An Update from the Dean Stronach


June 15, 2009

Graduation is over, we are in the middle of the summer semester, and we are entering tsuyu…if this is Japan, it must be summer. And what a great summer it promises to be if it is of the same quality as the events of Graduation Weekend. President Hart, her husband Randy, George Moore, the Temple University General Counsel, and Hai-lung Dai, the Dean of the College of Science and Technology all flew in from Philadelphia via Taiwan to enjoy the festivities and represent the Temple University main campus. The first event was the Saturday evening Diamonds! Diamonds! Diamonds! fund-raising event put on by our development officer, Holly Helt, to kick off our new TUJ Diamond Club for TUJ boosters. Everyone was having a great time while supporting TUJ. You can see in the attached photos what a great time everyone was having while supporting TUJ.

Graduation was on Sunday and was our usual grand affair, this time in the Shinagawa Prince Hotel. Kudos to Masami Nakagawa and all the many TUJ staff members who made the event so wonderful. This year we graduated a whopping 262 undergraduate and graduate students.

The speeches by President Hart and US Embassy Charge d'Affairs James Zumwalt were inspiring but, as always, the most inspiring scene is the walk across the stage by each individual graduate. Each one of those brief moments on center stage is the encapsulation of four years of hard work, faculty support, and encouragement by friends and family. The graduation was then followed by a magnificent reception consisting of great food, flowing drinks, and abundant camaraderie.

The combination of the Diamonds! Diamonds! Diamonds! event and graduation is really the link between our students and our alumni. Those who graduate from TUJ are lifelong members of the Temple University/TUJ family and we hope that you will always stay connected whether it is here in Tokyo, in Philadelphia, or anywhere else in the world that your international career will take you.

Compared to most academic institutions, TUJ is a small community comprised of faculty, staff, students, their families, and alumni. It is smaller than most but also more diverse than most, spanning the world's cultures, peoples, religions and countries. But, because of its diversity and smallness, it is a stronger and tighter community than most, and we count on those who graduate to lift up and support those who follow them. TUJ is a truly international institution but its Japanese roots are demonstrated by the strength of the sempai-kohai relationships between alumni and students.

During Graduation Weekend I felt tremendously proud of TUJ, but that pride was due more to the accomplishments of TUJ over the past year than to the events themselves. The faculty, staff and students of TUJ have worked so well together over the past year to overcome the external problems of a bleak economy and a panic over a possible flu epidemic. Rather than being cast down by these events, we have responded well and been lifted up. We will face more challenges in the up-coming year and, once again, we will use them to make us stronger.

But right now, it is summer, it is hot, it is humid, and it is time to relax when you can. So, continue to study hard and work hard, but find the time to bike, golf, go to the beach, or just cool down with some edamame or suika. Enjoy, you deserve it.

With best regards,