AIU held its 2017 Spring Matriculation Ceremony on April 4, 2017 at the AIU Suda Hall. A total of 275 aspiring new faces, including 169 undergraduate students, 102 international students, and 4 graduates, and their families were welcomed together with Vice-Governor Hidefumi NAKASHIMA of Akita Prefecture, Mr. Ken-ichiro KONDO, Deputy Speaker of the Akita Prefectural Assembly, and other honorable guests.Norihiko SUZUKI, President of AIU, began the ceremony by encouraging the new students, comparing them to gemstone: “Students, you are uncut gems which will be polished ... None of you will know what color or how shiny you will become, but as a result of the polishing, we know that each of you possess great potential and will be a glittering and colorful treasure with characteristic attributes. It is a pleasure and joy for a university to induct students such as you. My promise to you is that AIU will offer an environment worthy of your efforts, with ardent faculty members to help advance your intellectual growth, along with supportive staff members ...” “You can rely on us. Now, take a vow within your heart to develop and challenge yourself during these four years. Let’s take the first step today.” In answer to President Suzuki’s address, Ms. Akari KUMAGAI made her speech as the representative of new undergraduate students. Ms. Kumagai shared her hopes to promote Japanese culture to the global community and become a bridge to connect people with different cultural backgrounds through Japanese calligraphy, which she has been learning since she was 7 years old. “[Calligraphy] was a way for me to calm down and relax and a way to gain confidence in myself.” “I feel that Japanese calligraphy around the world is just now being viewed as art. However, to me it is more than that ... I want Japanese calligraphy to bridge the cultural gaps, to bring people together, because it shows the spirit of Japan, revealing the focus and openness of Japanese culture.” Lastly, Ms. Alina FRIEL, representing the new graduate students, made her humourous and determined speech on her resolution for her second enrollment to AIU. She has previously studied at AIU in 2014 as an exchange student from Far Eastern Federal University in Russia, one of the international partner institution of AIU. “[3 years ago,] AIU gave me an indescribable amount of great memories. Before coming here, I had never made so many friends. And one of them, an Irish friend I met while at AIU, became my husband ... I am sure that studying the art of debate, which I will study here, will be quite helpful in settling any family arguments.” “Over the next two years I want to gain more knowledge, create even more great memories, and go through the door that will be the one that I choose. I know that AIU will support us in our endeavor, and we in our turn can support each other to make our life at AIU better and more enjoyable.” The ceremony was concluded by Select Professor Reiko WATANABE’s outstanding violin performance.
Classes will start on April 10th. AIU will always be here to support students as they move forward to tackle any coming challenges.