Waseda University’s 2015 entrance ceremonies were held on April 1-2.
9,878 undergraduates were inaugurated at this year’s ceremonies, including those admitted in Fall 2014. Among the undergraduates were 486 international students. 2,868 graduate students were inaugurated.
The ceremonies were conducted at Memorial Hall which was built in 1957 to commemorate Waseda Universitiy’s 75th anniversary and used as a venue for the 1964 Tokyo Olympics fencing competition. Memorial Hall will undergo reconstruction in the summer, making this ceremony the last for the current Memorial Hall.
At the second ceremony, Leo Melamed was awarded an honorary degree following a speech from President Kamata. At the fourth ceremony, Olympic wrestler and winner of gold medals at the Tokyo and Mexico Olympics, Yojiro Uetake, delivered a speech after being awarded the Award for Distinguished Service to Sports.
At the end of the ceremonies, new students performed in unison the university anthem they had only recently memorized.
About Leo Melamed
During World War II, Melamed was one of some 6000 Jews who escaped Nazi persecution in Europe thanks to a life-saving visa issued by Japanese diplomat and Waseda graduate Chiune Sugihara (1900-1986). As Japan’s vice consul in Lithuania, Sugihara is credited with saving thousands by issuing transit visas, against prevailing Ministry policy, allowing them to escape advancing Nazi oppression.
After transiting through Japan, Melamed settled in the United States, later becoming a leader in global finance as head of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. He is credited with creating the world’s first financial futures products and the first electronic trading system.