March 17, 2005

Law school to host naturalization ceremony

by Pete Rosenbery

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Federal Judge J. Phil Gilbert will preside over the naturalization of 12 new U.S. citizens on Friday, March 25, at Southern Illinois University Carbondale's law school.

Armen Asaturian, president of Asaturian Eaton & Associates in Carbondale, is guest speaker for the ceremonies, which start at 11 a.m. in the law school auditorium. A reception sponsored by the Daughters of the American Revolution follows in the law school lounge.

Media Advisory

Reporters and photographers are welcome to cover the event. For more information, please contact Assistant Professor Cindy Buys at 618/453-8743. The ceremony lasts about one hour.

"This is a significant time in the lives of the people who have chosen this country to be their home," Gilbert said. "The strength of our country is in large part due to the immigration we have had from day one – in which people have come from every corner of the world to seek out their freedom and democracy to help make this country the great country that it is today."

The law school also hosted a naturalization ceremony last year. Ceremonies occur on a monthly basis in the Southern District of Illinois, according to Gilbert.

Assistant Professor Cindy Buys accompanied an SIUC law school student from the United Kingdom to her naturalization ceremony two years ago. Buys, who specializes in immigration law,

was so moved by the ceremony she explored with Gilbert the idea of holding another ceremony at SIUC.

Dean Peter C. Alexander said the law school is the perfect setting for hosting such an event.

"We talk about the power of the rule of law and the freedoms we enjoy in this country. Watching new citizens take the oath of citizenship demonstrates that our government does work and our land is still considered a land of opportunity," Alexander said.