The Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library Foundation today announced that it has dedicated a patio in its historic gardens in honor of Janet Campbell, who has worked for more than 40 years on behalf of the Foundation.  The Foundation announced the dedication and unveiled a plaque at a reception in Mrs. Campbell’s honor on September 10.  More than 50 Trustees, Associate Trustees, and other friends attended the reception at the patio, which is located between President Wilson’s Birthplace and the Emily Smith Administrative Building on Coalter Street.  

Janet Campbell began work for the Woodrow Wilson Birthplace Foundation on October 1, 1968.  She was hired by Dolores Lescure, then a Trustee, and Emily Pancake Smith, then the President of the Board.  She had previously worked for then-Secretary of State Dean Rusk in the Vietnam Division of the State Department in Washington.   

As the Director of Administration and Finance, Mrs. Campbell handles all financial, administrative, and personnel matters for the Foundation.  Her duties include accounting, administrative operations, personnel and benefits records, deposits, disbursements, payroll, budgeting, audits, grant records, leases, shop inventory, vendor relations, and revenue/fundraising reconciliation.  She also serves as the Acting Secretary of the Board of Trustees and the Board’s Executive Committee.  

Don W. Wilson, President and CEO of the WWPL, said, “It is an honor to work with Janet Campbell, whose dedication, loyalty, efficiency, and institutional knowledge are irreplaceable.  Without Janet, there would be no Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library Foundation.”

Stan Link, Chair of the Board of Trustees of the WWPL, said at the reception, “Janet Campbell has been a model of honesty, dependability, loyalty, diligence, and efficiency.  She is the backbone of the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library.”  (Excerpts from Dr. Link’s remarks at the September 10th reception are attached.)  

The plaque at the garden patio reads as follows:  “This garden haven for reflection and relaxation is dedicated in honor of Janet Campbell in recognition of her more than forty years of faithful service to the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library Foundation.”  

Excerpts from Remarks by A. Stanley Link, Jr., M.D. Chair of the Board of Trustees Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library Foundation in honor of Janet Campbell, September 10, 2009  

Janet Campbell started working in an office in the building where the President’s Shop now resides.  At that time, she and the Executive Director were the only full-time employees; the shop manager was part-time.  During the first day of the first hour of her first day, Janet took dictation from Board President Emily Smith for a letter, and Mrs. Smith talked too fast.  As fast as Janet is at shorthand, she couldn’t take it all down.  Janet had never met Mrs. Smith, and, since she didn’t take down the entire letter, Janet wasn’t sure she would last one hour, but she did.  In fact, she’s lasted more than 80,000 hours, and  

Worked more than 10,000 days (including 2,000 Mondays)

Typed and proofread more than 100,000 letters, budgets, investment statements, grant reports, audits, insurance statements, agendas, and contracts

Made more than 20,000 trips to the Post Office, mailing close to half a million letters and picking up and distributing more than half a million incoming letters

Deposited, budgeted, spent, and tracked more than $10,000,000

Issued more than 50,000 checks

Filled out deposit slips and gone to the bank more than 10,000 times

Attended more than 15,000 meetings

Kept thousands of pages of meeting minutes

Answered the phone more than 100,000 times

Alarmed the Smith Administrative Building thousands of times

Answered scores of alarm calls during the night

Worked with 10 Executive Directors and Presidents

Oriented more than 200 colleagues

Served five Chairs of the Board, more than 200 Trustees, and 10 Treasurers

Eaten lunch at her desk more than 9,500 times

Answered more than 20,000 questions from Trustees and colleauges

Fixed the copier more than 1,000 times

Forgotten nothing

Missed zero payrolls

Been late to work three times

Left early six times

Arrived at the office at 7:00 a.m. or 7:30 a.m. and stayed late thousands of times

Been a model of honesty, dependability, loyalty, diligence, and efficiency, and

Been the backbone of the Woodrow Wilson Birthplace and Presidential Library.  

On behalf of the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library Board of Trustees, I am pleased to dedicate this garden patio in honor of Janet Campbell.   

did you know?

Wilson was president throughout World War I. He sought a neutral position for the United States and even won reelection with the slogan “He kept us out of war.” Nonetheless, actions by the Central Powers (notably Germany) threatened this neutrality. Following years of attacks on American shipping and citizens on the high seas, particularly the sinking of the RMS Lusitania, public opinion began to turn. The final straw came with the release of the Zimmerman Telegram, forcing the United States to declare war on the Central Powers in April of 1917, joining the war on the side of the UK, Russia, and France.

Woodrow Wilson was President when the 19th amendment was ratified in 1920 giving women the right to vote.

Wilson piloted the ship that brought America onto the world stage. He made the first steps of leading us out of isolationism, violating Washington's tenet of avoiding foreign entanglements.

He led America during World War I. His fervent hope was for the US to join a League of Nations, the precursor to the United Nations.

A Woodrow Wilson Quote: "Life does not consist in thinking, it consists in acting."

A Woodrow Wilson Quote: "The Constitution was not made to fit us like a straitjacket. In its elasticity lies its chief greatness."

A Woodrow Wilson Quote: "I believe in democracy because it releases the energies of every human being."

The Seventeenth Amendment was formally adopted on May 31, 1913. Wilson had been president for almost three months at the time. The amendment provided for the direct election of senators. Prior to its adoption, Senators were chosen by state legislatures.

Wilson was the first president to receive a PhD which he got in Political Science from Johns Hopkins University. He had received his undergraduate degree from the College of New Jersey, renamed Princeton University in 1896.

Woodrow Wilson could not read during the first decade of his life. Though undiagnosed, he may have suffered from a learning disability

Woodrow Wilson was known as "Tommy" until his college years.

Woodrow Wilson during his boyhood, helped establish the "Lightfoot Baseball Club" with his friends. Wilson played second base and was an avid sport fan throughout his adult life.

Woodrow Wilson was the first president to attend the Major League Baseball Fall Classic. He saw the debut of a young 20 year old pitcher by the name of George Herman "Babe" Ruth.

Woodrow Wilson was a graduate of Princeton University and Johns Hopkins University and the only president to hold an earned doctoral degree.

Woodrow Wilson image is on the $100,000 bill although it is no longer in circulation