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Hundreds to Celebrate Becoming New Americans at SLU's Chaifetz Arena


University President Fred P. Pestello, Ph.D., will welcome 827 immigrants from 100 countries as they are sworn in as new Americans on Friday. Sponsored by United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, the naturalization ceremony will be held at 1 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 8, at Chaifetz Arena.

William Johnson,  J.D., dean of SLU's School of Law, will be the guest speaker, music will be provided by the SLU Law School Choir, and law school students will volunteer as ushers.

Naturalization ceremony at Scott Hall in 2016

Fifty new Americans took the Oath of Allegiance during a naturalization ceremony last fall in Scott Hall. Photo by Tom Birmingham

New Americans who have earned the opportunity to be naturalized will take the Oath of Allegiance at Friday’s ceremony, which is open to the public.

Naturalization is the process that confers U.S. citizenship upon foreign citizens or nationals who fulfill the requirements established by Congress. After naturalization, foreign-born citizens enjoy nearly all the same benefits, rights and responsibilities that the Constitution gives to native-born U.S. citizens, including the right to vote.

During fiscal year 2016, 752,800 people were naturalized nationwide.

For many years, SLU’s law school has hosted bi-annual naturalization ceremonies, which have become a proud tradition. The next naturalization ceremony at Scott Hall is planned for Friday, Oct. 27, and is open to the public.