Graduation Day: Congratulations to the Class of 2024

Tohoku University held its spring commencement ceremony today for 4,625 students at Xebio Arena Sendai.

The ceremony was held in two parts - one for graduate students and one for undergraduates. It was the first time since 2019 that all students and family members were able to attend in person.

In his speech, Tohoku University President Hideo Ohno congratulated the 2,358 undergraduate, 1,816 graduate and 451 doctoral students on successfully completing their studies despite the challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

"You have shown admirable effort and determination in your studies and research, and resilience under difficult circumstances these last few years," he said. "My heartfelt congratulations to you and your families. I'm sure you have all looked forward to this day."

The president then reminded the students that Tohoku University is the only candidate to be a "University for International Research Excellence," and that its long-standing principles of Research First, Open Door and Practice-oriented Research and Education reflect its belief in the value of diversity, and in putting the results of innovative research to use for the good of society.

He urged the students to apply the knowledge and experience they have gained to make a positive impact on their communities and on the world stage.

The president ended his speech by encouraging everyone to join the alumni association "Shuyukai," to stay connected with the university, wherever the future takes them. "Today is not the end of the relations you formed here, but the beginning of a new collaboration between equals," he said. "You are always welcome back."

In her speech on behalf of the students in the Masters and Doctoral programmes, Valedictorian Shiori Osanai from the Graduate School of International Cultural Studies thanked the professors and staff at the university for their guidance and support.

She spoke about her work on sustainability education and the need to foster human resources responsible for regional development. "I've been able to discuss and deepen my understanding about the sustainability of rural Japan from multiple perspectives, including global perspectives," she said. "The ability to recognize issues faced by society and to think of ways to solve them, has formed the foundation of my career as a researcher."

Valedictorian Sayuri Senoue of the Faculty of Education spoke on behalf of the undergraduates. She looked back on her first day at the university, remembering how strange it felt to start classes without a formal entrance ceremony.

"Right from the beginning, classes were held online which made it difficult for me to make friends. I would have felt lonely if not for the group work in class and the opportunities to interact with others online," she said. "We have grown over the past four years and are able to graduate today because of the faculty and staff who shared their knowledge with us, who led us through our university life without problems; the seniors who gave us kind advice, and our friends who supported us in times of hardship and laughed with us in times of joy."

The President's Award for excellent academic records, the Students' Friendship Association Award for achievements in extracurricular and club activities and the Presidential Award for Outstanding Students, were also presented.

Both ceremonies ended with the familiar strains of the school song "Aoba Moyuru Kono Michinoku" led by the Tohoku University Male Chorus and Mixed Chorus Clubs.

Despite the wet weather outside, it was all cheers and big smiles as the students spent the afternoon taking pictures and making more memories.

The Public Relations Department joins the president and the entire Tohoku University family in saying congratulations and good luck to the graduating class of 2024.


Tohoku University International PR Section
Tel: +81-22-217-4816

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