Elizabeth Campbell is the founder of WETA, Washington’s flagship public broadcaster. Mrs. Campbell turns 100 years old next week! She is an amazing woman who worked for desegregation; became a member of the first elected school board here in Arlington, Virginia; and received the license for WETA-TV at the memorable “vast wasteland” speech by FCC chairman Newton Minnow.
I had the good fortune to work with Mrs. Campbell over the years, first as a volunteer at WETA then as publicist one summer. My office was just inside the front door, across from Mrs. Campbell’s (she came to work each and everyday until just recently, never accepting a paycheck). She never failed to greet me, make me feel as if I was the most important person there… and tell me if I was dressed appropriately!
I invite you to read more about the life of Elizabeth Campbell at the WETA website, and send her a birthday message! Mine is below.
Happy Birthday, Mrs. Campbell! Your contributions to the world around you are so remarkable, so tangible, and so forward looking. Your courage in the era of segregation here in Arlington broke down barriers and you haven’t stopped since! I cherished my time working at WETA as a volunteer over the years and appreciated the inspiration you provided to myself and all the WETA staff. Your mission of transforming something as ubiquitous as television into a tool for enlightenment has become a movement that will never end as long as your legacy continues through WETA and other educational stations (and new forms of media!).
May you continue to inspire energetic minds – young and old alike – for many, many years to come.
With great respect and love,