The Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site in Indianapolis will Friday dedicate its new Citizenship Plaza in the name of U.S. District Court Judge Sarah Evans Barker. The nonprofit says Barker, who has sat on the bench for nearly 40 years, has presided over the July naturalization ceremony for more than 1,500 new citizens at the Presidential Site since 2003.
The Sarah Evans Barker Citizenship Plaza is part of the $6 million Old Glory, New Vision capital campaign for the Presidential Site. It includes the “Book of History,” which honors the new citizens naturalized by Barker.
Barker was appointed to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana by President Ronald Reagan in 1984. She served as chief judge from 1994 to 2001 and assumed senior judge status in 2014.
“Judge Barker is one of Indiana’s leading citizens and has contributed to the state and nation through her exceptional service as a federal judge,” Charlie Hyde, CEO of the Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site, said in written remarks. “Her love of our community and our country shines through in her many accomplishments, both personal and professional. To know Judge Barker is an honor and privilege, and we applaud her lifelong work to advance good citizenship and inspire and mentor the next generation of our country’s leaders.”
The Citizenship Plaza also features the Charters of Freedom, which are three outdoor cases made from Indiana limestone that display the Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution, and the Bill of Rights.
The Centennial Flagpole, which celebrates President Harrison’s call for the Pledge of Allegiance to be used in schools and the American flag to be flown in front of schools and public buildings, is also on display in the plaza.
The dedication will take place directly following Friday’s naturalization ceremony.