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Campus Now

Early Spring Issue (Mar.)

SPECIAL REPORT
Part.3

The Waseda spirit is going beyond generations.

Welcome back to your heart's home town, Waseda University
Home Coming Day/Tomon Festival report

A place where the alumni get together and confirm the bond between their old friends and alma mater; that is the Home Coming Day and the Tomon Festival. On October 18, 2009, approximately 10,000 people came to join the “The 44th Waseda University Home Coming Day” and “Tomon Festival, 2009.” They spend a day in their good old alma mater on a beautiful autumn day.

Home Coming Day

Memorial ceremony/ Annual Tomonkai inauguration ceremony

The Home Coming Day is hosted by Waseda University. This time, the University invited the alumni graduated in 1960 (50th anniversary), 1965 (45th anniversary), 1975 (35th anniversary), and 1985 (25th anniversary). In the morning of the Home Coming Day, the participants offered flowers to the Peace Memorial Monument to console the soles of the alumni, students, and professors who were killed during the World War II and wish for peace.

During the memorial ceremony at the Memorial Hall (picture, below), President Shirai welcomed the participants, saying that “The tradition of Waseda, where you spent your precious day of youth, is still alive. Waseda University always wants to be the source that brings the spiritual richness to you.

Echoing to this, Mr. Kenichi Omae (graduated from School of Science and Engineering in 1965) said “I want the University to make a virtual “Homan Coming, every day” on the internet to enable the students to come back to their alma mater any time.”

During the following inauguration ceremony of the annual Tomonkai (*), Mr. Akihide Fukuda (graduated from School of Commerce in 1964), the Executive chairman of the Alumni Association, greeted the participants. Afterwards, Mr. Keiji Nozaki (graduated from School of Letters, Arts and Sciences I in 1973), chairman of organization, introduced the new leaders of Tomonkai.

At last, the participants sang the school song. The hall was filled with voices with nostalgia.

*The annual Tomonkai is the reunion organized based on graduation year. This time, the Tomonkai of 1975 graduates and that of 1985 graduates were inaugurated.

Various events were carried out.

On the Home Coming Day, various events were carried out including mini-lectures, campus tours by student guides (picture, upper right), and briefing sessions on the entrance examination. Furthermore, valuable cultural assets and academic materials, which Waseda is proud of, were exhibited at the Theater Museum, Aizu Museum, and the Central Library.

Comments from the participants of the Home Coming Day.
50th anniversary  (from left) Mr. Masamoto Sugimoto, Mr. Nakaichiro Takamiya, Mr. Hiroshi Ogawa, Graduated from School of Law in 1960

We are thrilled to have come home after such a long time. We are looking forward to sitting on the front row at the ceremony and singing the school song with tears. We hope the University will host not only the 50th Home Coming Day but also 55th and 60th.

45th anniversary Mr. Takashi Matsukura, Graduated from School of Commerce in 1965

This is my first time to participate in the Home Coming Day. I often come to the campus, but it was difficult for me to find time to join the Home Coming Day while I was working. I am looking forward to seeing my classmates at our alma mater. This event makes me realize the great presence of Waseda within myself.

25th anniversary (from left)  Ms. Masako Takahashi , Graduated from School of Letters, Arts and Sciences I in 1985 Ms. Satomi Sano Abrahamsen, Graduated from School of Science and Engineering in 1985 Ms. Yumi Endo, Graduated from School of Letters, Arts and Sciences I in 1985

I came back to Japan from the U.S. just for this event (Ms. Abrahamsen). The alma mater is great, as I expected. I am looking forward to chatting about the memories of our school days with my friends.

Tomon Festival

Presentation ceremony of the “Tomon Festival Scholarship”

The Tomon Festival is the festival of the alumni, by the alumni, and for the alumni, hosted by the Tomon Festival Executive Committee (an authorized organization by the Alumni Association). Anyone can join this event. Previously, it had been organized by the regional Tomonkai of Tokyo, Kanagawa, Chiba, and Saitama and voluntary groups of Tomonokai. However, upon 125th anniversary of the Alumni Association in 2010, the annual Tomonkai began to be involved in the management of the Tomon Festival. This time, the “Tomonkai of the graduates of 1970” and “Tomonkai of the graduates of 1980” were involved in the management.

