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Obituary: David Phillip Campbell

Born January 14, 1934 in Bridgewater, Iowa, the son of Gerald L. and Shirley Sullivan Campbell who preceded him in death. David graduated from Greenfield High, earned his BS and MS degrees from Iowa State University, and his PhD in psychology from University of Minnesota (UMN). In 1960, he joined the faculty at the UMN, rising to full professor in 8 years, a first for the university. He and his wife Phyllis Jenson Campbell had three sons, James (Jim), Charles (Chuck, who preceded him in death), and Andrew (Drew). In 1984, he married Jodi Kassover. In 1990, he married Rita Moore, and they adopted their daughter, Sondra. In 2001, while traveling in China, he met Katie Qu and her daughter, Sally. Katie and David married in 2013 and lived in Wichita, Kansas.

At the university, he coauthored the Strong-Campbell Interest Inventory, a widely used career counseling tool. On sabbatical in 1970, he and his family traveled through Europe and North Africa for a year of adventures and research, a family of five living in a Volkswagon van. In 1973, he was named a visiting fellow at the Center for Creative Leadership (CCL) in Greensboro, North Carolina, and stayed on after that year as a vice president. In 1981, he was appointed the first Smith Richardson Senior Fellow at CCL. In that role, he frequently traveled for speaking engagements and workshops in dozens of countries around the world. He served as an honorary research fellow at the University of London and a distinguished visiting professor at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs. He facilitated the development of the Colorado branch of CCL and moved there permanently in 1985. Under his guidance, CCL Colorado developed Leadership at the Peak, a leadership training program ranked #1 by the Wall Street Journal. He developed the Campbell Skills and Interest Survey, which became a widely used instrument for corporate career management.

David’s honors include the E.K. Strong, Jr. Gold Medal for excellence in psychological testing research practices, an honorary doctorate from the University of Colorado, and the 2012 Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Society for Training and Development (ASTD). In 2007, he was named an Iowa State University Distinguished Alumni. He was a prolific author of books such as If You Don't Know Where You're Going, You'll Probably End Up Somewhere Else, research papers, columns, and letters.

For decades, David passionately searched the globe to assemble arguably the world's largest private postcard collection. He donated the nearly 300,000 card collection along with his papers to the Akron Museum of Psychology, where students use the postcards as a research resource. He enjoyed singing, playing competitive squash, word games, visiting with friends, and traveling.

David passed away Jan. 18, 2021 in Wichita, KS. He leaves his wife Katie Qu; children Jim (Susan Enfield), Drew (Divine Grace Caliao Campbell) and Sondra Campbell; stepdaughter Sally Jiang; sisters Sally Hanson and Sue Shepard; grandchildren Alec, Colin, Anderson, Charlotte and Skyler Campbell; ten nieces and nephews; colleagues and friends.

Published by The Gazette on Feb. 14, 2021.

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