June 8, 2009

Temple University, Japan Campus held its 2009 commencement ceremony on June 7 at the Shinagawa Prince Hotel, Tokyo. This year, the commencement ceremony recognized the achievements of 262 students of the class of 2009.

The TUJ ceremony was a continuation of the 122nd commencement held at Temple University’s main campus in Philadelphia, USA on May 14. Temple University President Ann Weaver Hart flew in especially for the ceremony and to confer the degrees.

In her salute to the graduates President Hart said “Three weeks ago we celebrated ‘Part One’ of our 122nd Commencement Exercises, and it is a great pleasure to be with you here to celebrate ‘Part Two’ at Temple University Commencement in Tokyo. The Temple name is becoming increasingly well-known around the world for the extraordinary education we provide you. The value of the degree will increase for all of you. Please proudly tell everyone with whom you work that you are Temple graduates.” She congratulated them on their accomplishments and encouraged them at the new start in their lives.

Following President Hart’s remarks, the graduates were also honored in the keynote address by the Honorable James P. Zumwalt, Charge d’Affaires ad interim at the United States Embassy in Tokyo. “You have obtained an international education at the oldest and largest foreign university in Japan. Temple University in Philadelphia is regarded as among the top 5 educational institutions for diversity in the United States. This is also true for its Japan campus, with half of you in the graduating class from Japan, nearly a third from the United States, and the TUJ campus representing students from more than 50 different countries. Truly multinational education is very important for the world faces truly international challenges. By working with people from other cultures, you can contribute something remarkable to this world.” He ended his keynote address with the message: “Work hard, aim high, never give up hope, and you can make a difference.”

TUJ Dean Bruce Stronach making opening remarks.
The ceremony was attended by approx 600 people, including the graduates, their guests, TUJ faculty and staff.

The highlight of the ceremony was the presentation of diplomas. Dressed in cap and gown, each student came onto the stage to receive their diploma. This year, 18 students graduated with an Associate of Arts degrees, 140 students with Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Business Administration degrees, 20 students graduated with Masters of Law degrees, 18 graduated with Masters of Business Administration degrees, 57 graduated with Masters of Science in Education degrees, and nine were awarded Doctor of Education degrees.

The 158 graduates from the undergraduate programs this year was a 50% increase over the class of 2008. The key reason for this significant increase was TUJ’s designation by MEXT (Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology in Japan) as the first “Foreign University, Japan Campus” in February 2005, which enabled foreign students to apply for student visas. This has resulted in a major increase in students from North America and Europe, who now comprise one-third of the student body. This is the first graduating class that includes students who enrolled after the MEXT designation. This year also marked the first time that the Bachelor of Business Administration degree* has been awarded to students who majored in the Business Management program begun in Fall 2007 semester.

With the conclusion of the TUJ commencement, the Temple University Class of 2009, 7453 from the main campus and 262 from the Japan campus, proudly start to walk out into their futures.

* In Fall 2009, the Business Management major will be superseded by the new Bachelor of Science in International Business degree.