Public Outreach and Education - Naturalization Ceremonies

Naturalization Ceremony, Red Bank High School
September 20, 2017

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Greeneville Naturalization Ceremonies
Magistrate Judge Clifton Corker conducted four naturalization ceremonies on August 18 and 19, 2016 granting citizenship to 141 participants. As Judge Corker distributed the certificates to the new citizens, they also received some patriotic items from representatives of Senator Corker's office, Senator Alexander's office, Congressman Phil Roe's office and Daughters of the American Revolution.
Chattanooga Naturalization Ceremonies
July 13-14, 2016
Knoxville Naturalization Ceremony
U.S. District Judge Pamela L. Reeves and U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Suzanne H. Bauknight presided over two naturalization ceremonies each on Friday. A total 122 applicants were summonsed. Ultimately, 119 new American citizen were sworn in. The Knox County Elections Commission was on hand to register our newest citizens to vote.
Five Naturalization Ceremonies Held

Chief U.S. District Judge Thomas A. Varlan announces that the U.S. District Court in Knoxville will mark Constitution Day and Citizenship Day this week by holding five naturalization ceremonies, two on Tuesday and three on Wednesday, granting American citizenship to approximately 170 applicants.

Constitution Day and Citizenship Day is on Thursday.

Having five ceremonies within the same week is unusual for the court, but is being done to help the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services reduce the backlog of citizenship applicants. There will be a total of 30 to 40 applicants in each of the ceremonies.

Chief Judge Varlan will conduct the Tuesday ceremonies, scheduled for 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. The ceremonies will be videotaped at the request of the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, which plans to use a portion of the videos for its education and informational programs that are broadcast to other courts over the federal courts' network.

Students from Thackston School will participate in a living civics lesson by participating in the videotaped ceremonies as part of the court's public outreach and education program.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Clifford Shirley will preside over three ceremonies on Wednesday, scheduled for 9 a.m., 11:00 a.m., and 1:30 p.m.

All of the ceremonies will be held in the Howard H. Baker Jr. U.S. Courthouse and are open to the public.

This has been the summer of naturalization ceremonies in the Eastern District of Tennessee federal courts in Knoxville, Greeneville, and Chattanooga. With the wrap-up of these ceremonies, more than 18 such court proceedings will have been held in these courts since mid-May by seven of its judges, with more than 700 people receiving their American citizenship.

