Sasakawa Fellows Reception 2017
The annual Sasakawa Fellows Reception, hosted by The Nippon Foundation, was held at WMU on 4 November in the Sasakawa Auditorium. At the event, 27 students in the Class of 2017, who were sponsored by The Nippon Foundation, were honored as WMU Sasakawa Fellows. The total number of WMU Sasakawa Fellows now stands at 580 from more than 60 countries.
Mr Tsutomu Akita, Senior Specialist for the Sasakawa Peace Foundation, Ocean Policy Research Institute, welcomed the guests that included Admiral Paul F. Zukunft, Commandant, United States Coast Guard, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Mr Jeff Lantz, Chairman of the IMO Council and WMU Governor, Mr Reinhard Klingen, Director-General, Waterways and Shipping of the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure, Germany, Dr Peter Ehlers, President of the Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency (Ret.) and WMU Governor, Mr Kent Andersson, Chairman of the Malmö City Council and WMU Governor, and Mr Leif Almö, Honorary Consul of Japan. The gathering also included WMU faculty and staff, family members of the Fellows, and Sasakawa Fellowship Students in the Class of 2018.
Dr Cleopatra Doumbia-Henry, WMU President, addressed the gathering and thanked The Nippon Foundation for their continued support to the University since 1987. She stated: “The Nippon Foundation funds to date the highest number of fellowships enabling students from a wide range of countries to pursue their studies here at WMU which in turn enables them to return home with expertise and knowledge to help build and strengthen the maritime and ocean sectors of their countries. The Nippon Foundation follows the Sasakawa Fellows very closely regarding the contributions they are making in their countries, and shares that invaluable information throughout the Sasakawa Fellows network through the Friends of WMU, Japan newsletter.”
Mr Mitsuyuki Unno, Executive Director of the Nippon Foundation, addressed the gathering and congratulated the students on the completion of their studies. He stated, “As the newest Nippon Foundation alumni you will make that vital connection between the vast network of maritime and ocean leaders around the world and seek new opportunities to make a lasting contribution to the sustainability of our oceans. Just as our seas and oceans cary vast potential, you all carry within you equal potential. There is no time like right now to make a positive impact.” Mr Unno welcomed the graduating students 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.
At the reception that followed, Mohmmed Shahnawaz from India addressed the gathering on behalf of the 2017 Sasakawa Fellows. He stated, “The Nippon Foundation believes in us and sponsored us, and because of that, today we are able to fulfill our dreams. When it comes to investment, the best investment in the world is in human resources, and the Nippon Foundation is investing in human resources.”
With this ceremony, the Class of 2017 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. 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 sponsoring six Professorial Chairs and an Associate Professor as well as numerous conferences and events connected with WMU.