June 14, 2005

Temple University, Japan Campus (TUJ)’s commencement ceremony, held on June 11, 2005, at Tokyo’s Radisson Miyako Hotel, recognized 152 graduates and was a milestone in TUJ’s history. It was the first commencement since TUJ’s designation as a Foreign University, Japan Campus, by Japan’s Ministry of Education. It also was the first TUJ commencement attended by a U.S. ambassador to Japan. In addition, the commencement witnessed the 1,000th graduate of the Master of Education in TESOL (teaching English to speakers of other languages) program, which was among the first programs offered when TUJ opened in 1982.

The TUJ ceremony was part of the 118th commencement of Temple University, which held at the Philadelphia main campus’ ceremony on May 19. Special main campus guests at the TUJ ceremony included Robert J. Reinstein, vice president, international programs, and dean, Beasley School of Law; Richard Englert, deputy provost and dean, University College; Rajan Chandran, vice dean, Fox School of Business and Management; Thomas Jacobson, associate dean, School of Communications and Theater; and Melinda Spencer, vice dean, College of Liberal Arts.

J. Thomas Schieffer, U.S. Ambassador to Japan (front, center) joins Temple University, Japan Campus's commencement on June 11, 2005. To his left, Robert J. Reinstein, Vice President of International Programs and Dean, Beasley School of Law, Temple University, and, to his right, TUJ Dean, Kirk R. Patterson, pose with some of the graduates.

A highlight of this year’s TUJ commencement was the presence of U.S. Ambassador J. Thomas Schieffer, who delivered the ceremony’s keynote address. Ambassador Schieffer congratulated the graduates on their accomplishments and wished them continued success in the future. He noted that “the Temple University, Japan Campus, Class of 2005 is unique. You will be the first class to graduate since the Government of Japan declared Temple to be a foreign university with a Japan campus. Hopefully, other universities will receive similar declarations but no matter how many may follow, you will always be the first and that will continue to be a source of pride.”

Following Ambassador Schieffer’s remarks, a telegram from Nariaki Nakayama, Japan’s minister of education, was read. Minister Nakayama stated, “Over many years, TUJ has contributed significantly to the internationalization of higher education in Japan and to the development of a stronger friendship between Japan and the US. I would like to congratulate all the graduates and look forward to your contributions in various fields around the world.”

Representatives from among the graduates then addressed the audience. Their comments were followed by the high point of the ceremony, the presentation of diplomas. In total, 11 associate of arts, 51 bachelor of arts, 2 master of law, 18 master of business administration, 45 master of education, and 8 doctor of education degrees were conferred.

TUJ dean Kirk R. Patterson closed the two-hour ceremony. Dean Patterson congratulated the graduates and recognized the contributions of TUJ faculty and the support of graduates’ families and friends.