Almost 150 local residents from 42 countries ranging from A to Z -- Afghanistan to Zimbabwe -- became citizens in a second annual ceremony at Aurora University's Crimi Auditorium on Aug. 5.
The two-part event opened with the naturalization ceremony and concluded with a celebration.
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About 500 people attended the event organized by AU, World Relief and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
To open the ceremony, the auditorium was declared a federal courtroom.
U.S. District Judge William T. Hart administered the oath of allegiance. A new citizen, Lee Ann Roman of Brazil, led the Pledge of Allegiance.
Several AU faculty members spoke at the event, including Barbara Strassberg, professor of sociology and director of the international academic programs.
Strassberg recalled emigrating from Poland and urged the new U.S. citizens to embrace their adopted country.