Riley Brandt, University of Calgary
March 21, 2019
UCalgary welcomes 47 new Canadian citizens home
Welcome home. For hundreds of people participating in citizenship ceremonies across the nation every year, these two words represent the beginning of a new chapter as official Canadian citizens.
On March 13, in partnership with the Institute for Canadian Citizenship and Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, the University of Calgary hosted a citizenship ceremony presided over by the Right Honourable Adrienne Clarkson, celebrating 47 people as they became Canadians.
“We are delighted to take part in this special occasion and to recognize this important milestone for the newest members of our Canadian family,” says Diane Kenyon, vice-president (university relations).
“This is an important ceremony that we are honoured to host at UCalgary as we celebrate the diversity and inclusion of our great country, our campus and our community.”
With respect to the university’s Indigenous Strategy, the day began with an Indigenous blessing before proceeding to a roundtable discussion about what it means to be Canadian, hosted by UCalgary senators and student leaders. The official citizenship ceremony followed, starting with the university’s honour song, which was gifted to UCalgary by Indigenous Elder Rod Hunter in 2018.
For many, the official ceremony is an incredibly emotional experience that represents the last piece of the puzzle in the long journey toward citizenship here in Canada, a place of opportunity and hope for the future.
“I came here as an international student from Romania almost nine years ago. Canada is part of who I am and now I can truly call it home,” says Livia Negrutu, digital specialist at UCalgary and new Canadian citizen.
“For me, the most meaningful part was standing with people from all over the world to take the oath and sing the national anthem together. Living here and being part of the university community has taught me so much about the values of acceptance and diversity — no matter where we came from or what language we speak, Canada accepted us with open arms. I’m excited to start this new chapter as a citizen and to be part of shaping the story of this great country.”