National Football Foundation

News Detail

Inaugural Campbell Trophy Summit Makes an Impact in Silicon Valley
Attendees walk away with powerful leadership lessons.
Published: 8/30/2017 11:00:00 AM
(Pictured: Intuit Chairman & CEO Brad Smith speaks to a group of past Campbell Trophy nominees at the inaugural Campbell Trophy Summit Aug. 24-26 at Stanford University. Intuit sponsored the event, which paid tribute to the late Bill Campbell and his legacy of mentoring. Photo by Krista Paolella.)

IRVING, Texas (Aug. 30, 2017)
– The inaugural summit for The William V. Campbell Trophy®, presented by Fidelity Investments, took place Aug. 24-26 at Stanford University, providing the National Football Foundation a powerful new platform for building relationships and connecting nominees for the award with some of the nation’s top entrepreneurs and Silicon Valley CEOs.

The event, officially dubbed “The Campbell Trophy Summit” and sponsored by Intuit Inc., paid tribute to Bill Campbell, the award’s namesake who passed away in 2016. Campbell, who played and coached at Columbia before a switch to the business world, became one of the most influential individuals in Silicon Valley, using the lessons of the gridiron to mentor Steve Jobs of Apple, Larry Page, Sergey Brin and Eric Schmidt of Google, Jeff Bezos of Amazon, Scott Cook and Brad Smith of Intuit and countless others. The event, which attracted 82 former nominees and featured 44 speakers, served as the perfect vehicle to carry on Bill’s legacy of mentoring. (See below for a full list of participants.)

“Bill most of all wanted us to pay it forward, and that’s why I am here today,” said Smith, the current CEO and chairman at Intuit, as he addressed the former nominees about leadership. “No matter what role you have, Bill believed your responsibility is to serve others. He did not believe you could separate your personal life from your professional life. He saw it as two sides of the same coin. He coached the whole person.

“For Bill, there were only three things that mattered. The first was your passion. The second was your grit, your willingness to get up and dust yourself off. And the third, and last, but not least, was your world compass. He wanted to make sure you were focused on the things that mattered most.”

The event kicked off with a reception at Stanford Stadium with welcome remarks from NFF President & CEO Steve Hatchell, NFF Board Member and Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott and GSV Asset Management Co-Managing Partner Mark Flynn, a former player at Saint John’s (Minn.) who played the lead role in organizing the event. Former nominees traveled from 34 states and the District of Columbia, representing 71 colleges and universities from all divisions, and their current careers ranged from doctors, engineers, lawyers, physicists, college professors, and business and civic leaders.

“Bill inspired a number of us, and all he ever asked was that we passed onto one generation to the next some of his values,” said Flynn. “He had us commit to mentoring this next generation. [We] decided to gather the really bright, talented people who have been part of this Campbell Trophy, saying let’s have a summit around the values that Bill espoused… It was unbelievable how people would make time and change their schedule to be part of Bill’s legacy… We are here to create a living legacy to Bill Campbell, and all of the scholar athletes are in the Campbell Trophy fraternity for life.”

Hatchell reflected on the history of the NFF National Scholar-Athlete program, which dates back to 1959 and includes The William V. Campbell Trophy® as the crown jewel of a scholarship program that has distributed more than $30 million since its inception. He credited Campbell, who was the longest serving NFF Board member at the time of his passing, for his long-term commitment to the NFF and its effort to promote the scholar-athlete ideal and community leadership.

“Bill was absolutely passionate about [football], and he believed deeply in what you learned from playing the game,” said Hatchell. “He never, never took his foot off the accelerator in talking about the benefits of the game, and he was so committed about giving back. So, this summit represents an outpouring of sentiment to perpetuate Bill’s legacy of mentoring and his passion for the values one learns from playing the game.”

Larry Scott recounted how Bill Campbell had served as an inspiration to him and so many of the national leaders in college football, using those experiences and interactions as the underpinnings for his strong belief that The William V. Campbell Trophy® should become the most important award in college football. He called the summit a “historic event,” saying it has the potential to become an important tradition that really adds to the significance of being a Campbell Trophy® nominee. He added that he was working closely with ESPN and others to rapidly increase the media exposure for the award.

“The Campbell Trophy stands for so much of what is right with the game of college football, and it needs to be celebrated and elevated,” said Scott. “Bill really taught us all about what college football can do in terms of developing men of character and the future leaders of our country.

