Mr. Campbell’s Journey to Citizenship

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Bazil Martinez

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Mr. Campbell’s Journey to Citizenship

Mr. Campbell recently became a United States citizen, after coming to the United States 18 years ago to attend college. Campbell met his wife in college, moved to Dallas, TX after graduation, and spent 8 years at Jesuit College Preparatory in Dallas. It was in Dallas at this sister Jesuit school where Mr. Campbell’s love for Jesuit education was born. As he was a Canadian, he received his green card, a renewable resident card, in 2005 and applied for American citizenship last March. His birthplace is Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.

Mark Campbell, Xavier Athletic Director

After a derailed hockey career, Mr. Campbell took to the game of golf and earned an opportunity to play NCAA Division II Golf. This is what brought Mr. Campbell to the US, and he never left. Mr. Campbell spent nearly half of his life in the United States. Mr. Campbell felt he and his family were an all-American family. With the expiration of his green card coming up Mr. Campbell felt he should formalize his feeling of being an American through an official process and ceremony.

The emblem for the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

Mr. Campbell expressed that his citizenship required an extensive amount of paperwork and a considerable amount of money to start the process. However, his background of 18 years in the United States made his citizenship process relatively simple compared to others.

Mr. Campbell was fascinated to be a part of the experience with 5000 other people, representing 167 countries, receiving their naturalization as US citizens at the LA Convention Center. To witness first-hand people’s lives change with a single oath of allegiance, was incredible for Mr. Campbell. He also added, “For many in that room, the freedom they gained on that morning provided them with an instant pathway to a better life; the emotions were real. It was a really cool experience for me.” Mr. Campbell is now eligible to serve on a jury and has the right to vote.

Mr. Campbell felt the incredible love of the Xavier community, from students to parents, to faculty, staff, and administration. He received many messages, handshakes, high-fives and hugs, all with sincerest remarks of congratulations. One of his favorite moments was when he returned to his office on his citizenship day and was hit with an explosion of Red, White, and Blue. To this day, some of the decorations are still on display in his office. It truly meant a lot to Mr. Campbell to feel that pride and love.

A second memorable experience included two students who purchased the school a new flag to fly on Mr. Campbell’s first day of citizenship and invited him to be a part of the changing of the flag. “They were so proud to welcome me with this gesture. As we say often, Xavier is one big family,” Mr. Campbell recalled. Mr. Campbell felt Xavier’s love more than ever upon receiving his citizenship and returning home to the school and the community he loves.

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