LEXINGTON, Ky.—Transylvania University will host a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Naturalization Ceremony on March 21, 2014, in which more than 200 individuals representing more than 70 countries will take the Oath of Allegiance, completing the path to American citizenship.
Karen Caldwell, chief judge, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky, will preside. Caldwell, a 1977 graduate of Transylvania, is a member of the university’s Board of Trustees.
Plans call for Transylvania student Esi Kalefe '14, a naturalized citizen from Togo, to welcome those in attendance. Vivian Tsai '16 of Taiwan will lead the Pledge of Allegiance.
Kerry Harvey, U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky and Larry Kammerer, field office director for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, will offer introductions.
Administering the Oath to candidates will be Nathan W. Lee, chief deputy clerk, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky. Lee is a 1997 graduate of Transylvania.
With citizenship candidates coming from all around the Commonwealth, the ceremony is scheduled to begin at noon in Haggin Auditorium and is open to the public. Shuttle service to the auditorium will be provided from parking lots next to and directly across from Transylvania’s new Athletics Complex on West Fourth Street, just west of the intersection with Jefferson Street.
Transylvania last held a naturalization ceremony in 1998, filling Haggin to capacity.
Here is the Oath of Allegiance, which has led to American citizenship for more than 220 years.
"I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty, of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen; that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I will bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform noncombatant service in the Armed Forces of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform work of national importance under civilian direction when required by the law; and that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; so help me God."
Transylvania University admits students regardless of age, race, color, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation, disability, veteran status, national origin, or any other classification protected by federal or state law or local ordinance.