The dean of the USF Muma College of Business and his wife celebrated Valentine's Day a day early by becoming American citizens last Friday.
Moez Limayem and his wife, Alya, a research professor in the USF Department of Cell Biology, Microbiology and Molecular Biology, took the oath of citizenship at a ceremony in Tampa.
"We are just thrilled, proud, honored to be part of this wonderful country that has given us a lot and we experienced the best moment of our lives," Limayem said.
Both Moez and Alya were born in Tunisia, but didn't meet until they were attending Laval University in Canada. The pair later lived in Hong Kong, Switzerland and Arkansas before coming to USF in 2012.
"After going and living and experiencing four different continents, I think this is now our home and we're just very, very proud to become American today," Limayem said.
The couple's son, Kareem, who was born while they lived in Hong Kong, also became a citizen. A second child, Sarah, was born in Arkansas.
"This country has given us a lot and we owe it to our children and to ourselves that we know everything about the history, about the political system and anything about the civics about this country, so our goal was to get 100% of the civic test," Limayem added. "I am very happy to report to all our students that their dean got 100% and my wife, Alya, got 100% in our civics test, so we studied very seriously and we're very proud."
We'll hear more from Limayem on Tuesday, as officials from USF and the Muma College of Business are making a special announcement. They're not saying yet what it's about, but the last time they promised a 'surprise' like this, a 25 million dollar donation from Pam and Les Muma and the naming of the business school in their honor were announced.
I'll have an exclusive interview with Limayem about the latest announcement. We'll post that on our WUSF News webpage around 10 a.m. Tuesday.