We are proud to share that North Central High School alumni Duncan Campbell, class of 1963, and Joshua Thompson, class of 2000, will be inducted into the NCHS Hall of Fame this September. Each of these men have proudly represented their panther heritage as they ventured out into the world. Scroll down to learn more about each of our inductees, their time at North Central, and how they have continues to share their gifts since graduation.
Before graduating from North Central in 1963, Duncan Campbell spent his K-12 education in Washington Township. He started at Crooked Creek, then went to Westlane, and finally North Central.
Growing up in the early days of Washington Township, Duncan has fond memories of what life was like on the north side of town in the 1960s. Some of these memories include helping with and attending dances in the atrium at the old North Central High School (currently Northview Middle School) with the band playing on the landing and working as a caddy at Highland Golf Course.
During his time at North Central, Duncan took advantage of many of the extracurricular opportunities offered and was active on the student council and the tennis team. He also excelled in academics and took part in several honors classes. He has a great appreciation for his teachers, “The teachers were not telling us what to think but how to think. We had freedom of thought.”
After high school, Duncan pursued advanced classes in Spanish and history and eventually majored in European and Latin American history at Columbia University. He still credits one of his Spanish teachers for giving him the push he needed to find his passion by encouraging him to enter a Spanish writing contest where he would end up winning.
Since graduating from Columbia University, Duncan has dedicated his life to preserving Indiana’s rich architectural history in order to enhance and protect these landmarks within our community. In the 1970s he worked on HUD-funded homes in Bloomington where he restored dilapidated homes. It was this project that made him start to look at the importance of preserving the history of buildings. While he aligned with the mission of helping those without resources create a home, he remembers wondering “why we were eviscerating these buildings and putting it all in the landfill. It was just wasteful.” Through his work on these projects though, Duncan would find allies in his cause and eventually connect with Bloomington Restorations, Inc (BRI).
This partnership with BRI led to several opportunities and throughout the 1980s Duncan would continue to work on homes, becoming a master remodeler and working on larger projects such as Paris Dunning House in Bloomington, Indiana where he was able to restore homes to their original glory vs. tearing them down. As he continued his career, Duncan continued to feed his love of preservation. honing his craft through experience and education, earning his Master of Science in Historic Preservation, and working on several more of Monroe County’s most notable buildings.
Then in 2008, he stepped into a new role, becoming a professor at Ball State University’s College of Architecture and Planning where he directed the Graduate Program in Historic Preservation until retiring in 2012.
While he has followed a variety of career paths, Duncan is most proud of his time as a university professor after spending twenty-five years as a carpenter. He shares, “ Carrying my love of historic preservation to the next generation is a huge reward as a professor. Honoring his craftsman past with his love of historic preservation has been a great combination. Duncan shared, “Being able to take a walnut and make it into something beautiful like a cabinet is awesome. With the limited success I’ve had, I just want to help others”.
While retired, Duncan still serves in various capacities on committees and is a highly sought-after speaker and consultant. Today he resides in Bloomington, Indiana with his wife.
Click the links below to learn even more about Duncan Campbell.
Joshua Thompson has deep roots in Washington Township where he and his siblings completed their K-12 education and his parents still reside. He has lots of great memories of growing up in the community, and of his time at North Central. In fact, many of the friends he had in high school are still in his life today. He affectionately calls them “The Geek Squad.”
During his time at North Central Joshua was involved in a slew of activities including Panther Quest, Wind Ensemble, Junior Class Council, National Honor Society, and Junior Spec. As he reflects on his time at North Central, he remembers how North Central was able to elevate students that had an interest in the arts. Joshua felt the academic rigor and critical thinking required from teachers, as well as the time management skills he learned while attending, have served him well.
After graduating from NCHS in 2000, Joshua felt prepared to impact change and headed off to DePauw University where he studied sociology. Still, he never lost his love of music and remained involved in the arts as a student pianist throughout college.
Since graduating from DePauw, Joshua has combined his love of the arts and his degree, spending his time now as a music sociologist where he helps keep music viable in the 21st Century. He bring music education into the light for students by weaving storytelling and music together. As a classically trained pianist, he shared, “I can lose myself in the music!”
It is not uncommon years after graduation to see Joshua in the hallways at North Central, often bringing fellow Black musicians with him. He consistently gives back to our school community and returns home to NC regularly to speak to students and share his love of classical music.
Educating the next generation of musicians is extremely important to Joshua. He recalls often feeling lost in the classical music scene as a child without the presence of others that looked like him. Affinity, representation, and proximity matter. Joshua has made it his life’s work to give back to the community and to share his love of classical music within the greater Indianapolis area. He considers his performances musical TED Talks, combining social sciences, history, and art history with classical music soundtracks.
Joshua is also the creator of “Melanated Moments in Classical Music,” a podcast he co-hosts with Angela Brown that is used as a music education resource in many colleges. And this past school year, Joshua and Angela even brought their show live to North Central to share these discussions and answer questions from the NC Choirs.
Looking back, Joshua is thankful for his public education and for the support he received from his parents. He shared, “ I am so thankful for my parents pouring into us for over two decades. They cared for us and nurtured us. They made sure we were in an educational environment and they put a lot of things on hold for us. I am thankful for them.”
To learn more about the work Joshua Thompson is doing in the community, make sure to follow him on social media!
- Joshua Thompson on Facebook
- SockJoplin on Instagram
- Melanted Moments in Classical Music on Facebook
Joshua always ends his presentations with this quote so it seems fitting to end our highlight in the same way. He says, “Surround yourself with people more talented and smarter than you, and you will always learn. If you are the only one dreaming higher in the room then, find a new room”
Click the links below to learn even more about Joshua Thompson.