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Naturalization ceremony set for Sept. 18 at University

The University of Toledo will celebrate Constitution Day with the swearing in of 80 people as U.S. citizens at a naturalization ceremony Monday, Sept. 18, at 11 a.m. in the Law Center McQuade Law Auditorium.

U.S. District Judge Jeffrey J. Helmick of the Northern District of Ohio will preside over the ceremony.

Established in 2004, Constitution Day recognizes the formation and signing of the U.S. Constitution on Sept. 17, 1787. All educational institutions that receive federal funds hold events to recognize the day.

Immigrants, who are 18 and older, are eligible to become a U.S. citizen and qualify for naturalization after being a permanent resident for a minimum of five years. Those married to a U.S. citizen and meet all the other eligibility requirements can apply after being a permanent resident for a minimum of three years.

“Students, faculty and staff should plan attend this very moving ceremony celebrating citizenship,” said Diane Miller, associate vice president for government relations. “At naturalization ceremonies, the new citizens will be giving up citizenship of their homeland and choosing to become American citizens. It’s a great celebration and a reminder of the freedoms we enjoy as citizens of the United States.”

Grisoranyel Barrios, a fourth-year political science and social work student who moved to Toledo from Venezuela in 2002, will open the court, and Kyle Zapadka, a sophomore majoring in finance and accounting who is speaker of the senate for Student Government, will close the court.

Dr. Andrew Hsu, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs, and Benjamin Barros, dean of the College of Law, will give welcoming remarks at the ceremony.

Agnieszka McPeak, associate professor of law, will be the featured speaker for the event. Zachary R. Boyer a UT junior studying political science and philosophy, also will speak.

Student Government President Jimmy Russell will lead the Pledge of Allegiance, and Melaney Goosby will recite the New Colossus.

Under the direction of Dr. Brad Pierson, UT assistant professor and director of choral activities in the Music Department, the UT Concert Chorale will perform “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

The free, public event is sponsored by the Office of Government Relations and the Center for International Studies and Programs.