Participants of Diamond Dinner hold TUJ fans. Photo by Kerry Raftis

Participants of Diamond Dinner hold TUJ fans. Photo by Kerry Raftis

Temple University, Japan Campus (TUJ) hosted its annual Diamond Dinner on June 16, 2023, at the Tokyo American Club. The annual fundraising event brought together about 150 distinguished guests, including top governmental officials, industry leaders, corporate supporters, TUJ alumni, donors, parents, and board of overseers members, to support a needs-based scholarship program for TUJ students. Notably, the gala focused on securing continuing assistance for nine Ukrainian students who TUJ helped extract from Ukraine in August 2022 amid the ongoing war so that they can continue their education and obtain a university degree.

The Diamond Dinner showcased the philanthropic spirit and unity within the TUJ and Tokyo communities while reaffirming the university’s commitment to educational excellence. The event saw representatives from various backgrounds, including Japan’s Prime Minister’s Office, the Ukrainian Embassy, the Bangladesh Embassy, and former Supreme Court of Japan justice. Ukrainian Ambassador Extraordinary Plenipotentiary Sergiy Korsunsky addressed the audience while the event featured musical presentations, including a performance of the Ukrainian folk song “The Moonlight Night” by guest singer Denys Vyshnia.

Natalia Makohon, an Ukranian students at TUJ, delivered a speech. Photo by Kerry Raftis

Representing her fellow Ukrainian students at TUJ, Natalia Makohon took the stage to share her heartbreaking experiences in Ukraine and the hope that her experience in Japan has brought to her family and community. As a journalism major in Kyiv, she expressed her gratitude for the Ukrainian Support Scholarship from TUJ. “This scholarship has paid my fees and tuition, but more importantly it has allowed me to live in Japan to continue my studies in peace and out of harm’s way,” she said. “I would not have been able to afford this on my own.”

Dean Wilson speaks at the Diamond Dinner Gala. Photo by Kerry Raftis

As TUJ embarks on its fifth decade in Japan, Dean Matthew Wilson delivered a keynote address focusing on importance of international education and TUJ’s unwavering commitment to student success. He shared that TUJ had achieved seven consecutive semesters of record undergraduate enrollments, with spring semester 2023 marking an all-time high of 1,846 students. Dean Wilson said that he anticipated that the undergraduate enrollment would top 2,000 in the upcoming fall semester. He noted all-time high marks in terms of student quality and community interest in the exceptional global environment provided by TUJ in the heart of Tokyo.

Dean Wilson emphasized that TUJ nurtures international talents by fostering critical thinkers, leadership skills, entrepreneurship and the ability to make changes. He said, “Our students are communicators – many of whom are bilingual or trilingual. They are critical thinkers and leaders. And, please don’t forget our students can make exceptional interns or employees for you and your organizations. Please hire TUJ students.”

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