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Mar 20, 2023
On Friday, September 17, the Spring 2023 Graduation Ceremony took place a total of 711 undergraduate and graduate students representing 39 countries successfully completed their degrees. The ceremony was held at B-con Plaza, where the graduates, guardians, faculty, and staff attended to celebrate their new beginnings. Family and friends who could not attend in person were able to join in the celebration online via YouTube and Facebook livestreams.
At the ceremony, President Haruaki Deguchi sent the graduates off with the following message:
I would like to extend my heartfelt congratulations to all the graduates. I would like to share with you three things I hope you will remember as you venture out into the wide world. The first is to live honestly with yourself. Walk a path that belongs to no one else. Don't worry about what other people think and stay true to yourselves. Secondly, always take care of your friends. When you are trying to accomplish something, there are not many things you can do on your own. If you look across the world, you will find more than 20,000 APU alumni actively engaged in their pursuits. I hope that you will cherish the bonds with your friends around the globe as you continue to take on the challenge of changing the world. The third point is to continue to learn from “people, books, and travel.” To improve yourself even after you go out into the world, meet and listen to people, read books, and travel the wider world to broaden your horizons. In closing, I would like to share with you my favorite quote: “Go where nobody has gone. Do what nobody has done.” I wish you all the best in your future lives. Congratulations on your graduation.
――― You can read the rest of his message here. ―――
Representing the undergraduate students, this year’s Ando Momofuku Award-winner Miyu Kanemoto (College of Asia Pacific Studies) reflected on her studies at APU:
If I had to describe my four years of student life, I would say that I built my student life entirely from scratch.
The transition from a face-to-face to an online format required many changes to the previous system, but the time spent on repeated trial and error and discussions among faculty, staff, and students was invaluable. This feeling of having been directly involved in forging a new path and the experience of turning a negative into a positive is sure to serve as one of the cornerstones of my life from here on.
It goes without saying that the coronavirus pandemic altered the expectations we originally had for our university lives , however, to look at it from a different perspective, the coronavirus pandemic gifted us the challenge of creating our student lives with our own hands. Today is the culmination of that challenge.
What kind of future awaits us? Or rather, what kind of future will we create for ourselves? I look forward to this next stage of our long lives and being able to share our successes in our respective fields.
Then, representing the graduate students, Bambang Agung Pratama (Graduate School of International Management, Indonesia) addressed the audience:
If there's one thing that stands out in my mind as the greatest challenge I faced during my time here, it was the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic.
At first, I was consumed by frustration and disappointment. I had worked so hard to come to APU and now, just as I was starting to make my mark, everything had come to a halt. But then I remembered the words of a wise person who said, "In the midst of every adversity lies the seed of an equal or greater benefit."
And with each passing day, I grew stronger and more confident in my abilities. And before I knew it, a year had passed, and I was able to come to Japan and resume my studies in person. While the experience was far from what I had initially envisioned, I emerged from it with a newfound appreciation for the power of the human spirit and the ability to overcome adversity.
Life may not always go as planned, but with hard work, determination, and a willingness to adapt, anything is possible. As we step out into the world, let us make a positive impact not only on ourselves but on those around us.
The ceremony ended with the traditional cap toss. It was the first time in 3 years that one could see so many flying red caps and so many voices declaring, “We are APU!” The graduates left the venue with smiles on their faces as they set off on the next stage of their journeys.
You can watch the ceremony on APU’s official YouTube channel.