Campbell Avenue is named in honor of Edmund D. and Elizabeth P. Campbell, whose accomplishments and civic activism set a high standard for all to follow.
Margaret Elizabeth Pfohl was born December 4, 1902, in Clemmons, North Carolina. She received a Bachelor's degree in English from Salem College and a Master's degree in education from Columbia University. At just 25, she became dean of Moravian College for Women in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. In 1929, she became dean of Mary Baldwin College in Staunton, Virginia. In June 1936, Elizabeth Pfohl wed Edmund D. Campbell. They settled in Arlington County and raised four children.
Concerned about the quality of public education in Arlington, Elizabeth Campbell won a seat in 1947 on the County's first elected school board. She was the first woman to be elected to a school board in Virginia. She served three terms, 1948-1951, 1952-1955, and 1960-1963, and was chairman three times. Her leadership and commitment led to funding for seven new schools; hiring more teachers at better salaries; starting such programs as kindergarten, full-day sessions for first- and second-graders, music and art classes for African American students, and educational services for the handicapped; and launching the first countywide school bus service. In the mid- to late-1950s, she and her husband joined together in the struggle to desegregate Virginia's public schools.
In 1957, Elizabeth Campbell became president of the Greater Washington Educational Television Association (GWETA), formed to offer a nonprofit and noncommercial educational broadcast service to the Washington, D.C. area. In 1958, GWETA inaugurated its first daytime broadcast on local station WTTG, airing Time for Science, a science enrichment program for elementary school students. In 1961, a public television station began broadcasting in the nation's capital as WETA Channel 26. Under her pioneering leadership, WETA flourished, growing from a small local public television station into a multimedia company of national renown. Elizabeth Campbell stepped down from her role as president in 1971 to become WETA's vice president of community affairs, a position she held until her death.
Elizabeth Campbell received many awards recognizing her decades of public service, including Washingtonian of the Year in 1978 and public television's highest honor, the Ralph Lowell Award, from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting in 1996. She also received five honorary doctorate degrees. Elizabeth P. Campbell died on January 9, 2004, in Arlington.