Greeneville Naturalization Ceremonies
August 20 and 21, 2015 - A total of 156 individuals took the oath of citizenship in ceremonies held before Judge Ronnie Greer on 8/20 and Magistrate Judge Clifton Corker on 8/21. McKenzie Hopson, grand daughter to courtroom deputy Kathy Hopson, led the pledge of allegiance at the 8/20 ceremony. At the ceremonies held on 8/21, Judge Corker's sons, John Lewis Corker and Leland Corker led the pledge at one ceremony and Henry Homoky, the son of a family friend, led the pledge at the second ceremony.
Chattanooga Naturalization Ceremony
July 22, 2015 - Judge Harry S. Mattice, Jr., presided over two ceremonies where a total of 91 individuals took the oath of citizenship.
Chattanooga Naturalization Ceremony
May 20, 2015 - Judge Harry S. Mattice, Jr. presided over two ceremonies where a total of 95 individuals took the oath of citizenship. The Sale Creek High School JROTC and Hixson High School JROTC presented the colors and led the Pledge of Allegiance during the ceremonies.
Chattanooga Naturalization Ceremony
January 21, 2015 - Judge Carter presided.
Chattanooga Naturalization Ceremony
October 16, 2014
Naturalization Ceremony - Knoxville
August 8, 2014 - Judge Reeves presides over her first Naturalization Ceremony. It was held at the City/County Bldg in Knoxville with 160 individuals taking the oath of allegiance. Mayor Madeline Rogero and Mayor Tim Burchett made welcoming remarks.
Naturalization Ceremony - Knoxville
July 3, 2014 - A red, white and blue Naturalization Ceremony was held at the City/County Bldg. in Knoxville. Magistrate Judge Shirley presided over the ceremony with the Knox County Mayor giving remarks. 159 individuals took the oath of citizenship.
Chattanooga Naturalization Ceremony
October 3, 2013 - Naturalization Ceremony held at the Chattanooga National Cemetery. 100 individuals took the oath of citizenship and were from 53 different countries. Judge Mattice presided and Magistrate Judge Shirley made a few remarks.
Naturalization Ceremony - Knoxville
August 23, 2013 - The ceremony was held in the main assembly room of the City County Building with Magistrate Judge Guyton presiding. There were 161 individuals naturalized as new citizens.
Special Naturalization Ceremony - Chief Judge Varlan
May 3, 2013 - Naturalization of Ramakrishnan Kalyanaraman and Veena Gopal Krishnan (husband & wife). At the request of a local attorney in town on behalf of the couple, Chief Judge Varlan agreed to conduct a special naturalization ceremony for them because they could not attend the scheduled ceremony.
Naturalization Ceremony, Chattanooga
Two naturalization ceremonies were held on April 4, 2013 in the Historic Chattanooga Courthouse. Honorable C. Curtis Collier presided over the ceremonies where a total of 100 individuals took the oath of citizenship. The Choo Choo Chorus performed, and the Soddy Daisy High School ROTC presented the Colors for both ceremonies today.
Naturalization Ceremony, Knoxville - Tennessee Theater
Honorable Thomas W. Phillips, who will be retiring in July, presided over his last Naturalization Ceremony on March 27, 2013. The ceremony was held at the historic Tennessee Theater with 194 individuals taking the oath of citizenship. Knox County Mayor, Tim Burchett, made welcoming remarks, and Olympic Gold Medalist, Davis Tarwater was the guest speaker. The pledge of allegiance was given by the 5th Grade Class of Oneida Elementary School with Judge Phillips' grandchildren leading the pledge.
Judge Collier Presides Over Special Naturalization Ceremony
On March 1, 2013, Judge Collier conducted a special naturalization ceremony for Renata Clark. Renata's sister had been naturalized earlier; but due to complications with Renata's application, she did not get to attend and be sworn in at the ceremony with her sister. Her father was recently diagnosed with terminal cancer, and his wish was to see Renata become a U.S. citizen. The father's condition had deteriorated preventing him from attending this special ceremony, but Renata and her family were very grateful to Judge Collier for conducting this special ceremony and recording it with photographs, video and a transcript of the ceremony to share with her father.
Chattanooga Naturalization Ceremony Presided Over By Honorable Harry S. Mattice, Jr., October, 23 2012
Chattanooga Naturalization Ceremony Presided Over By Honorable Harry S. Mattice, Jr., October 21, 2010
Knoxville Naturalization Ceremony Presided Over By Honorable Thomas W. Phillips, August 27, 2010
Chattanooga Court Holds Naturalization Ceremony
On October 25, 2007, ninety-seven people from around the world, hailing from over twenty different countries, gathered at the Federal Courthouse in the Eastern District of Tennessee, Chattanooga. Those ninety-seven people left the courthouse as American citizens. Chief Judge Curtis L. Collier commended the new Americans for having chosen to become United States citizens, and for demonstrating the tenacity required to earn that privilege. He spoke of the rights and freedoms shared by all Americans, and also of the responsibilities shared by all in supporting the country and its communities to maintain our experiment in freedom. Chief Judge Collier also spoke of the proud tradition of immigration in the United States, and the legacy past immigrants have passed onto all new citizens of America. Lenore Levy echoed these sentiments in welcoming the new Americans on behalf of the Moccasin Bend Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, and on behalf of all Americans. She spoke of the equal opportunity afforded in the United States, and the freedom for all Americans, old and new, to go as far as their strength and resolve will take them. The Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps from Soddy Daisy High School and Sale Creek High School bared the flag of the United States of America during the ceremonies, and led attendants in the Pledge of Alliance. Kevin Higman of the Department of Homeland Security presented the citizenship applications to Chief Judge Collier, after which Cyndee Palmer administered the Oath of Alliance, the genesis for ninety-seven fellow Americans. After the ceremony, the Chief John Ross Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution provided refreshments outside the courtroom, where friends and family gathered to congratulate and welcome America's new citizens. It was a day ninety-seven American citizens, their families, and their friends will remember for the rest of their lives.
District Judge Thomas W. Phillips Presides Over Naturalization Ceremony
Ms. Boruff's First Grade Class from Fountain City Elementary School assisted the Court by leading the Pledge of Allegiance at the Naturalization Ceremony held on March 2, 2007. Prior to the ceremony, the children were given a tour of Judge Phillips' Courtroom. In addition to Judge Phillips, U.S. Congressman Jimmy Duncan also acted as tour guide and later addressed the 121 individuals being naturalized.