WMU Graduation

Graduation for 2013 Fellows

On Sunday, 24 November, Mr. Koji Sekimizu, the WMU Chancellor and IMO Secretary-General, conferred postgraduate degrees on the World Maritime University's Class of 2013. This graduation ceremony brings the total number of WMU graduates to 3,657 from 164 countries. WMU alumni are in positions to exert great influence on the development of the global maritime sector.

The Guests of Honour were H.E. Catharina Elmsater-Svard, Sweden's Minister of Infrastructure, and Admiral Robert J. Papp, Jr., Commandant of United States Coast Guard. Ms Elmsater-Svard remarked upon the key role that mariners play in global trade, and that WMU represents "true diversity of the kind that is rare to find." She noted that WMU was initially hosted in Malmo based on the Government of Sweden's belief in developing and empowering people through education, research, and technology, and that Sweden continues to support the University based on those beliefs and the work of WMU over the past 30 years. In his address to the graduates, Admiral Papp maintained that he and the graduates share the responsibility to advocate for maritime governance, and that by adhering to international conventions established by the IMO, many nations working together can make a difference in the safety and security of the seas globally. Mr. Sekimizu commented on the number of WMU alumni that are active at IMO in a variety of roles, and emphasized the unique connection between IMO and WMU.

The highlight of the ceremony was the conferral of the degree of Doctor of Science in Maritime Affairs, honoris causa, on Mr. Efthimios Mitropoulos, WMU Chancellor Emeritus and former IMO Secretary-General, for his exceptional service to the University. The Chancellor went on to confer Master of Science degrees on 106 students graduating from the Malmo-based M.Sc. program in Maritime Affairs, and 28 from the distance-learning Postgraduate Diploma in Marine Insurance. The students who graduated earlier in the year from the Shanghai and Dalian programs were represented by the top student in each class.

During the ceremony, the annual student awards for outstanding performance were announced. The Chancellor's Medal for Academic Excellence for the Malmo program was awarded to Analia Viggiano (Sasakawa Fellow) of the Argentine Coast Guard, who also won the Pierre Leonard Prize for the Best Female Student. The C. P. Srivastava Award for International Fellowship was given to Azusa Fukasawa (Sasakawa Fellow) of Japan's MLIT. Alina Prylipko of Ukraine won the Lloyd's Maritime Academy Dissertation Prize, while the Informa Law Dissertation Prize was awarded to Denis Mulwa from Kenya.

The City of Malmo marked WMU's 30th Anniversary and the 30th graduation ceremony by hosting a gala dinner in the Old City Hall the evening before graduation. The event was attended by over 250 guests including dignitaries from around the globe, and awards were presented to people who had made a major contribution to the University over the last three decades. Four Honorary Fellows were created for distinguished and outstanding service to WMU:
  • Vice-Admiral Eisuke Kudo, Japan Coast Guard (Ret.), Special Adviser, Ocean Policy Research Foundation
  • Ilmar Reepalu, Former Chairman of the Malmo City Executive Board and Lord Mayor of Malmo
  • Nils Yngvesson, Former Chairman of the Malmo City Executive Board and Former Member of the Malmo City Council
  • Michael Grey, international maritime writer and journalist.

Professor Magnus Addico of Ghana, President of the African Maritime Advisory Center and until 2012, Secretary-General of the Maritime Organisation for the West and Central Africa (MOWCA), received the 2013 Outstanding Alumnus Award, and Dr. Peter Muirhead and Dr. P.K. Mukherjee were both appointed Professor Emeritus.

Susan Jackson Acting Registrar, WMU