June 13, 2007

Temple University, Japan Campus (TUJ), held its 2007 commencement ceremony on June 10 at Tokyo’s Sheraton Miyako Hotel, recognizing the achievements of 169 graduates. The commencement also helped kick off a six-month celebration of TUJ’s 25th anniversary, further adding to the festive mood.

The TUJ ceremony was part of the 120th commencement of Temple University, which took place on May 17 at the main campus in Philadelphia. Temple University President Ann Weaver Hart flew in for the TUJ commencement, her first opportunity to visit TUJ since she assumed her position in July 2006.

“TUJ is unique-not just in Japan but in the world,” President Hart said during her keynote address. “Officially recognized by the Japanese Ministry of Education, and the first to be so acknowledged, TUJ welcomes students committed to challenging themselves intellectually, culturally, and linguistically from Japan and over 40 other nations. TUJ also serves as an important study-abroad home for students from Temple University in Philadelphia and other universities across the United States. You have done what many wish they had the courage and spirit of adventure to achieve-to acquire an international education that is truly world-class.”

Following President Hart’s remarks, Counselor for Economic Affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo, Daniel Fantozzi, spoke to the graduates. Dr. Koji Shimada, a member of both President Hart’s Advisory Board and the TUJ Board of Governors and also a graduate of Temple University, added his thoughts on the day.

One of the highlights of the ceremony was the bestowal of an honorary doctorate on Mr. Donald Richie, the first time that such a degree has been awarded at a TUJ commencement. Mr. Richie is the world’s leading expert on Japanese film and a leading commentator on, and observer of, traditional and modern Japanese culture. Over a career spanning more than four decades, he has written definitive scholarly works on Akira Kurosawa and Yasujiro Ozu and his critiques and essays on film have appeared in such publications as The Nation, Newsweek, Time, The New York Herald Tribune, and The Japan Times. His rich and insightful contributions to the understanding and appreciation of Japanese cinema are matched by his understanding of Japan’s culture and people.

The high point of the ceremony was the presentation of diplomas. A total of 23 associate and 69 bachelor of arts degrees, as well as one bachelor of science degree-the first in TUJ history-were awarded. In advanced degrees, 21 masters of law, 15 masters of business administration, 30 masters of education, and 10 doctors of education were recognized.

TUJ Dean Kirk R. Patterson closed the two-hour ceremony, adding his praise for the graduates and recognizing the contributions of TUJ faculty, the assistance of the TUJ Board of Governors, and the support the graduates received from their family and friends.