“So, we at the Pac-12 and the other leaders of college football are committed to try to really elevate the importance of this award. In my view, this ought to be the most prestigious and most important award in college football because it represents the complete student-athlete, the complete football player, and everything that is good about participating as a student-athlete at our universities… The whole college football community is behind taking this award to the next level.”

The panels covered a wide range of topics designed to foster leadership, personal growth and the career development of the attendees, who came from the pool of nominees during the past decade. The lessons imparted during the event touched on numerous themes, including: building relationships, being authentic, enjoying the journey, finding your passion, knowing the difference between plans and dreams, participating in opportunities that are bigger than yourself, taking risks, and treating people with respect.

“The Campbell Trophy Summit was an experience unlike anything I have been a part,” said Drew Butler, a 2011 Campbell Trophy® finalist from Georgia. “Traveling to Stanford University, meeting with some of Silicon Valley's top leaders, and touring the campuses of Facebook, Google and Intuit was amazing… I learned something from every speaker, whether it was life advice, business advice, or a quote to remember… I learned that the most important thing in life is people. The people you surround yourself with, how you treat people, and how people interact with you. Passion and people is a powerful combination.

“The one lesson that I feel applies to my immediate work and life is the idea of ‘failing forward.’ Every leader in Silicon Valley stressed the importance of failing, and failing fast. Failure is an opportunity to grow. If you allow hard times, refusals, and ‘no’s’ to discourage you, then you do not give yourself the chance to grow.”

In addition to the panels, the attendees toured Silicon Valley, including VIP tours of Facebook, Google and Intuit, all companies where Campbell made a profound impact. Cook, the founder of Intuit, joined Smith in personally giving a 45-minute tour of their company’s campus, which included heartfelt opening remarks from Cook who said that there had never been a more appropriate group to stand on Bill Campbell Way (the main street leading to the company’s headquarters) than “this group of Campbell scholars.”

The captain of Columbia’s 1961 Ivy League championship team, Campbell found his true calling after an unlikely career change at age 39 from football coach to advertising executive. His ability to recruit, develop and manage talented executives – all lessons learned on the gridiron –  proved to be a critical component of his ability to inspire his business teams to the highest levels of success.

Campbell joined the NFF Board in 1978 while he was still a coach at Columbia, and he continued to serve with distinction until his passing last year. In 2004, the NFF recognized Campbell’s contributions and accomplishments by presenting him with the NFF Gold Medal, the organization’s highest honor. In 2009, the NFF renamed college football’s premiere scholar-athlete award as The William V. Campbell Trophy® in his honor.

One of college football’s most sought after and competitive awards, the trophy identifies one individual as the absolute best in the country for his combined academic success, football performance and exemplary community leadership. Made of 25-pounds of bronze and 24-inches in height, the trophy is currently presented by Fidelity Investments, displayed at its official home inside the New York Athletic Club and endowed by HealthSouth Corp. with a $25,000 annual scholarship.

The centerpiece to the NFF National Scholar-Athlete program, the trophy was first presented in 1990, and the award builds on the program, which was launched in 1959 as the first initiative in history to award postgraduate scholarships based on a player’s combined academic, athletic and community accomplishments. The program has awarded $11.1 million to 828 top athletes since its inception, and it currently distributes more than $300,000 each year. Coupled with the money distributed by its local chapters, the NFF has distributed more than $30 million.

Campbell Trophy® Nominees in Attendance

University Affiliation

First Name

Last Name

Year Nominated

Alabama A&M University

Kristian

Smith*

2006

Albion College (Mich.)

Andrew

DiFranco

2016

Arizona State University

Taylor

Kelly*

2014

Austin Peay State University

Trey

Salisbury

2016

Bates College (Maine)

Mark

Upton

2016

Baylor University

Troy

Baker

2014

Bethel University (Minn.)

Drew

Neuville

2016

Brown University

Daniel

Giovacchini

2014

Brown University

Brian

Strachan

2015

Coastal Carolina University

Niccolo

Mastromatteo*

2013

College of the Holy Cross

Sam

Jones

2014

College of the Holy Cross

Jacob

Wieczorek

2016

Columbia University

Alex

Gross*

2010

Delta State University (Miss.)

Tyler

Sullivan*

2016

DePauw University (Ind.)

Adam

Folta

2015

DePauw University (Ind.)

