Mary C. in 1938 (estimated); they had 2 children (son Doak S. Campbell III and daughter Helen Jo Crawford).[3]

Daughter Caroline married Donald Broermann in 1940; they had 3 daughters (Mary Noel Chavez, Claire Parz, and Gina Roen).[4]

He was married to Edna Simmons (1897–1978) from 1941 until his death in 1973. During his tenure as President of the Florida State University, she fulfilled her responsibilities as the wife of a college president with insight and vigor.[5]


In 1916, Doak S. Campbell began teaching chemistry at Central College, in Conway, Arkansas. In 1920, he became President of the school. While serving in this role, Central College transformed from a failing four-year college to a respectable two-year junior college.[2] Won 2002 Elijah Pitts Award (named after the Conway, Arkansas, native and Green Bay Packer legend) for Conway athletic lifetime achievement.

Later in the 1920s, Campbell began attending George Peabody College for Teachers, receiving a Master's degree in 1928 and a Ph.D. in 1930, at which time he was hired onto the school's faculty. He became Dean of the Graduate School at Peabody in 1938, and remained in that position until accepting the presidency of Florida State College for Women in September 1941.[2]

The Florida State College for Women was renamed Florida State University on May 15, 1947 by a legislative act.[2] The change from a women's school to a coeducational school in 1947 was a substantial one in the school's history, and required great effort from the faculty and Campbell's administration to carry out smoothly.

Campbell supported a sports program at the school, and encouraged the construction of a football stadium. The stadium was completed in 1950, and named Doak S. Campbell Stadium in his honor.[6]

Dr. Campbell retired from his position on June 30, 1957,[2] but remained in the Tallahassee area as President Emeritus until his death in 1973.


  1. ^ "About Florida State University." The Florida State University. Office of University Communications, 23 Sept. 2009. Web. 6 Dec. 2009. <>.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "The Doak Campbell Papers." Florida State University Libraries. Florida State University Libraries, n.d. Web. 6 Dec. 2009. <> Archived July 17, 2011, on Wayback Machine..
  3. ^ Obituary Central Entry
  4. ^ Widbey Memorial Obituary
  5. ^ FSU Bio
  6. ^ "Dr. Doak S. Campbell." Florida State University Official Athletic Site. N.p., n.d. Web. 6 Dec. 2009. <> Archived July 27, 2011, on Wayback Machine..

External links[edit]