UNH Law Students Take Part in Naturalization Ceremony
Three University of New Hampshire School of Law students helped to welcome 2 dozen people as U.S. citizens on February 1, when the school hosted a naturalization ceremony.
Students Caitlin Turecek and Lydea Irwin sang the national anthem, and student David Kolesar led the Pledge of Allegiance.
“I consider it a great honor to be able to participate in an event like this,” said Turecek, a first-year student. “It was very moving to have the new citizens sing along with us during the national anthem. I was proud to be an American as well as a representative of UNH Law.”
For Kolesar, a second-year student and a veteran, the experience was a powerful connection to his past.
"As retired Air Force Master Sergeant, it was an honor to lead 24 new U.S. citizens in the Pledge of Allegiance,” he said. “I embrace any and every opportunity to be a part of a ceremony that honors the Stars and Stripes because of the emotions and pride it stirs within as I reflect on those I have served with – and those who still serve. Additionally, fostering relationships and extending a helping hand to many different peoples from a multitude of countries is the part of my service I am most proud of."
The ceremony featured another link to the school: Among the group of naturalized citizens was UNH Professor Jan Golinski, who teaches history and humanities on the university’s Durham campus.
Professor Erin Corcoran, the director of UNH Law’s Social Justice Institute, said students were fortunate to be able to witness and take part in the ceremony, and that the event was a reminder to law students of the significance of their calling.
"I think it is really important for the law school community as a whole to reflect upon what it means to be a good citizen,” Corcoran said. “Bearing witness to the hard work and commitment of these 24 new citizens reminds us all of how precious this privilege is and how the best way to honor it is to be engaged in our communities and our nation."