The weekly Anchorage Press recently profiled new Leadership Anchorage director Larry Campbell, a veteran Alaska journalist and educator who began work at the Forum earlier this month.
"Somewhere amongst the clutter in Larry Campbell's sock drawer is a Pulitzer Prize medal for excellence in newspaper journalism," begins the feature story.
It's headlined "Bagpipes and Pulitzers," a reference to Campbell's award-winning journalism career and his having learned to play a family heirloom set of bagpipes. Campbell, a bit of a renaissance man, also formerly worked as an ambulance driver and designed gold nugget jewelry for a downtown Anchorage jeweler.
But Campbell is best known for his years as a staff writer for the Anchorage Daily News during the newspaper's 1980s heyday, followed by his work as the Alaska Bureau Chief for the Associated Press and then at UAA, where he became Chair of the Journalism and Communications Department.
Campbell grew up in Anchorage, where his father brought the family in 1963. His father, an African-American, had been working for the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) in Seattle, and was frustrated because he was never once sent out to crash scenes. He suspected this was because of the color of his skin.
"There was an opening in the Anchorage office, and hardly anybody at NTSB was working up here. My father took the job and was sent out to accidents immediately," Campbell recalls, speaking of his father's strength and accomplishments with evident pride.
"Alaska offered my father an opportunity to raise a family and kids in an environment where race was less of an issue," recalls Campbell. When the opportunity to transfer to Washington D.C. arose, his dad turned it down.
Regarding the success of the Leadership Anchorage program, the Press article reports: "In 1997, 10 cities were chosen by the Pew Partnership for Civic Change to launch leadership programs, and Pew funded these programs for the initial two years. After the Pew funding dried up, so did most of these programs, but not [in Anchorage], where LA has continued to thrive."
The entire article can be read online here.