Suzanne Campbell has been part of the Ram Family since she graduated from Angelo State with a bachelor’s degree in English in 1970. After graduation, she began an eighteen-year teaching career at Ballinger High School where she taught English and history and served as senior class sponsor and National Honor Society advisor. She came back to ASU and completed an MA in history in 1990. Suzanne quickly put her teaching skills back to work acting as an instructor of freshman survey courses for the history department. In 1996, she was hired to work in the Library’s special collections department, The Dr. Ralph R. Chase West Texas Collection (WTC), and began a second career that would span 22 years.
As head of special collections, Suzanne’s name became synonymous with West Texas history. Over the course of the last two decades, she amassed more knowledge about local history than most, leading some to tease that she can even recall what color curtains hung in a particular ranch house and that they “smelled of rosewater”. Her love and passion for seeking out and preserving these stories bring the history of this area to life. That history reminds us of who we are, where we came from and where we are going.
Suzanne does not believe in keeping this knowledge to herself. Even though her job no longer brought her into the classroom on a daily basis, she gave innumerable presentations to historical conferences, local social and civic organizations, public school groups, and Angelo State University classes. This outreach not only helped to educate but also promoted and brought awareness to the WTC and her alma mater.
Her dedication has been recognized both locally and on the state level. Suzanne received the ASU Employee Excellence Award in 2007 and the Gary and Pat Rodgers Distinguished Staff Award for 2012-13. In addition to this, she received an appointment to the Texas Historical Records Advisory Board and served a six-year term. In 2015, Suzanne was named a fellow of the West Texas Historical Association. Under her direction, the West Texas Collection received the inaugural Archival Award of Excellence from the Texas Historical Records Advisory Board in October 2016.
Suzanne’s undying love of history and her dedication to preserving the primary sources that tell the story of our shared past has been an inspiration to all who have had the pleasure of knowing her. This is evident in the words of her nominator for the Gary and Pat Rodgers award who said that she strove to “help students better understand their research topics…Her total confidence in the ability of the students with whom she comes in contact works to raise them to achieve goals they would have never thought of making.”
With a lifetime of hard work behind her, many have asked how Suzanne will handle all of her “spare time” after retiring on May 31. The answer…what spare time? In retirement, Suzanne plans to complete a book on her long-term research subject, George B. Jackson. She will continue to do historical presentations, spend time with her husband, Hugh, do crafting and sewing projects (beginning with a quilting kit she received as a gift from the Friends of the Porter Henderson Library and West Texas Collection), and maybe even find some time to travel.