WMU Graduation Ceremony 2023
On 28 October, the maritime and oceans leaders of tomorrow graduated from the World Maritime University (WMU). The Class of 2023 has received the education required to contribute to maritime and ocean issues in their home countries and more broadly to the implementation of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs). The graduating class includes 283 graduates from 71 countries, and sets a record of 99 women graduates at 35 percent.
WMU President, Professor Maximo Q. Mejia, Jr., delivered welcome remarks. As a WMU graduate himself, President Mejia reflected on the power of the WMU experience and how it affects the way one thinks, works, plans, and interacts. Addressing the graduates he said, “You have certainly acquired information that you did not possess before you enrolled here. Perhaps more importantly for your future in the international maritime world, you have acquired a real and strong network on which you can rely for decades to come.”
In his graduation address, HE Mr Kitack Lim, the first WMU graduate to serve as International Maritime Organization (IMO) Secretary-General and WMU Chancellor, thanked the City of Malmö and the Government of Sweden for their continued generosity and support in hosting the University, as well as the many donors for their ongoing commitment to the WMU mission and its sustainability. Addressing the graduates directly, he said, “Collectively, WMU graduates form a formidable international network, a force for good in the world. Your influence as global citizens, educated in a unique environment, will extend far beyond what you can envision today.”
On behalf of the City of Malmö, Ms Carina Nilsson, Mayor and Chairperson of the Malmö City Council addressed the gathering and expressed the City’s pride in hosting the University. She noted that one of the greatest strengths of WMU is its diverse community, and as a diverse City with over 180 nationalities, Malmö is a fitting home for WMU. She wished the graduates well, saying, “When you take the next step in your careers, keep in mind that success is not solely measured by accomplishments and titles. True success lies in making a positive impact, contributing to the greater good. The maritime industry plays a vital role in today’s global world. Each one of you has the power to make a positive impact on this industry, and therefore, the world itself.”
Professor Myron Nordquist was awarded Doctor of Science honoris causa. Dr Nordquist is a renowned international law scholar in maritime law, the law of the sea and ocean policy. His greatest achievements are associated with strengthening the rule of law as it applies to international navigation rights and freedoms, as well as the role of the International Maritime Organization in maritime and ocean affairs. He shared with the gathering highlights of his career path that spans over 50 years of focusing on the Law of the Sea, and that included establishing the Center for Oceans Law and Policy at the University of Virginia School of Law which has become one of the world’s premier academic institutions for the study of maritime law, ocean law and policy. Dr Nordquist has been a long standing supporter of the WMU, and he thanked the University for the esteemed award.
Mr Donghyeog Seo (Republic of Korea), President of the Student Council for the Class of 2023, gave remarks on behalf of the graduating Class. He thanked the City of Malmö, donors, WMU faculty and staff, host families, and field study hosts for their support. Addressing his classmates, he said, “The most precious legacy I gained from WMU was not a grade, not a dissertation, not a diploma. It was you. It’s the precious memories made with all of you…We held each other's hands, and completed this journey.”
Of the 283 graduates, 123 are from the Malmö MSc programme, and 81 graduates from the China programme, making a total number of 204 MSc graduates in 2023. The Class also includes a record number of ten PhD graduates that also represent a record in terms of gender with seven women, one MPhil graduate and 68 graduates from the distance learning programmes including seven LLM graduates. The 2023 graduation ceremony brings the total number of WMU graduates to 6,090 from 170 countries and territories.
AWARDS PRESENTED AT THE CEREMONY
Honorary Fellow Awards
Captain Ian Finley, Permanent Representative of the Cook Islands to the International Maritime Organization and a member of the Board of Governors since 2018, who has been actively involved in the work of the Organization.
Mr Jeffrey Lantz, a former Chair of the IMO Council and the Head of Delegation of the USA to IMO. He has served as a member of the Board of Governors since March 2012.
Dr Anita Mäkinen, Alternate Permanent Representative of Finland to the IMO and Chief Advisor of the Finnish Transport and Communications Agency, who has offered continuous and significant support to the University over the years, as well as an immense contribution to IMO and its mission.