William

Longthorne

2016

Duke University

David

Helton**

2014

Fresno State

Jacob

Vazquez

2016

Georgia State University

Bobby

Baker

2016

Gettysburg College (Pa.)

Kodie

McNamara

2015

Grinnell College (Iowa)

Ibuki

Ogasawara

2016

Harding University (Ark.)

Cordell

Zalenski

2016

Hendrix College (Ark.)

Ethan

Hoppe

2016

Idaho State University

Cody

Sorensen

2015

Indiana University

Mark

Murphy*

2014

Indiana University

Jacob

Bailey

2016

Johns Hopkins University (Md.)

John

Arena*

2013

Kutztown University (Pa.)

Kellen

Williams

2016

Lake Forest College (Ill.)

George

Vidas

2015

Maine Maritime Academy

Robert

Bradley

2016

Marist College

John

Brennan

2016

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Nathan

Varady

2015

Middle Tennessee State University

Jordan

Parker

2016

Moravian College (Pa.)

Jalen

Snyder-Scipio

2016

Morehead State University

Patrick

DiSalvio

2016

Northern Illinois University

Nabal

Jefferson*

2012

Northwest Missouri State University

Simon

Mathiesen

2016

Northwestern State University

Yaser

Elqutub*

2011

Northwestern University

Brandon

Vitabile*

2014

Ohio State University

Joseph

Burger

2016

Princeton University

Matthew

Arends

2015

Rutgers University

Quanzell

Lambert

2016

Saint John's University (Minn.)

Blake

Elliott

2003

Saint John's University (Minn.)

Steve

Johnson

2013

Saint John's University (Minn.)

Carter

Hanson*

2016

Stanford University

Gregory

Comella

1996

Stanford University

Dallas

Lloyd

2016

Stanford University

Owen

Marecic*

2010

Stetson University

Davion

Belk

2016

Stonehill College (Mass.)

Anthony

Siciliano

2016

Syracuse University

Cameron

MacPherson

2016

Texas Tech University

Justis

Nelson

2016

The Citadel

Will

Vanvick

2016

Towson University

Jacob

Ryder

2016

United States Military Academy

Terry

Baggett*

2014

University at Buffalo

Tyler

Grassman

2015

University at Buffalo

Thomas Lee

Skinner

2014

University of Central Florida

Justin

Holman

2016

University of Dayton

Christopher

Beaschler*

2016

University of Delaware

Jalen

Randolph

2016

University of Delaware

Laith

Wallschleger

2014

University of Georgia

Drew

Butler*

2011

University of Kentucky

Landon

Foster

2015

University of Minnesota Duluth

Isaac

Odim*

2010

University of Mississippi

Deterrian

Shackelford

2013

University Of Montana

Derek

Crittenden*

2015

University of Mount Union (Ohio)

Eric

Safran*

2007

University of Mount Union (Ohio)

Hank

Spencer*

2015

University of Notre Dame

Joe

Schmidt

2015

University of Notre Dame

Christopher

Stewart*

2010

University of Oregon

Johnny

Ragin III

2016

University of San Diego

Troy

McClelland

2014

University of South Carolina

Perry

Orth

2016

University of South Dakota

Christopher

Ganious*

2011

University of Texas

Nate

Boyer

2014

University of Wisconsin-Stout

Logan

Stoa

2016

University of Wisconsin-Whitewater

Joe

Worth

2015

Wake Forest University

Hunter

Williams

2015

West Virginia University

Jay

Henry*

2006

Western Kentucky University

Marcus

Ward

2016

Yale University

Sebastian

Little

2016

Yale University

Tyler

Varga*

2014

*Campbell Trophy® finalist and NFF National Scholar-Athlete
**Campbell Trophy® winner

