Camp’s workrevitalizedMurphy Theatre

News Journal


This is the first of an eight-part series profiling the 2016 Outstanding Women of Clinton County. Tickets for the luncheon event — to be held at 11:30 a.m. Saturday, March 5 at the Roberts Centre — are $25 (cash or check accepted; make check payable to “OWCC”). Reservations can be made at the Wilmington News Journal, 761 S. Nelson Ave., Wilmington, OH 45177. The News Journal’s office hours are 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday. If you have any questions, please call 937-382-2574. Reservations will be accepted through March 1. Julie Isphording will be the guest speaker. Julie ran the first ever women’s Olympic Marathon in 1984; she is an award-winning syndicated radio host, national keynote speaker and magazine columnist.

Surely no one in the recent past has done more than Cindy Borton Camp toward honoring and preserving the legacy of one of Wilmington’s most famous and attractive monuments — the Murphy Theatre. The tireless efforts of this inductee of the Outstanding Women of Clinton County class of 2016, and her fellow theatre directors, have captured the attention of the Wilmington community, Clinton County businesses and residents, various generous foundations, and even the Ohio State Legislature, which has recently awarded the Murphy a $1-million preservation grant.

What many do not realize is her commitment to other community organizations and activities.

After graduating from Wilmington High School and then earning a B.S. in education from Florida State University, Camp taught elementary school for the next 30 years in Ann Arbor, Michigan, in Elyria and Columbus, Ohio, and beginning in 1975 in the Wilmington City Schools. In 1998, she received the Esther Williams Excellence in Teaching Award for Outstanding Teacher of the Year. She has also served as high school cheerleading advisor.

Camp’s love of the Murphy Theatre began — as it has for so many — during childhood, while dancing and performing on its fabulous stage. In 1961, she participated in its last minstrel show. Since 2002, she has officially served the theatre in a variety of ways, including two terms as president of the board. In addition to direct administration as president and vice president, her active involvement has included fundraising, marketing, programming, and volunteer recruitment and management

In 2010, just when the Murphy Theatre was on the brink of closing, Camp volunteered to head its daily operations, working for no salary and even donating funds of her own to assist in its maintenance. During her first term as president, she oversaw the implementation of online ticketing, the addition of business-level memberships, the recruitment of even more sponsors and individual memberships, and a reorganization of concessions operations — all of which led to a doubling of revenue.

Since then, the Murphy has secured a number of grants from such organizations as the Ohio Arts Council, the Clinton County Foundation, Monsanto, and DP&L. The Dayton Foundation and the Cornerstone Foundation have also contributed generously, while the Charlie Fischer Trust has increased donations to the theatre’s children’s programming by 33 percent.

In 2006, the Murphy offered only 12 events; in the 2015-2016 season, more than 36 are planned. The theatre has installed a new, upgraded sound system, run by professionals, while seating for the physically challenged is now available at the back of the house. In all of these and other developments, Camp has taken an active, if not leading, role.

She has also been active in the Clinton County Historical Society (since 1975) and on the board of directors of the Rotary Club (currently chairing the Rotary Scholarship Committee) and of the county Convention and Visitors’ Bureau.

An important part of Camp’s life is the Wilmington Presbyterian Church, where she has served as deacon, trustee, and elder for multiple terms, advising on financial planning, policy, and programming. She is currently a director of the Timber Faith Pre-School.


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