Mr Brian Orrell OBE, Chair of the Advisory Board of Seafarers’ Rights International, Trustee of the International Transport Workers’ Federation Seafarers’ Trust, and consultant to the ITF, a stalwart supporter of the University and its mission.
Mr Torben Skaanild, Chair of WMU’s Executive Board from 2010 to 2019 and previously Secretary-General of BIMCO, who has had a long and distinguished international career in the shipping industry.
Outstanding Alumni Awards
Ms Judith Enaw of Cameroon who served as the Secretary General of the International Commission of the Congo-Oubangui-Sangha Basin (CICOS) from 2016 to 2023. Judith was the first female President of the WMU Student Council. Always proud to be a WMU alumna, she has demonstrated great professional distinction in the maritime field throughout her career since graduating in 2000.
Dr Sajid Hussain of Bangladesh who graduated in 1998. He has been an active member of the Board of Governors since October 2013. He was Commandant of the Bangladesh Marine Academy, and is the President of the Friends of WMU Bangladesh.
Annual Student Awards
The Chancellor's Medal for Academic Excellence for the MSc in Maritime Affairs 2023 was awarded to Mr Rahul Lodhi (India). The C P Srivastava Award for International Fellowship, was awarded to Ms. Teona Khabeishvili (Georgia). Mr. Sergii Kazantsev (Ukraine) received the Richard Charvet Scholarship for the best student specializing in Maritime Law and Policy, Mr Harsh Bhagirath Buch (India) received the Richard Charvet Scholarship for the best student of the Master of Laws in International Maritime Law. The Lloyd’s Maritime Academy Distance Learning Prize was awarded to Mr. Ajay Thoothamkalathil Peethambaran (India). The Lloyd’s Maritime Academy Dissertation Prize was awarded to Mr Eslam Ramadan Badry Gad (Egypt). The Schlüter Foundation Dissertation Prize for an outstanding dissertation in the field of Shipping and Marine Environmental Protection was awarded to Mr Anthony Cuevas (Philippines), and the Secretary-General’s Prize for best dissertation was awarded to Ms Margie Mataac (Philippines).
For 2023, the Specialization Prizes for the MSc in Maritime Affairs were endowed by the Asia House of Copenhagen and included Ms Margie Mataac (Philippines) for Maritime Education & Training, Mr. Ahmed Mohamed Ismail Mohamed Ismail (Egypt) for Maritime Energy Management, Mr Rahul Lodhi (India) for Maritime Law & Policy, Mr Eslam Ramadan Badry Gad (Egypt) for Maritime Safety & Environmental Administration, Ms Aishath Sarah Hashim (Maldives) for Ocean Sustainability, Governance and Management, Mr. Suraya Yeasmin Jui (Bangladesh) for Port Management, Mr. Pankaj Kumar (India) for Shipping Management & Logistics, Mr. Pu Yuxin (China) for International Transport and Logistics, taught in Shanghai, and Mr. He Jing (China) for Maritime Safety and Environmental Management, taught in Dalian.
Recipients of the Kalmar Prizes, awarded by Kalmar Global to students who are recognized as leaders among their peers, included: Ms Daniela Jimena Andrade Tamayo (Ecuador), Ms Artemisa Cristina Gomes Neves Mota (Cabo Verde), Mr. Gift William Kamwendo (Malawi), Ms. Teona Khabeishvili (Georgia), Ms. Sulafa Mahmod (Syria), Mr. Shinabhat Maneerin (Thailand), Mr. Jethro Padama (Philippines), Mr. Tebogo Alfred Moloko Ramatjie (South Africa), Ms. Louisa Pokua Sarkodie (Ghana), and Mr. Takanori Uzumaki (Japan).
To access photos from the ceremony, click here.
Additional WMU Graduation Ceremonies in 2023
The first WMU graduation ceremony of 2023 took place on 29 July for 32 students in the MSc in Maritime Affairs with a specialization in International Transport and Logistics (Shipping & Finance) (ITL) offered in cooperation with Shanghai Maritime University took place in Shanghai. On 30 July, the graduation ceremony took place for 47 students in WMU’s MSc in Maritime Affairs with a specialization in Maritime Safety and Environmental Management (MSEM) offered in cooperation with Dalian Maritime University in Dalian, China.