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Campbell Hall Donor Stories: The Porteous & Hamilton Families

By Brandi Stover & Melanie Brender

Spartan green runs deep in the veins of the Porteous and Hamilton families.

“My parents met in Campbell Hall – in the dining area,” Bill Porteous said. “Both worked in food service. Now, that dining area will be the new Grand Hall for Campbell Hall where people will have a chance to meet and gather.”

Bill, alongside his brother Dave and sister Ruth, followed in his parents’ footsteps to Michigan State University.  

These Spartan siblings and their families pledged $1,000,000 to renovate the Grand Hall, which was once the dining hall where their parents met. 

This new space within Campbell Hall will give future Honors Students a space to collaborate and build lasting connections, just like their parents did. The Grand Hall will be named after their parents William and Mable to honor that legacy.

“There is nothing we think about that more encapsulates our parent’s passion for Michigan State, their passion for education, and their passion for family,” Dave Porteous said, “that as a family we are able to come together and provide this opportunity for a special naming and recognition of our parents.” 

The Campbell Hall renovation project will transform the space into an Honors College living-learning community. Donors like the Porteous and Hamilton families have given the project life. 

“You couldn’t have written a script in a better way to put all the things that mean something together with family, Michigan State, and education all in the same place,” Ruth’s son Cameron Hamilton said. “Celebrating this is something I am absolutely thrilled to be a part of.” 

While Cameron didn’t attend MSU, the campus holds treasured memories spent with his family. He flew into town to surprise his relatives at the Campbell Hall groundbreaking.

Lasting Legacies in East Lansing

Dave was elected to the MSU Board of Trustees in 1998 and chaired the board from 2003 to 2006. He met his now-wife in Wilson Hall during his time as an undergraduate. He has three children, all of whom are also MSU alumni, making them third-generation Spartans.  

“Michigan State provided the opportunity for our parents, for ourselves, and then for my children to be able to learn, to grow, to mature, and to really become not just Spartans, but members of society,” Dave said.  

When Ruth attended MSU, not only was she in one of the inaugural classes of the Honors College, but also lived in Campbell Hall. She met her now-husband there and even got engaged by the same bench outside the dorm that her parents did. 

“I was at Michigan State when the Honors College was first beginning,” Ruth Porteous-Hamilton said. “At that point, Campbell Hall was becoming such a special place.” 

Bill appreciates the importance of his family legacy at MSU and is proud to be honoring it in such a permanent manner.  

“I think that for our family, it is a rare opportunity to name the place where your parents met,” Bill said.  

The Honors College is grateful to Dave, Bill, Ruth, and their families for their lasting commitment to the Campbell Hall renovation and belief in the power of our community.  

Thank you to Ruth and Tom Hamilton, Dave and Joan Porteous, Bill Porteous and Elizabeth Weber, Cameron Hamilton, and grandchildren of Mable and William Porteous for generously committing to fund this space. 

Click here to learn more about the Campbell Hall renovation and how to get involved.

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