Naturalization ceremony to be held Sept. 17 at UT

September 15, 2015 | Events, UToday, Law
By Cassandra DeYoung

The University of Toledo will celebrate Constitution Day with a naturalization ceremony Thursday, Sept. 17, in the Law Center McQuade Law Auditorium from 11 a.m. to noon.

During the ceremony, 50 people will be sworn in as U.S. citizens by Federal District Judge Jack Zouhary of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio.

Naturalization Flyer“This is an important milestone. It’s like a graduation, since the process takes a long time,” said Diane Miller, associate vice president of federal relations in the UT Office of Government Relations. “It’s this big celebration of reaching the end and accomplishing the goal of becoming a U.S. citizen.”

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.

“Most everyone in this country is an immigrant or a child, grandchild or great-grandchild of immigrants, so it is a natural way to celebrate the history of our country, which is this melting pot,” Miller said.

The event’s featured speaker will be Kolet Buenavides, a third-year student in UT’s College of Law, who was naturalized as a U.S. citizen last year. She was born and raised in the Philippines and immigrated to the United States after completing the fifth grade.

“Anyone who is available should walk over to the law school to watch the event,” Miller said. “This will be an hour well spent. If anyone is unable to come to our yearly ceremony, the court does hold naturalization ceremonies several times a year.”

The UT Concert Chorale will perform “The Star-Spangled Banner” at the event.

“We’ve had students do solos or duets before during the event, but we’re really excited to have a choir perform this year,” Miller said.

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

For more information on becoming a naturalized citizen, visit

For more information on the naturalization ceremony, contact Lisa Byers, executive secretary in the UT Office of Government Relations, at

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