More than 150 alumni, students, faculty and staff of Temple University, Japan Campus (TUJ) reunited to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Japan campus on an evening cruise around Tokyo Bay on October 21, 2022. TUJ announced the inaugural Distinguished Alumni Awards at the event to honor its accomplished graduates.
The award recipients were selected in recognition of their accomplishments, leadership and commitment to advancing the mission of TUJ. The first awardees were Andrijana Cvetkovikj (Class of 2020, Executive MBA), Tomoko Kaneko (Class of 1992, doctor’s degree in education), David Semaya (Class of 1990, master’s degree in education), Tomoki Takebayashi (Class of 1998, bachelor’s degree in English literature), Kentaro Toda (Class of 2008, master’s degree in law), and Toshiaki Yokozawa (Class of 1992, bachelor’s degree in art history).
This year’s Alumni Reunion was an integral part of the yearlong TUJ 40th anniversary celebrations, which have included the Diamond Dinner benefit gala in June and a film festival in November. TUJ plans on additional anniversary events over the course of the academic year including an art exhibition, golf tournament, and student events.
TUJ Dean Matthew Wilson welcomed guests to the reunion and noted the significance of TUJ’s presence in Japan for the last four decades as it has excelled as the largest and longest-running branch campus of a foreign university operating in Japan. TUJ’s undergraduate enrollment has reached a record high of 1,841 students in the current fall semester.
Background of 2022 TUJ Distinguished Alumni Awardees
Andrijana Cvetkovikj graduated from TUJ’s Fox School of Business Executive MBA program in 2020. Cvetkovikj was the first resident Ambassador of the Republic of Macedonia in Japan from 2014 to 2018. At present, she serves as CEO of BrioNexus KK and as a board member of Del Sole Corporation, the OIST Foundation, and the British Chamber of Commerce in Japan. Cvetkovikj is a recipient of Doctor Honoris Causa by the European University and the Inspiring Women Worldwide Award for 2022 by WIN. Additionally, she holds a master's (National Academy of Theatre and Film Arts, Bulgaria) and a doctoral degree (Nihon University, Japan) in film studies.
Tomoko Kaneko received her doctoral degree in education from TUJ in 1992. Kaneko served as president of Showa Women’s University (SWU) from 2016 until 2020. At SWU, she has also held the posts of professor, head of the SWU Department of English and American Literature, dean of the Literature Department, and vice president. Kaneko is currently a professor at Showa Women’s University Graduate School and has served as a member of SWU's Board of Trustees since 1996.
David Semaya obtained his master’s degree in education at TUJ in 1990. He is the executive chairman and representative director of Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Asset Management Co. He focuses on innovation and developing human capital across different and complex cultures and business models. He demonstrates a strong track record of strategically leading, growing, and restructuring both scale businesses and new ventures. He is particularly adept at initiatives in a regulated business environment across multiple jurisdictions in banking, asset management, real estate, pension funds, insurance, and wealth management. Semaya currently serves as the chair of the Investment Company Institute’s Pacific Policy Council and is a member of TUJ’s Board of Overseers. He was formerly a trustee director for one of Europe’s largest pension funds and former treasurer of the American School in Japan.
Tomoki Takebayashi graduated from TUJ with a BA in English Literature in 1998. He is President and Representative Director at Christian Dior KK. He is a U.S. Certified Public Accountant and obtained his MBA from INSEAD in 2007. After graduating from Temple, he engaged in M&A due diligence and advisory work at PricewaterhouseCoopers. He worked in various finance functions at General Electric before obtaining his MBA and moved to McKinsey & Company's New York office as a strategic consultant in the finance industry in 2008. After returning to Japan, he became Vice President & COO for Kate Spade Japan and CEO for Bottega Veneta Japan & Guam.
Kentaro Toda received his master of laws degree in 2008 from Temple University Japan’s Beasley Law School and is a member of the New York State Bar as well as the Daini Tokyo Bar Association, licensed to practice law in both the U.S. and Japan. He is currently partner at TMI Associates, director of TMI Privacy and Security Consulting and a lecturer at Chuo University Law School. Toda was selected as a Next Generation Partner in 2020 and 2021 in the Antitrust and Competition category of The Legal 500 Asia Pacific, and as a Co-head of TMI Associates International Trade team which is ranked Band 2 in the Chambers Asia-Pacific.
Toshiaki Yokozawa studied both at Temple University Japan and Temple University’s Main Campus in Philadelphia, graduating in 1992 with a BA in art history from the Tyler School of Art. Yokozawa has been president and CEO of Asahi-Ecocarry, Inc., an environmental services firm, since 1999. Since his graduation from Temple, Yokozawa has been involved with supporting TUJ for many years including chairing TUJ’s Diamond Club Gala Dinner Committee and as a Board of Overseers member, actively serving from 2012 to the present day.