Bird's-eye view of the ceremony
Bird's-eye view of the ceremony
Photography by Nobuyuki Kobayashi (TUJ graduate, 2004), and Daisuke Suzuki

Temple University, Japan Campus (TUJ) held its 2016 commencement ceremony on Sunday, June 5 at the Shinagawa Prince Hotel, Tokyo. The TUJ ceremony was part of the 129th commencement of Temple University, which took place on May 6 at Main Campus in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The commencement in Japan was attended by a TU delegation headed by Provost Hai-Lung Dai, together with Ms. Dale Kreisher, Cultural Affairs Officer, U.S. Embassy Tokyo, celebrating the graduation of the diverse and dynamic class of 2016.

This year the combined commencement at Main Campus and TUJ honored a total of over 9,500 graduates, the largest ever class. At TUJ, a total of 223 students graduated from the undergraduate, master’s and doctoral degree programs. TUJ’s graduating class ranges in age from 20 to 69, with members coming from 24 countries around the world including the U.S.A., Japan, Saudi Arabia, UK, Canada, Korea, Brazil, China, Djibouti, Finland, France, Ghana, Luxembourg, Maldives, and Syria.

TUJ Class of 2016 (Total: 223 graduates)

Ambassador Robert M. Orr, member of the Board of Governors, Pacific Forum, Center for Strategic and International Studies, delivered the keynote address. “If you really want to undertake something that you really want to do, don’t let a little thing like your own perceived lack of experience stand in your way, he emphasized looking back his own career path. “Identify, if you haven’t already, a mentor … do yourself, at one point, a duty to mentor younger people as they come along. It’s a chain,” he added. From 1984 to 1993, Ambassador Orr taught political science at TUJ, and currently serves as a supporting member of TUJ’s Board of Overseers.

Two graduating students, Aiko Shigeta, B.A. and Michael Bradley Hood, Ed.D., gave speeches on behalf of fellow graduates in the undergraduate and graduate programs. They spoke about their memories at TUJ, expressed appreciation to their family and friends, and shared their future ambitions. See the full transcript of the speeches here.

The event was broadcast live online, allowing friends and family around the world to tune in and share the experience with the graduates. The broadcast as well as our first-ever time-lapse movie of the ceremony can be viewed here.

Temple University (TU) ranked in the 351-400 group of the top 800 world universities in Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2015-2016. In the 2016 edition of U.S. News & World Report’s Best Colleges, TU climbed to No. 115 among national universities in the U.S., the highest ranking in the school’s history. Also, The Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education elevated TU to the top tier “highest research activity,” or R1, placing it among the top four percent of all four-year institutions in the U.S. At the Japan campus this spring, the number of undergraduate students reached a milestone of 1,000, a record high in enrollment. TUJ, as the only four-year American university in Japan, continues to be committed to helping students become good global citizens and the world’s future leaders.