It’s never easy saying goodbye, but when Walter, Brian and I visited Pat Campbell at Notre Dame Educational Bridge Center at the end of January, it was not a goodbye but “Good luck” as she begins a new chapter in her life called retirement. Pat retired from the Educational Bridge Center, where she was Director for 15 years. During her tenure, among other accomplishments in developing avenues of learning for students on a healthcare career path, Pat fulfilled Notre Dame’s mission to help immigrants and refugees become U.S. citizens. She did this with grace, kindness, a tireless advocacy, and sense of justice for others.
We have worked with Pat and Notre Dame’s Educational Bridge Center for nearly a dozen years in this program, which was first targeted to employees of the area’s nursing homes and then later, with Notre Dame’s funding from the Maranatha Trust, to the larger population of immigrants needing help with the process. Together, we can boast helping more than a hundred new U.S. citizens and many family reunifications. In addition to the obvious benefits of citizenship, Notre Dame’s program helped immigrants stabilize their lives in America and work toward careers that, as we have seen in the past year, have far-reaching blessings for others.
In the days when we would meet monthly to talk about program plans and current events in the immigration world, it was always a treat for me to sit and talk with Pat. I always came away from those meetings with a heightened sense of purpose for the work and a renewed sense of gratitude in being part of her community.
So we wish you well, Pat, as you find new ways to contribute to the world. We know you will bring your wisdom, social conscience, and compassion to whatever you do, as you fulfill your own mantra, “We are changing the world, one person at a time!”