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Naturalization Ceremony Set for Sept. 16 at UToledo

Dozens of people will become U.S. citizens during a naturalization ceremony at 11 a.m. Friday, Sept. 16, in the Law Center McQuade Auditorium on The University of Toledo’s Main Campus.

Judge James R. Knepp II of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio will return to his alma mater and preside over the ceremony, which UToledo holds annually in honor of Constitution Day. Knepp received his juris doctor from UToledo in 1992.

His wife, Judge Linda Knepp of the Lucas County Court of Common Pleas Juvenile Division, will administer the Oath of Allegiance. Knepp also received her juris doctor from UToledo in 1992.

Sarah Knepp, a UToledo law student and the judges’ daughter, will open the court.

UToledo President Gregory Postel and D. Benjamin Barros, dean of the UToledo College of Law, will give welcome remarks at the event, which will feature guest speaker Collins Onyia, an alumnus and graduate student from Nigeria who became an American citizen in January.

Onyia, who works in information technology as a computer specialist with the Toledo Lucas County Public Library, graduated from UToledo with a bachelor’s degree in computer science and engineering in 2020 and is pursuing a master’s degree in cybersecurity.

He also has a bachelor’s degree in computer science and engineering from Lagos State University in Nigeria.

Onyia grew up in the city of Lagos and speaks three languages — Igbo, Yoruba and English.

Constitution Day is annually observed in America to commemorate the formation and signing of the Constitution of the United States on Sept. 17, 1787.

The free, public event is sponsored by the Office of Government Relations.

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