Will D. Campbell was a Baptist preacher in Taylor, Louisiana, for two years before taking the position of Director of Religious Life at the University of Mississippi from 1954 to 1956. Forced to leave the university because of his ardent Civil Rights participation, Campbell served on the National Council of Churches as a race relations consultant. Campbell worked closely with the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., John Lewis, and Andrew Young toward bettering race relations. Campbell's Brother to a Dragonfly earned him the Lillian Smith Prize, the Christopher Award, and a National Book Award nomination. The Glad River won a first-prize award from the Friends of American Writers in 1982. His works have also won a Lyndhurst Prize and an Alex Haley Award.