Fond Family Memories of the SMB Inspires Giving

New endowed scholarship to MSU Spartan Marching Band honors a father’s lifelong love of music.

Pictured left to right: Mary Lee Campbell, John Campbell, scholarship recipient Stephanie Janowiak, Jeff Camp.


Mary Lee Campbell attended MSU in the late 1960s. But one of her fondest memories of campus happened long before she went to college, and was instilled by her father’s love of the MSU Spartan Marching Band.

Throughout her childhood, Campbell traveled from her home in Midland, Mich., with her mother and father, Agatha and Harper Lee Camp, and brother to attend MSU football games. Arriving in East Lansing, they would eat lunch at the MSU Union cafeteria, watch the MSU band warm up, and follow the band as it marched into Spartan Stadium.

“To this day, I stand by Sparty and watch the band march in whenever I go to a game,” says Campbell. “Doing something for the MSU Spartan Marching Band was the first thing that came to mind when my father passed away. He loved it so.”

In early 2014, Campbell, her husband John Campbell, and her brother Dr. Herbert Camp established the Harper L. Camp Scholarship for the Spartan Marching Band. The scholarship, she says, is a tribute to her late father and his love of music and marching bands. Harper was an avid supporter of MSU, the Spartan Marching Band, and a founding member of the John A. Hannah Society at MSU. He was also an alum of the Spartan Marching Band, having played in the then-military style band before graduating with his degree in chemical engineering in 1939.

The scholarship, explains Campbell, is open to any member of the Spartan Marching Band, with a strong preference for students from Midland County, since her father was a lifelong resident of Midland. The scholarship will be awarded each academic year, and can be renewed based on need. Spartan Marching Band member and criminal justice major Stephanie Ann Janowiak from Tawas, Mich., is the first recipient of the new scholarship.

“We simply want the scholarship to benefit someone who loves band,” says Campbell. “It takes a lot of hard work and dedication, and it was clear to us that our first recipient loves being in the band.”

Harper Lee Camp passed away in December 2013 at the age of 98. His lifelong love of music included his membership in the MSU Spartan Marching Band, and led him to organize his own bands and to play flute, piccolo, saxophone and clarinet in various others. Campbell says his passion for music was passed on to her and her brother, with Mary Lee singing in choirs, and her brother Herb playing in the Spartan Marching Band just like their father.

Establishing an endowment like the Harper L. Camp Scholarship for the Spartan Marching Band represents one way you can honor a loved one and benefit students and programs in the College of Music. For information on the new scholarship or to fine out more about giving opportunities to the College, contact Anne Lindley, associate director, College of Music Advancement Office at alindley@music.edu or 517-432-4889.


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