Aiko Shigeta

Aiko Shigeta

B.A. in International Affairs


Good afternoon. It is my pleasure and great honor to have the opportunity to stand up here and speak on behalf of the graduates of the Temple University, Japan Campus undergraduate program of 2016. If you do not mind allowing me a few minutes, I would like to recall the memories of TUJ, with which I believe every student here will empathize.

However, before I begin, I would first like to express my sincere condolence to the families and relatives who lost loved ones, and also to express my sympathy to all who were affected by the Kumamoto earthquake two months ago. Furthermore, although it has been 5 years since the Great earthquake in Tohoku, there are still many people living in evacuation shelters. We all hope for the quick recovery of the injured persons, and we wish the families and relatives the strength to bear the difficulties they are going through.

Now I would like to begin by saying CONGRATULATIONS! Congratulations to all, including me, we made it to the final stage of our student life. I know many of you have already started walking towards the next stage of your life, but without this commencement ceremony, I believe it was hard to say we have "graduated" (well, at least for me). So let’s briefly recall our years at TUJ (and I ask the professors to close their ears for 30 seconds, thank you).

My years at TUJ passed by slowly but quickly. I believe many of you felt that every class was long, especially summer time. Every 30 minutes, someone will stand up, walk out the door, step outside, and jump into Seven Eleven. Yes, those convenience stores are very addictive, I understand. Yet, everyone here worked extremely hard. The very first day of the new semester, the professors hand out the syllabus, we skip the first three pages, and immediately turn to the schedule at the back to check the essays, presentations, tests, quizzes, mid-terms, and final exams that we need to overcome in next 15 weeks. You sit there thinking, "I don't think I can survive this semester." But after a few days, you realize that you are sitting in the library or study room with your thick textbook open. I believe that every Temple student, in this room or not, feels that complaining is a waste of time. We all understand that if we do not study, we will fail. If we do not complete our homework, or do well on tests, we will fail. We are responsible for our own growth. It is up to us how our future will look.

Aiko Shigeta

I don't plan on speaking about the deep meaning of life, as I am not Steve Jobbs. However, I would like to say one thing to the current students of Temple. We understand the difficulties you are having as we have gone through the same situation. But don't forget that there are many people around you. Don't be afraid to rely on others, the people around you, whether it be your friends, families, classmates, professors, or staff. Make lots of connections. Go participate in student activities. Go to the 6th floor and talk to the professors. Run around the building and communicate with the staff. Go back home and talk to your family. It is important to discover a way to have a fun student life. It doesn't matter how you do it; it all depends on your way of thinking. You will be surprised on how effective this is once you start working.

Although I said that you are responsible for your own growth, it was not possible to come this far without the support of a lot of people. So I would like to close my speech by showing my gratitude towards everyone who guided us to this very moment. Firstly, thank you to all Temple staff, who tried their best to solve our concerns regarding academic and non-academic issues. Thank you to all the professors who spent hours every day putting together the class materials in order to keep our attention (also, thank you for being patient with our complaints). Thank you to all the current students for being by our side at all times, making our days at Temple memorable. And a big thank you to our parents for supporting us throughout our tough times, giving us the precious opportunity to graduate such a wonderful university. It is important that we must never forget this feeling of appreciation, as it will become the source of our energy when we face the difficulties and challenges that lie ahead of us.

Once again, congratulations to all the graduates, and I wish you all the very best for the future.

Thank you.

茂田 愛子

茂田 愛子

文学士号 国際関係学科専攻



では、まず初めに言わせてください。おめでとう!皆さんおめでとう。私自身にもおめでとう。私たちは学生生活の最後のステージにたどり着きました。皆さんの多くがすでに人生の次のステージへと歩み始めていますが、この卒業式を迎えないことには「卒業した」とは言いづらかったと思います(少なくとも私は)。ではTUJでの日々を簡単に振り返ってみましょう (教授たちは30秒間、耳をふさいでいてくださいね)。


茂田 愛子