WILLIAMSBURG — Retiring Colonial Williamsburg president Colin Campbell was honored Monday with the President's Medal from the Chautauqua Institution.
Campbell received the award for his contribution to the educational center's mission of promoting lifetime learning. He was the 29th recipient of the award, created in 1974 as the Centennial Medal.
James A. Pardo Jr., chairman of the Chautauqua Institution's Board of Trustees, presented the award.
"As evidenced by the three major elements of his career — 21 years at Wesleyan, 12 years at Rockefeller Brothers, 14 years with Colonial Williamsburg — Colin Campbell plays the long game. His work at these institutions was not about short-term, personal gratification but about long-term sustainability, and a devotion and sincere depth of understanding of their mission and values," Chautauqua president Tom Becker said in a statement about the award.
Previous recipients of the award include Pulitzer Prize-winning historian David McCullough, biologist E.O. Wilson, and retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice and former Colonial Williamsburg trustee Sandra Day O'Connor.
Campbell was instrumental in forging a partnership with Chautauqua that dates to 2006. Campbell visited Chautauqua's campus for the first time that year to deliver an address on citizenship.
"I knew of Chautauqua's reputation, its educational mission and its commitment to public discourse from early in my Wesleyan years," Campbell said. "But only after participating in one of its programs did I appreciate what a remarkable place it is and realize the potential for a promising collaboration with Colonial Williamsburg."
"I am deeply grateful to Tom Becker and the entire Chautauqua community for this signal honor," Campbell said of the award. "I consider it a testament to the rich partnership fostered by our two institutions, which have so much in common, especially our shared commitment to seeking 'a more perfect union.'"
Campbell will step down from the relinquish the helm of Colonial Williamsburg in October after 14 years. Mitchell B. Reiss, a former senior U.S. diplomat and now president of Washington College in Chestertown, Maryland, has been appointed to succeed Campbell as president and CEO.