Celebrating America’s Newest Citizens

Seventy-five people from 21 different countries became new American citizens during the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services naturalization ceremony on Wednesday at Dillingham Hall.

Judge Wes Reber Porter, husband of Punahou Trustee Emily Reber ’92 Porter and father of two Academy students, presided over the ceremony while Academy Principal Gustavo Carrera, a naturalized citizen himself, delivered the guest speech. Punahou Chorale students, under the direction of Mike Lippert, and the Pacific Fleet Brass Band performed. Meanwhile, Punahou fourth graders, 150 fifth graders, eighth graders and Academy students observed the special event from the hall’s balcony.

Naturalization ceremonies are public events held in federal courthouses and community sites throughout the year. Punahou has a history of hosting naturalization ceremonies, with the last one taking place in 2019. This year, coordinators from the Davis Democracy Initiative organized the event, with support from Punahou’s JROTC program.

After the ceremony, Judge Reber Porter joined over 20 Academy students and several faculty for a lively conversation over sandwiches and caramel cuts in the Lily Pond Room. He handled questions about law, careers, military service, education and more with aplomb. 

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