Prince Lucien Campbell (1889-1902)

Born October 6, 1861 in Newmarket, Missouri, Prince Lucien Campbell moved to Monmouth in 1869 when his father, Thomas Franklin Campbell, was hired as President of Christian College. Campbell grew up in Monmouth and graduated from Christian College in 1879. He worked as a teaching assistant in his father’s classroom for three years following his graduation, before continuing his education at Harvard.

Campbell worked as a reporter for the Kansas City Star for one year and continued to contribute articles during his last year at Harvard. His writings exhibited broad taste and interests in art, music, prizefights, and especially, theatre. After earning his degree at Harvard in 1889 and returning to Christian College, renamed Oregon State Normal School in 1882, Campbell taught ancient and modern languages (English and Latin), as well as psychology, History of Education, physics, and chemistry.  Following in his father’s footsteps, Campbell became President of Oregon Normal School that same year.

P.L. Campbell was known for putting the student body and community first, gaining him the respect of those who worked with him. A clause in the Oregon State Constitution of 1859 forbade the appropriation of state funds for the support of church-owned property. He sought to transfer the land holdings outside the church so the school could qualify for state funds. The legislature took approximately two years to accept the plan and vote in funds for school operations. The state also appointed a board of regents to replace the Monmouth church board of trustees.

Due to the demand for a safe, community-wide water supply, (shallow wells in the town had led to some falling into ill health), Campbell organized resources from local farmers, businessmen, the general community, and sought interested Portland investors to upgrade the thirty-five year old infrastructure to serve the increasing number of students and faculty. Campbell obligated himself financially by borrowing heavily from the bank in order to provide the betterments which the school needed—especially when the state withheld the appropriated support funds. Later, when the Portland partners grew wary of their investments in the Monmouth bank and sought to dispose of their shares, Prince Lucien Campbell, to avoid great injury to the school and the town, personally purchased the shares. The president thus assumed a financial burden from which he was not released for nearly twenty years. Such was P.L. Campbell’s commitment to the life of the college. He oversaw the final construction of the Bell Tower, the South Wing, as well as the North Wing, which contained the school's library. The building would later be named Campbell Hall in honor of Thomas Franklin and Prince Lucien Campbell, for their diligent solicitation of public donations for construction.

After his thirteen-year tenure as President of Oregon Normal School (renamed in 1911), Prince Lucien Campbell left Monmouth to serve as the president of the University of Oregon; a position he held for twenty-three years. He died August 14, 1925 of influenza, and is buried at the Masonic Cemetery in Eugene, Oregon.