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UNC Global Hosts Naturalization Ceremony for US Citizenship

April 17, 2018

UNC Global, in conjunction with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), will host a naturalization ceremony recognizing 60 of North Carolina’s new candidates for U.S. citizenship. The candidates come from 30 countries including India, Cameroon, Canada and Mexico. The ceremony will take place at 1:30 p.m. on April 27, 2018 in the Nelson Mandela auditorium at the FedEx Global Education Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Ron Strauss, Carolina’s executive vice provost and chief international officer, will provide introductory and keynote remarks.

“We are honored to host our fourth naturalization ceremony at Carolina,” says Strauss. “Having grown up in a family of immigrants, these ceremonies are particularly meaningful to me. It is an incredible opportunity to share this special experience with the candidates, their families and the Carolina community.”

Strauss’ remarks will be followed by a performance of the national anthem by Cadence, one of Carolina’s all-female a cappella groups. The UNC-Chapel Hill ROTC Color Guard will present the colors.

Additionally, UNC Global community member and naturalized citizen Adnan Džumhur, associate director of the Center for Slavic, Eurasian and East European Studies at Carolina, will reflect on his path to citizenship.

Vernette Thompson, immigration services officer from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Raleigh-Durham Field Office, will administer the oath of allegiance and present the candidates their certificates of naturalization. Elizabeth Barnum, director of International Student and Scholar Services at Carolina, and Ron Strauss will assist Thompson. A small reception in the Florence and James Peacock Atrium of the FedEx Global Education Center will follow the ceremony.

This event is free and open to the public to observe. Public parking is not available at the FedEx Global Education Center. Please visit UNC Transportation and Parking’s website for information on visitor parking.

UNC Global invites members of the Carolina community to join the candidates, their families and friends in celebrating their newly obtained United States citizenship.

Please note: Candidates have been pre-selected for this ceremony and have already been notified that their ceremony will take place at UNC-Chapel Hill. If you have questions about your naturalization status, please contact U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) directly.

Event contact: Ingrid Smith, manager of global events and exhibitions,

Media contact: Katie Bowler Young, director of global relations, UNC Global,, 919.962.4504.


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