Sasakawa Fellows Reception 2019

The annual Sasakawa Fellows Reception, hosted by The Nippon Foundation, was held at WMU on 2 November in the Sasakawa Auditorium. At the event, 30 students in the Class of 2019, who were sponsored by The Nippon Foundation, were honored as WMU Sasakawa Fellows. The total number of WMU Sasakawa Fellows now stands at 640 Fellows from more than 70 countries.  

Mr Eiji Sakai, Vice President of the Ocean Policy Research Institute/Sasakawa Peace Foundation, welcomed the distinguished guests, WMU faculty and staff, family members of the Fellows, and Sasakawa Fellowship Students in the Class of 2019. Mr. Sakai congratulated the graduands and wished them success as the newest Sasakawa Fellows and future maritime and ocean leaders from WMU.

Dr Cleopatra Doumbia-Henry, WMU President, addressed the gathering and thanked The Nippon Foundation for their continued support to the University since 1987. The President highlighted the Foundation’s commitment to global engagement from fighting leprosy, to supporting children and the disabled, to protecting the future of the ocean including providing generous funding for the WMU-Sasakawa Global Ocean Institute that was inaugurated in 2018. “The Nippon Foundation is unparalleled in its generosity and in the way it affects people’s lives for the better. Investing in people is not only the right thing to do, but the best path to achieving global peace and development, as they will steward the sea, and at WMU, we are all stewards of the sea,” she said.

Mr Mitsuyuki Unno, Executive Director of the Nippon Foundation, addressed the gathering and congratulated the students on the completion of their studies. He encouraged the graduating Fellows to use their new WMU and Sasakawa Fellows network to solve complex issues of the ocean. “There is a limit to solutions that can be solved by a single country, institution or individual. It is crucial to build a network that transcends specializations, occupations, places and borders,” he said. Mr Unno welcomed the gradunds to the family of Sasakawa Fellows and presented them each with a certificate. Upon receiving the honor of Fellow, each recipient also became a member of the Friends of WMU, Japan.

With this ceremony, the Class of 2019 Fellows officially joined the global network of individuals whose lives have been changed by accepting their roles as Sasakawa Fellows. “Share the Pain. Share the Hope. Share the Future,” reflects The Nippon Foundation’s mission of social innovation to achieve a society where people support one another.

The Nippon Foundation is the largest fellowship donor to the University. For the second year in a row, the Foundation funded a record number of 30 Sasakawa Fellowship Students with the Class of 2019 Fellows representing 28 countries. A further 28 Sasakawa Fellowship Students in the Class of 2020 represent 23 countries.

In addition to the Fellowships, The Nippon Foundation has hosted a week-long field study to Japan for Sasakawa Fellowship Students and since 2001 has regularly hosted Sasakawa Fellow gatherings. The Nippon Foundation further supports the capacity building mission of WMU by substantially funding the WMU-Sasakawa Global Ocean Institute, sponsoring four Professorial Chairs and an Associate Professor as well as numerous conferences and events connected with WMU.

Each year, a limited number of Sasakawa Fellowships are open to government employees from developing countries. The Sasakawa Fellowship Awards Committee looks for well qualified candidates with a strong academic and professional record, and aged between 25 and 40. Interested applicants should apply for admission to the University, and in tandem, should submit an Application for Donor Funding from their organizations, plus a Sasakawa Fellowship Motivational Statement, completed by the candidate. It is essential that both these forms are completed in detail and with reference to the University’s Academic Handbook and the Sasakawa Peace Foundation’s website: https://www.spf.org/e/ Complete applications must be sent to the University by the end of January in the year of entry. For more information, click here.

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