MONTECITO, Calif. -

A man who has spent the past 40 years on the campus of Westmont College just took the most important test in his life. And he passed. Jose Velazquez is now a U.S. citizen.

Velazquez has pruned, trimmed and watered the campus grounds for four decades, as if they were his own.

"I thought I'd stay for a couple of years," Velazquez said, after leaving his native home of Jalisco and family of 11. He was 29 years old then.

"Time passed, I came to Westmont, my second home."

Over the years his strong work ethic and good sensibilities paid off. Velazquez earned full time work, married and he and his wife saved up to buy a home.

Now, as a widower, he wanted to realize another life-long dream; to become a U.S. citizen.

After passing the test, Velazquez is now waiting to attend a citizenship ceremony in Los Angeles, where he will stand and salute the American flag.