6:05am

Fri March 21, 2014
The Commonwealth

Over 200 Becoming US Citizens at Transylvania University

A facility in downtown Lexington becomes a federal courtroom for a day today.  That’s because Transylvania University is hosting a U.S. Naturalization Ceremony. The school’s Haggin Auditorium  will be the site of the university’s first citizenship ceremony in 16 years.  

Transylvania University's Haggin Auditorium becomes a federal courthouse for a day to host a naturalization ceremony Friday March 21, 2014
Transylvania University's Haggin Auditorium becomes a federal courthouse for a day to host a naturalization ceremony Friday March 21, 2014
Credit transy.edu

    

(EDITORS's NOTE: We earlier reported that it had been 26 years since the last naturalization ceremony at Transy. The text above has been corrected.)

Chief U.S. District Judge, Karen Caldwell, a Transy alum, will confer citizenship on 220 people from seven different countries in a noon hour ceremony.

Brian Rich, a sociology professor at the school, says those becoming Americans represent 71 countries of origin, “We have a very substantial refugee population in Kentucky, different parts of Africa and Eastern Europe and other places.  There’s a pretty strong Mexican contingent, I think 23 or so people.”

Professor Rich says the new citizens have immigrated to the U.S, and to Kentucky, for a combination of reasons including what he calls a “growing interconnectedness” the global economy as well as other political and economic factors.