Bob Campbell, chairman and CEO of Boca Raton, Fla.-based BBC International, was bestowed with an honorary doctorate degree yesterday by Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton.
In a letter recommending Campbell for the honor, Daniel Gropper, dean of the College of Business, wrote, “Bobby Campbell’s record of achievements in business, and his significant contributions in the community and to so many charitable causes, provide a great example to our students of what they can aspire to accomplish in their careers.”
Campbell’s career in the shoe industry spans more than 60 years. He got his start as a stock boy at Kinney Shoes in Detroit at the age of 16, and after rising through the ranks of the Kinney organization — and its parent, F.W. Woolworth — he founded BBC in 1975.
That company has since grown into a multimillion-dollar global footwear powerhouse and one of the biggest players in the children’s market. It boasts longtime licensing partnerships with Disney and Marvel, and produces kids’ shoes for such well-known brands as Polo Ralph Lauren, Cole Haan, Teva and Heelys.
Campbell has also been strongly committed to philanthropy, serving on the boards of numerous charity organizations, including the Two Ten Footwear Foundation. In addition, he has contributed generously to FAU over the years, helping to create the Bobby and Barbara Campbell Academic Success Center, to support the development of the school’s student-athletes.
At the FAU commencement ceremony in Boca, Campbell delivered a thoughtful speech to a crowd of graduates and their families. His message to the young people embarking on their futures was to “believe in yourself.”
“Face all adversity with courage and a positive attitude, as it is with this approach that you will overcome it all,” he said. “Nothing can beat you down but yourself in the business world.”