Speakers in Attendance

  • Shellye Archambeau, MetricStream, CEO
  • Charlie Batch, TV sports analyst and author, former Eastern Michigan & NFL quarterback
  • Chase Beeler, Altamont Capital, senior associate, and former Stanford and NFL center
  • Peter Bell, venture capital investor and entrepreneur
  • Bob Bowlsby, Big 12 Conference, commissioner, NFF Board Member
  • Nate Boyer, former Green Beret, William V. Campbell Trophy® semifinalist and a long snapper from the University of Texas
  • Thomas D. Burns Jr., Parsons’ Salt Waste Processing Facility, senior vice president, 1993 William V. Campbell Trophy® recipient (Virginia)
  • Al Butts, Seashell, Inc., president, and former Columbia running back
  • Greg Comella, Comella's Restaurant Group, partner, former Stanford and NFL fullback
  • Scott Cook, Intuit, founder
  • Gordon Davidson, Fenwick & West LLP, partner
  • John Denniston, Shared-X, chairman, former partner at Kleiner Perkins
  • Pat Dillingham, Windy Hill Spirits, co-founder and CEO, former Notre Dame quarterback
  • Damon Dunn, Lagunita Industries LLC, managing member, former Stanford and NFL wide receiver, 1997 William V. Campbell Trophy® finalist
  • Alan Eagle, Google, director of communications
  • Mark Evanstad, Acova Health, CEO
  • Jason Forcier, Realstax, co-founder & CEO, former Michigan and Stanford quarterback
  • Diane Flynn, ReBoot Accel, co-founder and CEO
  • Mark Flynn, GSV Asset Management, co-managing partner, and former Saint John’s (Minn.) football player
  • Cathy Friedman, independent financial consultant and former Morgan Stanley Managing Director
  • Diane B. Greene, Google Inc., senior vice president; former founder and CEO of VMWare
  • Ted Gregory, Columbia University, director of Diversity Initiatives and Talent Retention, and former Columbia defensive back
  • Jim Hansen, Marine Meteorology Division of the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory, superintendent, 1992 William V. Campbell Trophy® recipient (Colorado)
  • Steve Hatchell, National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame, president & CEO
  • Chris Howard, Robert Morris University, president, 1990 William V. Campbell Trophy® recipient (Air Force)
  • Anne M. Holloway, Sacred Heart Schools (Atherton, Calif.), former board of trustees chairperson
  • Ron Johnson, ENJOY, CEO; former head of Apple Retail
  • Justin Kitch, Curious.com, founder and CEO
  • Erik Lorig, Sway Ventures, economist, former NFL fullback and Stanford defensive end
  • Ronnie Lott, Lott Auto Ventures, CEO, 2002 College Football Hall of Fame inductee (Southern California), 2000 Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee, NFF Board Member
  • Marc Mazur, Brightwood Capital Advisors, senior advisor, and former Columbia placekicker
  • James McGillicuddy, Sourcegraph, COO
  • Alan Mishra, Stanford University Medical Center, adjunct clinical associate professor
  • Michael Moe, GSV Asset Management, founder and CEO, and former Minnesota quarterback
  • Oganna Nnamani Silva, Stanford All-American volleyball player; two time Olympian and University of California, San Francisco, medical student
  • Gary O’Hagan, sports agent and financial advisor, former offensive tackle at Boston College
  • Ted Robinson, television and radio sportscaster
  • Jesse Rogers, Altamont Capital Partners, co-founder and managing director
  • Jonathan Rosenburg, Google, former SVP for products
  • Dan Rosensweig, Chegg, president & CEO
  • Sam Schwartzstein, Chegg, business analyst, former Stanford center and guard
  • Larry Scott, Pac-12 Conference, commissioner, NFF Board Member
  • Danny Shader, PayNearMe, founder and CEO
  • Brad Smith, Intuit, chairman and CEO
  • Jeff Wachtel, Stanford University Knight-Hennessy Scholars Program, executive director
  • Steve Young, HGGC, co-founder and managing director, 1983 NFF National Scholar-Athlete (Brigham Young), 2001 College Football Hall of Fame inductee, 2005 Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee
  • Susan Wojcicki, YouTube, CEO

About The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame
Founded in 1947 with early leadership from General Douglas MacArthur, legendary Army coach Earl "Red" Blaik and immortal journalist Grantland Rice, The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame is a non-profit educational organization that runs programs designed to use the power of amateur football in developing scholarship, citizenship and athletic achievement in young people. With 120 chapters and 12,000 members nationwide, NFF programs include FootballMatters.org, the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta, The William V. Campbell Trophy® presented by Fidelity Investments, annual scholarships of more than $1.3 million and a series of initiatives to honor the legends of the past and inspire the leaders of the future. NFF corporate partners include Delta Air Lines, Fidelity Investments, Herff Jones, New York Athletic Club, Pasadena Tournament of Roses, PrimeSport, the Sports Business Journal, Under Armour and VICIS. Learn more at www.footballfoundation.org.

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