News from the Bush School

Naturalization Ceremony Hosted by the Bush School

March 23, 2012

March 22, 2012

Oath at Naturalization Ceremony

In a moving and solemn ceremony, 89 individuals from 26 countries were sworn in as U.S. citizens on Thursday, March 22, in a naturalization ceremony cohosted by the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University and Citizenship Counts.  Judges, government officials, and distinguished guests joined George Bush, 41st President of the United States, and Mrs. Barbara Bush at the event. 

The ceremony began with a presentation of the national colors by the Texas A&M Corps of Cadets, followed by A&M Consolidated High School student choir singing the national anthem.  After congratulatory comments and the administration of the Oath of Renunciation and Allegiance by the Honorable Marc Hamlin Brazos County District Clerk, Gerda Weissmann Klein and Dr. Paulo Lima-Filho spoke.  Klein, a naturalized citizen and founder of Citizenship Counts, is a recipient of the 2012 Presidential Medal of Freedom and a Holocaust survivor.  Filho is a professor of mathematics at Texas A&M University.  President Obama addressed the new citizens through a video presentation.

Acting Dean of the Bush School Andrew Card noted that holding a naturalization ceremony at the Bush School is yet another way that the School engages with the local community.           

“Knowing how memorable a naturalization ceremony is for those becoming citizens and their families, holding the event here, in the presence of a former president, makes the ceremony that much more meaningful,” Card said. “We’re honored to join President and Mrs. Bush in welcoming our newest citizens to the nation which has given all of us so much, and which we hold so dear.”

Students from A&M Consolidated High School attended as part of their civics curriculum, developed by Citizenship Counts to highlight the civic and democratic processes underlying American society.  Citizenship Counts is a nonprofit organization that encourages today’s youth to value their rights as American citizens and to appreciate the responsibility that comes with citizenship.  The organization stresses giving back to one’s community, a notion that closely echoes President Bush’s belief in the nobility of public service.