GOODBYE AND GOOD LUCK!
Awards Ceremony for Sasakawa Fellows, Saturday 31 October 2015
An event we look forward to each year in "Graduation season" is the awards ceremony hosted by the Sasakawa Peace Foundation for its graduating fellows. As tradition dictates, the ceremony was held on "Graduation Eve", but this year a new tradition was established in holding the event at the University itself. WMU's new state-of- the-art building provides the perfect setting for such an occasion: the Sasakawa Auditorium is a fitting theatre for the awards and the WMU World Bistro - with its stunning night view over the new "Malmo Live" complex - is a wonderful venue for the reception that follows.
The Class of 2015 includes 22 students from 18 countries whose study at WMU was made possible by the Sasakawa fellowship awarded them by the Sasakawa Peace Foundation, under the auspices of The Nippon Foundation. Not only this: successful students are made Sasakawa Fellows, which admits them to a privileged network of WMU graduates whose further professional careers are supported by the on-going interest and encouragement of their Nippon Foundation sponsor. It is this progression from student to fellow that the Awards Ceremony honours.
This year's event was opened with remarks from Mr Hiroshi Terashima, Executive Director of the Sasakawa Peace Foundation. Mr Terashima welcomed the guests that included Mr. Koji Sekimizu, WMU Chancellor and Secretary-General of the IMO, Mr Ki-tack Lim, IMO Secretary-General(Elect), Mr. Mitsuyuki Unno, Executive Director of The Nippon Foundation and Chairman of the Malmo City Council, Mr. Kent Andersson. The gathering also included dignitaries from IMO, University Governors, WMU faculty and staff, family members of the Fellows and last but not least, Sasakawa Fellowship students in the Class of 2016.
The floor was then taken by WMU President, Dr Cleopatra Doumbia-Henry, who noted that in addition to the generous support for students, The Nippon Foundation supports the capacity building mission of WMU by sponsoring three Professorial Chairs and an Associate Professor, as well as numerous conferences and events connected with WMU. President Doumbia-Henry highlighted the Foundation's announcement in May to establish a US$100 million endowment to support the University's efforts in creating an international ocean and maritime research institute.
Executive Director of The Nippon Foundation, Mr Mitsuyuki Unno, addressed the graduating students and congratulated them on the completion of their studies. They were now members of the "family" of Sasakawa Fellows. He delighted the company by saying "Congratulations" in the languages of the students' home countries. Certificates were then presented individually to each graduating student.
Guests were invited to the World Bistro and the generous buffet dinner which was hallmarked by a number of Japanese delicacies. Good cheer, good conversation and hearty well-wishing were then the order of the evening.
Towards the conclusion of the event, Nanditya Wardhana from Indonesia gave the vote of thanks on behalf of the new Fellows. He acknowledged the great generosity that had brought them all to their Graduation and pledged to uphold the values and aspirations of the Sasakawa Peace Foundation and The Nippon Foundation. "I am sure that we can make full use of our new knowledge in our respective home countries, to ensure safe, secure and efficient shipping on clean oceans, as well as to support the implementation of the United Nations 2030 Sustainable Development agenda. I am confident that we can be the catalyst for the changes that the maritime world needs".
Assistant Registrar (Student Services)
World Maritime University