More than 90 new citizens will take part in a naturalization ceremony hosted by Augustana College at 12:30 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 20, at Wallenberg Hall inside the Denkmann Memorial Building, 3520 7th Ave., Rock Island.
The Honorable Sara Darrow, chief judge of the U.S. District Court for the Central Illinois District, will preside over the event. The ceremony is being held as part of Augustana’s annual observance of Constitution Day, which was Sept. 17, and is noted by colleges and universities across the United States.
Wednesday’s activities include a class taught by Dr. Paul Baumgardner, assistant professor of political science, which is open to international and other students who might be interested in learning more about naturalization.
The program will include remarks by Professor of English and Acting Chair of Religion Dr. Umme al-Wazedi, who is a naturalized U.S. citizen.
Kai Swanson, special assistant to the president at Augustana, noted that immigration has been central to the American experience since its beginning.
“President George H.W. Bush once observed that while most citizens trace their roots to immigrants, it’s not about the rearview mirror,” Swanson said. “In fact, President Bush said, ‘Immigration is not just a link to America’s past; it’s also a bridge to America’s future.’”