Colin Campbell Becomes President
William Dietel, president of the Fund since 1975, retired alongside David Rockefeller in 1987. Colin G. Campbell, then president of Wesleyan University, was selected to replace him as of July 1988. Campbell had been Wesleyan’s youngest president, and was widely respected for returning the university to financial stability. At the RBF, he performed a similar feat, overseeing the replenishment of the endowment, which had been significantly reduced by the Creel Committee final grants to longtime grantee institutions. Campbell facilitated the Fund’s merger with the Charles E. Culpeper Foundation, not only adding to the endowment, but bringing new trustees, staff, and a thriving arts program to the Fund. He also guided the planning and opening of the Fund’s Pocantico Conference Center. The Center represents the culmination of more than a decade’s worth of proposals and roadblocks seeking the best use for the Rockefeller family’s estate in Westchester County, New York. Campbell’s presidency spanned the fall of Communist rule in the Eastern Bloc and the end of Apartheid in South Africa, and the Fund’s activities during this period reflect its commitment to fostering democracy and civil society.
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