History of BNCC

The Ben Nighthorse Campbell Center (BNCC) was built to provide a facility where cancer survivors can obtain help with the rehabilitation process that follows the different types of cancer treatments.  The facility was built with funds from a federal grant that Senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell helped secure for the Rocky Mountain Cancer Rehabilitation Institute (RMCRI).  Senator Campbell was a U.S. Senator from Colorado from 1993 until 2005.  BNCC opened in August, 2003.

Senator Campbell has an interesting background with many exceptional accomplishments.  He was born in Auburn, California in 1933.  He dropped out of high school in 1951 to join the U.S. Air Force and served in Korea.  The Senator obtained his GED while in the Air Force and after returning to the U.S., he received his bachelor’s degree in physical education and fine arts in 1957 from San Jose, California.  Campbell studied Japanese culture at Meiji University in Tokyo as a special research student in the 1960’s where he trained with their world-renowned judo team.  He won three U.S. national championships and a gold medal in the 1963 Pan American Games judo competition. 

Campbell learned the art of making Indian jewelry from his father, who was of Native American Indian decent.  Over the years he experimented with various styles and incorporated a laminating technique which he learned from the Japanese sword-makers.  He developed a unique style of jewelry artistry and has received many awards.  His jewelry has been displayed in the National Museum of the American Indian.

Senator Nighthorse Campbell is a cancer survivor.  In January, 2006, he announced his retirement from the public eye to spend more time with his family.  We thank Senator Nighthorse Campbell for his support in cancer rehabilitation as well as his service to our community.