Colonial Williamsburg Foundation Mourns the Passing of Colin G. Campbell

The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation announces with deep sorrow the passing of Colin G. Campbell, who served as president and CEO from 2000-2014. Campbell was a steadfast advocate for citizenship rights and responsibilities, providing strong leadership during times of economic instability, and overseeing significant new construction projects, expanded educational programs, and new institutional relationships.

“Colin’s steady hand made an indelible imprint on Colonial Williamsburg, ensuring its survival as a national treasure and charting a course focused on preservation, education, and civic engagement that the institution follows today,” said Cliff Fleet, president and CEO of The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. “He will be remembered as a wise and compassionate leader and a dear friend.”

Campbell joined the Foundation’s Board of Trustees in 1989 and served as both the organization’s leader and board chairman. During his tenure, he strengthened relationships with donors and partners, raising $687 million from 1.7 million individual donors and tripling planned gift expectations. His leadership saw the Historic Area benefit from numerous construction projects, including Charlton’s Coffeehouse, Anderson’s Blacksmith Shop and Public Armoury, and the Market House. In retirement, he funded the 65,000-square-foot expansion of the Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg and the forthcoming Colin G. and Nancy N. Campbell Archaeology Center.

“Colin’s legacy endures in the spirit and physical landscape of the Foundation,” said Carly Fiorina, chair of Colonial Williamsburg’s Board of Trustees. “From the coffeehouse to the art museums, and the new archaeology center – all these buildings testify to Colin’s commitment.”

Campbell expanded programming to highlight the diverse perspectives of Williamsburg residents during the American Revolution. His partnerships with regional and national organizations advanced shared goals and included collaborations with the Center for Strategic and International Studies, William & Mary’s Reves Center, Jamestown Rediscovery Foundation, and the Chautauqua Institution.

Before Williamsburg, Campbell was president of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund and Wesleyan University. He held degrees from Cornell University and Columbia University School of Law. His awards included honors from the New-York Historical Society, WHRO, Chautauqua Institution, Preservation Virginia, William & Mary, and Colonial Williamsburg’s Churchill Bell.

“Colin valued individuals for who they were, not what they could do for him,” said Ronald L. Hurst, the Foundation’s chief mission officer. “He encouraged everyone to be their best selves, benefiting all involved. He will be greatly missed.”


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