From Sea to Shining Sea: UNCW Hosts Naturalization Ceremony

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

On May 31, 37 new U.S. citizens from 20 countries pledged their first allegiances to the United States of America on the UNCW campus.

UNCW and the Wilmington Rotary Club, in conjunction with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, hosted a naturalization ceremony for the candidates for U.S. citizenship in Morton Hall.

Wilmington Rotary president Michael Beaudoin said it was his goal to be part of an event that was important, historic and memorable for all gathered. “America is a generous country and all the men and women here today took storied paths to arrive in these front rows.”

UNCW Chancellor Jose V. Sartarelli served as the keynote speaker. Born in Brazil, he has lived and worked in Venezuela, Chile, Singapore and throughout the U.S. As the 9th leader of UNCW, he has identified global engagement as a key priority in UNCW’s Strategic Plan

Sartarelli’s own naturalization ceremony took place in 2003 in Cherry Hill, N.J. “It was an emotional day for my family and me, just as I know today is very meaningful for each one of you,” he said. “Long may you live – and succeed – in the land of the free and the home of the brave.”

Marcos Castells, Supervisory Immigration Services Officer at the U.S Citizenship and Immigration Services Raleigh-Durham Field Office, called out the names of each country represented until all candidates were standing. After taking the oath of allegiance and being presented their certificates of naturalization, the new citizens gathered in the lobby to mingle with their fellow Americans.

-- Caroline Cropp