Celebrated college and university foodservice veteran Campbell “Camp” Howard has died.
The cause of his death on Dec. 7 and his age at the time were not revealed by Howard’s family, who announced his passing on social media last week.
Howard, a chef, spent 19 years in C&U foodservice. He was most recently director of dining for the University of Montana (UM), with responsibility for 25 foodservice locations, including residential dining halls and retail outlets. In announcing the appointment, the school cited Howard’s outstanding leadership and vision.
Before assuming that post in March 2017, Howard was director of campus dining for Vanderbilt University in Nashville.
He graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y., and began his foodservice career with ClubCorp, an operator of golf courses and other recreational facilities. He would later switch to C&U foodservice, starting as an executive chef for the University of Tennessee. Howard said the lifestyle afforded by college foodservice better fit his intention of being a good father and husband.
Howard was by all accounts a character. As a youngster, he delivered newspapers via unicycle, a skill he mastered after witnessing a circus performer. In a freewheeling interview with FoodService Director in 2012, he cited Mick Jagger as the person he most admired, and revealed a burger, fries and a Coke to be his all-time favorite meal.
He was also an avid outdoorsman. He noted before moving to Missoula, the home of UM, that it would afford him the opportunity to mountain bike, fly fish and ski.
"Camp Howard defined the term 'gentleman,'" said Dennis Pierce, director of dining for the University of Connecticut and a longtime associate of Howard's. "He was a compassionate chef as he always gave value and credibility to the best ingredients as he arrived at creating a memorable dish. In his welcome letter to the incoming University of Montana students his passion for hospitality and campus dining came from his heart as he wrote, 'Welcome to our table. You are our guest, and we look forward to serving you.'”
A memorial service for Howard is planned for Dec. 14. at the Hunterwood Clubhouse in Brentwood, Tenn. His family has asked Howard’s friends and acquaintances to make a donation to the National Park Foundation in lieu of sending flowers.