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225 New Citizens Sworn in at Mount Wachusett Community College

President Vander Hooven on stage behind the podium speaking
President Vander Hooven welcomes the audience at the Naturalization Ceremony on March 14.

Families waited patiently, beaming with pride for the 225 immigrants becoming U.S. citizens during a naturalization ceremony Wednesday at Mount Wachusett Community College.

New citizens from 46 Massachusetts communities and their families and friends packed the campus theater for the public event.

U.S. District Court Judge David H. Hennessy presided over the ceremony as the nation’s newest citizens took the oath of allegiance. Guest speakers included MWCC President James L. Vander Hooven, Gardner Mayor Mark P. Hawke, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Field Office Director Kristine M. Smith and former state Sen. Stephen M. Brewer of Barre.

Virginia Hernandez, 28, a naturalized citizen from Worcester who immigrated from the Dominican Republic seven years ago, said her father, Jose Hernandez, used to own his own business in their native country selling bicycles and parts, until the economy took a dive and he could no longer make a living and support his family.

To read the full article about the Naturalization Ceremony, visit the Telegram & Gazette website.