C. David Campbell and David Page

Hammond & Associates is saddened by the passing of C. David Campbell and David Page.  For many years, we had the distinct pleasure of working closely with these two extraordinary leaders, both of whom worked tirelessly to make the region a better place.

David Campbell was the consummate gentleman; a man who occupied a position of considerable influence in Detroit philanthropic circles but who was seemingly unaffected by status and title.  There was never a trace of arrogance with Dave.  Instead, he embodied the McGregor Fund mission — “To relieve the misfortunes and promote the well being of mankind” — a phrase he would recite in most meetings with a twinkle in his eye.   His moral compass was refreshingly clear and unambiguous.

Dave’s door was always open and he never treated our visits as if they were an imposition on his time.  He understood that we had a job to do and he wanted to help, and he always came to our meetings having done his homework.  During feasibility study interviews, for instance, he would arrive with an advance copy of the client’s Case Statement marked up and underlined in red pen or pencil with notations in the margins.  His critique was usually preceded by a series of questions gently delivered but always on point.  When he heard and understood our answers, only then did he render an opinion on how the document could be strengthened.  He was a master at simplifying the complex and we always left grateful for his counsel.

David Page was among a handful of leaders that shaped the philanthropic landscape of the Detroit area for an entire generation.  Over a long career, he stood at the helm of some of Detroit’s most important nonprofits and charities, most notably Children’s Hospital of Michigan and the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy.  At these organizations and elsewhere, David always pushed his colleagues to do better, to do more.  But he demanded the same commitment to excellence from himself.

With David, there was a sense that if he signed on to the cause, he was totally committed and was prepared to serve through thick and thin.  He believed in the best practices of philanthropy and nonprofit management and wanted all of his charities to aspire to highest standards of professionalism.   In this way, he was not only a great leader, but a great teacher that mentored and inspired hundreds of CEO’s and development officers over a 40-year period.

The two Davids — David Campbell and David Page — were giants in philanthropy in the Detroit region.  Today, it is hard to see how they will be replaced anytime soon.

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