Nearly 100 individuals took a solemn oath to become U.S. citizens in a naturalization ceremony at INTRUST Bank Arena in Wichita.
The Rotary Club of Wichita, along with the help of the U.S. District Court, U.S. Immigration Services, and KWCH Channel 12, sponsored a United States Citizen Naturalization Ceremony on Monday, February 3.
The ceremony was presided over by Eric F. Melgren, Judge for the District of Kansas, and included Dr. Neeli Bendapudi, Dean of the University of Kansas School of Business and a naturalized citizen herself, as the featured speaker.
The event also included special appearances by the Wichita East High School Philharmonia and Madrigals, McConnell Air Force Base Color Guard, The Boy Scouts of America, and Quivira Council.
New citizens immigrated from a total of 36 different countries, including Afghanistan, Bangladash, Canada, China, Cuba, El Salvador, Germany, India, Iran, Israel, Kenya, Laos, Mexico, Mongolia, Pakistan, Philippines, Senegal, Spain, Taiwan, Tanzania, Thailand, and Vietnam. The majority of new citizens were from Mexico and Vietnam.
The event was open and free to the general public at 7 PM on Feb. 3. The first 3,000 attendees to arrive received a free pocket constitution.