The first North American Regional Tomonkai Party was held at the Arts Club of Washington in Washington DC on May 4, 2019 (Sat). Around 80 alumni gathered at the venue with President Tanaka with the aim to mutually deepen their connections. The event was hosted by the Washington DC Metropolitan Area Tomonkai and the New York Tomonkai, and cohosted by ten Tomonkai chapters, including Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Boston, to name several, all of which hold various activities in their respective territories. WASEDA USA and Waseda University Office of the President also cohosted the event.
The party, which was presided over by chairman of the Washington DC Metropolitan Area Tomonkai, Mr. George Takahashi, kicked off with President Tanaka speaking on strengthening Waseda in the areas of education and research, while referencing top universities in North America as models. To that end, he stressed the need for alumni and faculty’s determination and preparedness in order to make the moto “Waseda University – Shining on the Global Stage” a reality. The moto is tied to the university’s three major philosophical principles. Delivered with a mix of Japanese and English humor, the important speech was praised by several alumni who said they now understand better the internationalization of Waseda.
Greetings and remarks were given by the following individuals: His Excellency, Mr. Shinsuke J. Sugiyama, an alumni currently serving as ambassador to the United States and who lead the toast to the Deputy Secretary-General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Professor Michael Mooney who has devoted valuable time and labor towards Waseda’s international expansion; Professor Glen S. Fukushima who, like Professor Mooney, serves as special advisor to the President; Chizuko Ueno, attorney-at-law and former chairman of the New York Tomonkai who also proposed this project. Preceding and following words from the above speakers, President Tanaka, Mr. Masahiko Gemma (president of WASEDA USA), and other faculty members engaged in lively discussions on such topics as the future of alumni association activities and the international development of Waseda University.
At the end of the party, Mr. Atsushi Egashira who is a member of the New York Tomonkai, lead everyone in singing up to the third chorus of the school’s anthem. The moment created a real sense of unity for the alumni participants.
It is our hope to harness the opportunities that this social gathering presented and use them to foster the exchange of information between all North American Tomonkai chapters. In this way we can create an active community network that goes beyond individual territories, uniting all members.