Autumn 2021 graduation ceremonies held on September 18Fri, Sep 24, 2021
The Autumn 2021 graduation ceremonies for undergraduate and graduate students were held on Saturday, September 18, both physically at the Waseda Arena and simultaneously broadcast online for all to see. In-person participation was limited to only graduating students, and utmost Covid-19 precautions were taken during the event.
The ceremony started during rainy weather, but as the ceremony advanced the bright smiles of our graduating students were reflected by the brightening skies, as the sun came out to join the celebration. From this day, our undergraduate, graduate, professional degree and doctoral students will embark from the Waseda nest to start their new chapter in life.
During the ceremony, Waseda University President Aiji Tanaka took to the stage to make his address to all graduating students:
“Please pursue your interests and devote yourself to whatever pursuits for which you feel a passion. Do not be swayed by trends. Trends die out in five years or so, and even if you follow a trend, you will only be able to exert 80 to 90% of your potential if it is not something about which you are passionate. Devoting yourself to a meaningful pursuit will allow you to put in 120%. Without a doubt, an effort made at 120% will bear greater success than an 80% effort.
Even after you graduate, please come back to visit your alma mater. Our doors are always open to you. We look forward to seeing you again as you become ever-more impressive; and for our part, we strive to make Waseda University an ever-more shining alma mater of which you can be proud.”
Afterwards, alumnus Tatsuro Hirooka received the Award for Distinguished Service to Sports.
Hirooka entered Waseda’s School of Education in 1950, and soon after, joined the Waseda University baseball team. During his time as a student, he participated in many Tokyo Big6 Baseball League matches, seeing four victories with his team. In his fourth year, Hirooka joined the professional baseball team Yomiuri Giants (formerly named Yomiuri Kyojingun.) After his time with the Giants, he went to the U.S., and after learning the foundations of mentorship, helped supervise several baseball teams as a coach and overseeing manager. Through implementing “baseball management” he became a pioneer in the field with numerous achievements under his belt. Dedicating his all to the promotion of the sport, Hirooka has undoubtedly left a lasting mark on baseball as we know it.
Next, Akira Mandai, executive chairman of the Waseda University Alumni Association, delivered a congratulatory address:
“Waseda University and our family of alumni will always be by your side, encouraging you in time of need. Please don’t forget that. Take the Alumni Association’s catchphrase (Together to the world, together to the future) to heart, spread your wings, and get ready to see what the world has in store!”
Full Graduation Ceremony on September 18, 2021
*The above quotes are translations by the author based on the original Japanese article.