Class of 1993 IR students will all recall how Dalisa gave our Valedictorian speech on a mere two hours notice on the day of graduation! As always, Dalisa delivered the goods with high humor. The metaphor that stuck with us all was "holding high the burning torch of internationalism" (emphasized by Dalisa swinging her arm above her head).
A year later she returned to IUJ for the graduation ceremony of the Class of 1994 and described it for the spring issue of Kokusai Kone. A copy of that article follows below.
As the seasons change, so do the graduates of IUJ. A new group of IUJ graduates has been ushered into the Alumni fold, as announced at the 1994 IUJ graduation ceremony. (Incidentally, we are now 900 strong!) - Its hard to believe that a year has gone by since we stood in their place.
This year's ceremony was marked by sweeping administration shifts. Perhaps the most notable change was the stepping down of President Shishido. His parting wisdom emphasized the need for interdisciplinary skills to effectively deal with today's complex challenges. He also stressed that the prestige of IUJ rests on the shoulders of its students and encouraged all Alumni to be active participants in their communities, to shape this "new world order."
Shishido's successor, George Packard (former Dean of SAIS, Johns Hopkins University and Director of the Reischauer Center for Japan-US affairs) brings with him a wealth of political, academic and corporate contacts, on both sides of the Pacific. He commented that "IUJ was the right university in the right place, at the right time in history" and that while it had some growing pains to overcome, we would all one day be proud to look back and say "I was there at the beginning."
For all of you who wanted to voice your concerns, Martin Hall roasted the administration in a scathing critique of the school. Peter Munns of the IM school helped restore the ceremonial wa by offering a more humorous look at IUJ and its idiosyncrasies.
All in all the even was a reminder that we belong to a very unique community - a collection of people who share a spirit of internationalism, a certain affection for mountains and rice fields, and who, inevitably, will always carry a small piece of Japan around with them, throughout their personal and professional lives. IUJ was, and is, a very special place.
It was all about building bridges, so lets keep in touch, keep this lamp of internationalism burning and keep holding that torch high...