Belmont College

Naturalization Ceremony Held at Belmont College

118 petitioners for naturalization were welcomed as new U.S. citizens.

St. Clairsville, OH (May 11, 2012) – For the 12th year, individuals from all over the world gathered at Belmont College on Friday, May 11 at the Main Campus in St. Clairsville, Ohio to take part in a naturalization ceremony. 118 petitioners for naturalization were welcomed as new U.S. citizens.

Of these petitioners the youngest was 18 and the oldest age 69. They came from places as diverse as Somalia, India, El Salvador, Rwanda, Morocco, and France, and walked into Belmont College’s Horizon Hall as citizens of different countries. When they left, however, the 118 participants in the naturalization ceremony were full-fledged citizens of the United States.

On behalf of the Belmont College Board of Trustees and the College, Belmont President Dr. Joseph E. Bukowski welcomed those being naturalized, “It is an honor to host this naturalization ceremony here at Belmont College and I offer you my sincere congratulations and welcome you as a U.S. citizen.”

Additionally, Ohio State Senator Lou Gentile, City of St. Clairsville Mayor Robert Vincenzo, and Belmont County Commissioner Ginny Favede offered welcoming remarks.

The Honorable Edmund A. Sargus officiated the ceremony and the hearing of petitioners. “We have people from 40 different countries, from all over the world represented here to be made citizens of the United States,” he said. “I take great pride in welcoming these petitioners not just as a district judge, but also as the grandson of Lebanese immigrants and the great grandson of Irish immigrants.”

The ceremony also included: The Honorable Jennifer L. Sargus; The Honorable John M. Solovan, II; The Honorable J. Mark Costine; The Honorable Harry W. White; The Honorable John A.Vavra; Mr. Robert Bremer, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services; Dawn Davis, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services; Ms. Frances Green, Deputy Clerk, U.S. District Court; Mr. William F. Shubat, Director, Belmont County Board of Elections; Belmont College Board of Trustee Dr. Lorrinda Saxby; The United States Marshal and two deputy marshals including the newest U.S. Marshal, Mario an English Black Labrador Retriever. 

“What a tremendous occasion for residents of Belmont County to welcome these new United States citizens,” said Judge John M. Solovan, II. “We congratulate you (petitioners) as you take the oath of citizenship and become an American.”

Approximately 146 students from the St. Clairsville, Union Local, and Shadyside school districts attended the ceremony.

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A petitioner for naturalization stands to state his name and country of origin to be recognized by the state court judges.  A petitioner for naturalization stands to state his name and country of origin to be recognized by the state court judges.

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