The Marlowe Sherwood Memorial Service Award
recognizes alumni who excel as volunteers in their communities. The 2007
recipient, Francis “Pete” Campbell, ’78, so impressed the
volunteer coordinator at Banner Homecare and Hospice of Arizona that she
brought Campbell to the Alumni Association’s attention.
Campbell, who credits his success to the education
he received at Park, graduated from the Williams Air Force Base Campus
Center near Mesa, Ariz. He is the first recipient of an Alumni
Association award from the University’s Park Distance Learning.
He came to the Parkville campus for the first time to participate in
Alumni Weekend 2006.
Campbell always demonstrated an inclination toward
service and muses about mowing the parish lawn for free as a child. When
he was 11 he began a self-defined form of hospice care, reading to and
studying with a bedridden friend. Years later, after retiring from
careers in the military and teaching, Campbell still devotes volunteer
time at a hospice center in his hometown of Mesa.
In 1954 at the age of 17, he joined the Air Force.
By 1968 he was a civil affairs officer in Vietnam, serving as a liaison
between the Army and civilian authorities and populations.
“If a Vietnamese official contacted me about a
needed building, it was my job to get materials and people to build it,”
he said. “The base medical personnel, myself and an escort would go to
villages and do dentistry and medical care once a month.”
The job appealed to Campbell’s humanitarian nature.
“I had a good job — I didn’t have to shoot at anyone and had enough
sense to duck when they shot at me.” The Air Force honored his program
for excellence, and the Air Force Times ran his
picture on the front page.
Even with his accomplishments, Campbell insists
that he’s “nothing special.” “What makes me different is that I’ve taken
every opportunity for education that faced me and done the best that I
could with that chance.”
He returned from Vietnam to Williams Air Force Base
and took advantage of his GI Bill education benefits. In September 1978
he received a Park degree in social psychology with an emphasis in
guidance and counseling. He earned a teaching certificate and taught
special education in the Mesa public schools for 19 years until 1998 and
simultaneously taught classes in creative writing and in the athletic
department at Mesa Community College until retiring in 2004.
By September 2005 he was volunteering 30 hours a
week at Banner Homecare and Hospice of Arizona. He works in the
assistant to the volunteer coordinator’s office and sees three elderly
patients during home visits. With over 1100 hours to his credit, he was
recognized as the organization’s top volunteer in 2006.
So much for retirement. “I decided to get off the
couch and do volunteer work. I prayed long and hard for the best place
for me. I believe God directed me toward Banner Homecare and Hospice.”
Campbell’s religious life has always played an
important role in his decisions. He volunteers for his church and
teaches Bible studies. He also works with the Knights of Columbus.
The Park founders’ dream was to create a sense of
social responsibility through service to others. Frances Campbell
exemplifies this basic Park University principle.