Dr. Kevin Telford, chair of modern languages and associate professor of French at Daemen College, recently celebrated a personal milestone as he became a U.S. citizen along with 55 others representing 26 different countries at a naturalization ceremony held in Buffalo.
“Becoming a U.S. citizen has been a long-time personal goal for me,” said Telford, who has already registered to vote as a newly naturalized citizen. “As Daemen faculty, we teach our students about citizenship, civic responsibility, and community service, so it was important to me that I experience the rights and responsibilities as a fully engaged citizen.”
A native of Great Britain, Telford received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Liverpool and came to the U.S. in 1985 to further his college studies.
“During my undergraduate years at the University of Liverpool, I became acquainted with Dr. Glyn Burgess, who I played cricket with on the faculty and student teams and he was also my tutor for language courses in my senior year,” said Telford. “At that time, Dr. Burgess was a visiting professor in the summers at the University of Georgia, and he recommended that I study at the university for my graduate degree.”
Telford went on to earn a master’s degree in French and a doctorate in romance languages, both from the University of Georgia. After graduating, he remained in the U.S. and was married in 1989.
Telford began his teaching career at the University of Georgia and then Lyon College in Arkansas. Joining Daemen in 1995, he has taught at all levels of French language, French literature and translation, courses in Daemen’s learning communities, and other classes during his more than 20-year tenure at the college.
Today, he and his wife, Heather, reside in Tonawanda and are the parents of two children, Grace and Dylan. He travels as frequently as possible to visit family in Great Britain but has come to consider the U.S. his home.
“For me, the ceremonial aspect of becoming a U.S. citizen was a formal acknowledgement of having lived a great life in this country for 33 years,” said Telford.