Congratulatory Address from Executive Chairman, Waseda University Alumni Association

Congratulatory Address from Executive Chairman, Waseda University Alumni Association

Wed, Mar 25, 2020
Congratulatory Address from Executive Chairman, Waseda University Alumni Association

Dear graduates,

I would like to express my heartiest congratulations to you, as well as to your family and friends who have supported you during your time at Waseda University.

This year’s graduation ceremony would have taken place at Waseda Arena, our newest complex that was completed last year. However, given the situation with the spread of the novel coronavirus worldwide, the university had to make a tough decision to cancel the ceremony. This is the first graduation ceremony to be canceled ever since the Great East Japan Earthquake. You may have found this decision to be very disappointing. The Waseda University Alumni Association (WUAA) is also full of regrets.

Though I am unable to convey my address to you in person, this does not mean that the coronavirus has weakened our bond. I sincerely hope that you will cherish your memories here at Waseda, graduate safe and sound, and start a new and promising stage in life in April.

As you graduate, you will become members of the WUAA, also called Kohyoukai. Chapters of our association are active nationwide and all over the world. Originally founded as Tokyo Senmon Gakko, Waseda University was established in 1882. WUAA was established in 1885, soon after the first cohort of students graduated. Since then, WUAA has shared its history and philosophy with the university for over 130 years.

The mission of WUAA is to support the university and fellow juniors and to build a strong network of alumni, or kohyou. Currently, WUAA houses its headquarters within the university. Headed by Waseda University President Aiji Tanaka, approximately 60 chairpersons manage WUAA. There are 640,000 alumni throughout the world, and around 10,000 alumni join the association each year. There are 1,380 alumni association chapters, which are known as Tomonkai, throughout Japan and the world. The alumni association chapters, which are close-knit groups of proud alumni, take advantage of its large network and provide programming and other activities. Waseda University prides itself on the mobility of and engagement by its 640,000 alumni, who are successful globally in various fields and diverse in quality and quantity. I envision Waseda University to be an institution of higher education where it produces graduates with high ambitions and always giving back to society. This is the goal that the 640,000 alumni who have graduated from Waseda and are now going their own paths aim for.

University is a place where you prepare for the future, and you will be asked to play a role in creating the future of our society. At present, the world is in the midst of great political, economic, and social change. It is times like these when Waseda graduates are expected to challenge the status quo and take on challenges. The path that lies ahead of you may be full of obstacles. However, I believe that you are all headed towards a bright future. By enhancing the characteristics of intellectual resilience and flexible sensibility, which you have developed at Waseda, and by having confidence in what you have learned here, I am certain that you will live a fruitful and fulfilling life.

You are now a kohyou, but even after leaving Waseda, the university’s spirit is embedded in your DNA. Welcome to the alumni association! Also, we encourage you to take leadership in your communities and society and to get involved in WUAA. As you go onto your next stages in life, feel free to utilize the resources WUAA has to offer. Please remember that your alma mater and comraderies from your alumni association chapter will always be by your side, motivating you whenever necessary. We hope that in the future, you will kindly support your juniors and current Waseda students as well.

The slogan for WUAA is, “To the world together, toward the future together.”

Take a leap, spread your wings, and soar high.

Again, congratulations!

Akira Mandai
Executive Chairman,
Waseda University Alumni Association

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