Alumni Spotlight

Brooke Campbell Walters,’03, and Shadd Walters, ’02

By: Michelle Goff
April 15, 2016

Although they didn’t know it at the time, the lives of Shadd and Brooke Campbell Walters changed in September 1999 on what University of Pikeville students and alumni refer to as “the bridge.”

“We met at the first bridge social of the year,” Brooke recalls. “It was my first semester at college.”

“I passed her a note with my number on it that said ‘call me,’” Shadd says. “She passed me a note with her number on it that said, ‘I don’t call boys.’”

Shadd called the number, and he and Brooke began dating. They eventually married and Brooke gave birth to their son Tate in May 2003 – three days after graduating from UPIKE.

“It was very overwhelming,” Brooke says of her final semester at UPIKE. “I was trying to balance the pregnancy with finishing college strong. It was exciting, but at the same time, I was praying he would stay in.”

Brooke, a business management major, spent a year at home with Tate (a daughter, Gabrielle, followed 10 years later), before taking a job in pharmaceutical sales. Shadd, a business major, had already started a career in banking. A district manager for US Bank, Shadd credits UPIKE for helping him stay on the right track.
“(Coming out of Paintsville High School), I had offers to play college football, but I stayed home and went to Prestonsburg Community College (PCC) because my dad was sick,” Shadd says. “After we lost him to lung cancer, I was lost in tall weeds.”

According to Shadd, he devoted most of his time to playing golf, at the expense of his studies.

“I was sitting at home on Christmas break when then-Athletic Director Ron Damron called me,” Shadd says. “He said, ‘I hear you’re a pretty good golf player. If you can get your GPA up, you can play golf for Pikeville College.’”

Shadd finished the year at PCC, raised his GPA and transferred to Pikeville where he played golf for four years. He looks back fondly on his time at the college.
“I made good friends there,” he says. “I’m very appreciative now for the mandatory religion classes we had to take. That laid a foundation for me on my Christian walk.”

“I would have to give credit to our professors,” Brooke adds. “They’re still impacting our lives. That’s the benefit of a small private school. I’m thankful for what they’ve instilled in me.”

Although Brooke and Shadd devote much of their free time to their children’s’ activities, they also find time for their community and church. Shadd chairs the Southeast Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, Brooke is involved with the Walk to End Alzheimer’s, and both participate in Betsy Layne Freewill Baptist Church’s Operation School Shoes.

“The church provides new shoes for children in Floyd County. It’s humbling and rewarding,” Shadd says.

Both Brooke and Shadd note, “Even with our busy schedules, it is our desire and goal to put God first daily in everything we do. That is the only way to be a true example to our family, friends and peers.”

Although much has transpired in their lives since that first meeting on the bridge, for Brooke, the important things in life can be summed up in one word.
“Relationships is what life is all about,” Brooke says. “I’m thankful for our relationship with God, our relationship with each other and those relationships that teach us.” 

There has never been a better time to be a UPIKE Bear! APPLY NOW
UPike Tigers