Tohoku University held its fall 2021 commencement ceremony at Kawauchi Hagi Hall on September 24. The event celebrated the achievements of 407 students - 70 undergraduate and 337 masters and doctoral students - representing 42 countries and regions around the world.
In line with the university's COVID-19 infection prevention measures, only students directly involved in the ceremony were allowed to attend. Family and friends were encouraged to watch the live stream from home.
Speaking briefly in Japanese and predominantly in English, Tohoku University President Hideo Ohno congratulated the students for successfully completing their studies despite the challenges caused by the pandemic this past year and a half. "All of you were able to focus on your goals and conclude your studies. It's a remarkable accomplishment."
He added that the students' fortitude, coupled with the lessons and experiences gained at Tohoku University, will help them succeed, regardless of what the future holds. "Knowledge is a power that can be utilized under any circumstances, even a global disaster or pandemic such as the one we are fighting right now."
The president then encouraged everyone to stay in touch with their professors and fellow students by joining the university's Alumni Association as well as the global Alumni Network.
"Today is not the end of the relations you formed over the years with members of Tohoku University. In fact, it is quite the opposite," he said. "Today marks the beginning of a new collaboration between equals. And I look forward to meeting you again at one of the future alumni events."
Valedictorian Jehan Fe Serrano Panti, from the Graduate School of Engineering, gave a speech on behalf of the graduating students, thanking everyone at the university for their support over the years.
"It was not an easy two years for me, but Sendai and the people I have met throughout this journey have touched my life and changed my perspective on life," she said. "May we all continue to be strong and take our learnings and experiences with us as we face the challenges of tomorrow."
She also acknowledged the "unending love and support" she and her fellow students have received from their parents and family in Japan and elsewhere around the world. "We would like to express our appreciation and gratitude to our families," she said. "We can feel their love and pride even though they are sharing this moment with us from afar."
Following the ceremony, the students took some final pictures with each other, and several shared what Tohoku University has meant to them.
The Public Relations Department joins the president and the entire Tohoku University family in saying congratulations and good luck to the fall graduating class of 2021.
Contact:Tohoku University International PR Section