Campbell sworn in as district court judge
— The formal term for the ceremony in which an appointed judge takes his or her oath is called an “investiture.” That word carried profound meaning for Clara Eva Campbell on Friday when she became the next Cecil County District Court judge.
“This is an investiture,” Campbell told friends, family and colleagues who had packed the Ceremonial Courtroom in the Cecil County Circuit Courthouse, before emphasizing the root word and requesting, “So through
my remarks today, just keep in mind the word – invest.”
Campbell was mindful of the people who had invested in her throughout her life and her 32-year legal career, thus far, giving them thanks for molding her and guiding her to a judgeship in which she is now entrusted with dispensing justice in criminal and civil cases.
For Campbell, her special day wasn’t so much about herself as it was about them.
She recalled growing up the youngest of six children in a close-knit family in North East, where her father owned and operated a Main Street grocery store. Campbell, 55, also remembered how a “disabling illness” forced her father to sell the store in 1974, when she was 13, putting a financial strain on the family.
“And so began the adversity. I saw education as my way out,” Campbell said.
Campbell went on to graduate from North East High School as valedictorian in 1979. Then the State of Maryland, as Campbell put it, “thought it would be a good investment” to name her a Maryland Distinguished
Cecil County District Court Judge Clara Eva Campbell holds a gavel that had been gifted to her by her late brother Lon Campbell.