The members of the Tomonokai had been supporting the alma mater in various forms such as scholarship by way of membership fee for the Alumni Association. The half of the profit from the sales of the memorial tokens at the Festival will also be donated to the University and will be used as the “Tomon Festival scholarship.” During the presentation ceremony, a gifts list was handed over from Mr. Kenichi Tanizawa, the chairman of the Festival Executive Committee, to President Shirai. The Association also raised funds through a hand-shaking event with the alumni athletes. These funds were also handed over as “Sport Support Funds” to the University.

Exciting parade was carried out by the alumni of athlete clubs.

The main event of the Tomon Festival this year was a sports event with the theme, “making all sports major sports.” At the opening ceremony, 44 alumni athletes who had been supporting the sporting culture of Waseda University paraded (picture, lower left). The former star players in their uniforms responded to the cheers of spectators on the street. At the sports talk show titled “We are ready to surprise the world,” Mr. Saburo Kawaguchi, Honorary President of the Japan Football Association (graduated from School of Commerce in 1961, University Professor of Waseda University) and Mr. Takeshi Okada, coach of the National Team (graduated from School of Political Science and Economics in 1980) talked about their soccer memories at Waseda and their enthusiasm for the up-coming World Cup in South Africa. This event was particularly popular among the audience.

Tomon Festival Scholarship presentation ceremony
“Alumni music festival” - Various music such as jazz and classic music were played by the alumni of the Waseda University's music group. They also played the “Koseki medley” to commemorate the 100th birth anniversary of Mr. Yuji Koseki, who is the composer of “Konpeki no sora.” At the end of the performance, the audience whole-heartedly applauded the performers.

Sports talk show “we are ready to surprise the world”

From the chairperson of the 2009 Tomon Festival Executive Committee
Consolidating the power of Waseda

This year's Festival was organized together by the regional Tomonkai and annual Tomonkai for the first time. It was carried out successfully thanks to many people. We also received widespread backing and sponsorship for gifts, advertisement and scholarship tokens. We would like to express our sincere appreciation to the supporters. The sports event was full of the honorable members of Waseda sports. At the opening ceremony which was organized in collaboration with the Athletic center, the alumni from the athletes' clubs paraded with a cheering team under the blue sky. The sky was just like in the cheering song “Konpeki no sora.” I was moved by the excitement of the audience.

All the staff members who were involved with the entertainment such as the alumni music festival and traditional arts, booths, and various other events were proud of contributing to the alma mater through the Festival. It was also a great personal experience for me to have led the professional staff members as the chairperson of the Executive Committee to consolidate the fact that we had about 10,000 participants this time demonstrates the power of Waseda's consolidation. Let's get together in 2010 again at Waseda University.

Kenichi Tanizawa
He graduated from School of Letters, Arts and Sciences I, in 1970 and completed the Graduate School of Asia Pacific Studies. At the graduate school, he studied the professional baseball team management from international perspectives. Currently, he is teaching athletics/hardball baseball and sport theory at Waseda University as a Visiting Professor.

Comments from the Tomon Festival participants
Ms. Tetsuko Ito Graduated from School of Letters, Arts and Sciences I in 1956 (Koto Tomonkai)

I could expand network with various people at the Tomon Festival. I would like to cherish the new acquaintances I made at the Festival. Today I could also offer flowers to the Monument of student soldiers. I wish the continuous prosperity of Waseda University.

Ms. Yuki Ishii Graduated from School of Letters, Arts and Sciences I in 1968 (Chief of the Tomon Women's Network)

We could set up our booth at the Okuma Garden this year as well and introduce our activities to many people. Having continuous networks even after graduation is the advantage of Waseda. We would like to continue our scholarship program for female students and career support event for female students, which are offered every year in collaboration with the career center.

Mr. Yukihiko Adachi Graduated from School of Letters, Arts and Sciences I in 1976

I came here together with my friends. It has been 30 years since the last time I came to the Okuma Garden. The outside of the University has changed, but the spirit of the University has not changed. I appreciate it and am relishing my old memories.

INFORMATION

From the next Festival, the alumni who will have graduated 15 years ago will also be invited. The 45th Home Coming Day and Tomon Festival in 2010 will be held on October 17 (Sun), 2010. The web-sites for both events will be available around the beginning of August 2010.