Crystal Campbell Earns Top Ten Senior Award

By Sue McMurray

Crystal Campbell, an accounting major at WSU Vancouver, is one of WSU’s top ten seniors in the community service category. The award recognizes her dedication to volunteering and bringing joy to others.

From the early 1900’s to the 1980’s, WSU recognized the best five men and five women seniors. These students were called “The Big Five Men” and “The Big Five Women.” The Student Alumni Ambassadors and the WSU Alumni Association continue this tradition with the Top Ten Seniors award program. The most qualified ten students, each representing a specific aspect of the college experience, are chosen.

“I have always and will always volunteer and continue to bring joy to others”

In 2020, Campbell and other WSU students developed a holiday card campaign for more than 60 senior living residents in several communities managed by Era Living. Residents received a series of personalized cards and a bookmark to lift their spirits and let them know someone was thinking about them during the holidays. (Read previous story).

“I have always and will always volunteer and continue to bring joy to others,” says Campbell. “I am so grateful to be recognized and able to show everyone that giving time is free, and it’s taken for granted especially in a time like now with COVID.”

Campbell says her idea occurred while attending the WSU Granger Cobb Institute for Senior Living seminar series “Leaders LIVE!” featuring senior living industry professional Marla Becker.

Becker, the executive director of Aljoya Mercer Island, oversees the operations of Era Living that consists of eight communities of seniors. Jenni Sandstrom, assistant professor of hospitality at WSU Vancouver, invited two of her classes to attend to give students an inside perspective on how operations have changed during COVID-19.

“I want to thank my professor Jenni Sandstrom for being a part of the Holiday card campaign and sharing the Granger Cobb Institute Senior Living seminar with our class that allowed me and the volunteers the amazing opportunity to give back to a community so deserving,” says Campbell.

Campbell also thanks Becker for the opportunity to coordinate the campaign as well as Lynn Meyer, an Era Living Communities resident, who inspired her during the senior living seminar. “Without these three people and the selfless volunteers, the Top Ten Senior award would not have been possible,” she says.