03 November 2008

Inaugural Japanese alumni event takes place in Tokyo

Photo: Tokyo event

More than 100 alumni and friends came together in October for the first University of Sheffield alumni event in Japan.

The current British Ambassador to Japan, Mr David Warren, very kindly made available his beautiful residence at the British Embassy in Tokyo for this inaugural alumni event. Guests enjoyed an evening of drinks, canapés and Sheffield nostalgia in an exclusive and elegant setting.

Guests were welcomed by the ambasasador (in an impressive bilingual speech), who also proposed an enthusiastic toast to the University. Pro-Vice-Chancellor for External Affairs Professor Dominic Shellard then gave the audience an update about some of the University’s most recent news and achievements, including a short DVD about some of the newest developments and buildings on campus such as the high-tech new Information Commons building. Professor Shellard said that he was particularly pleased to be launching this first alumni event in Japan, as the University currently works with 22 Japanese partner organisations, many of them Japanese universities.

Dr Mika Ko, a lecturer from the School of East Asian Studies (SEAS) who is currently on a research fellowship in Tokyo, spoke in Japanese about recent news and developments at SEAS. Highlights included the opening of the new White Rose East Asia Centre in collaboration with the National Institute of Japanese Studies and the National Institute of Chinese Studies, which provides world-class research and advanced research training in Japanese and Chinese studies; the record number of 65 students registered in the Japanese Studies course at Sheffield this year; and the forthcoming opening of the University of Sheffield Doshisha Centre at Doshisha University in Kyoto.

Finally, guests heard from a current Sheffield student, Ben Ahmady, currently on his year abroad in Japan, about what the Sheffield student experience is like today.

The evening closed with a fun prize draw for some diverse items of University merchandise. Many guests commented that they had very much enjoyed the evening, and were extremely keen for the University to hold further similar events in Japan.

“I am delighted that our first alumni event in Japan has been such an overwhelming success,” said Professor Shellard. “We are extremely grateful to His Excellency the Ambassador for so generously opening his home to the University. We hope that this event will be one of the first of many to bring together the University’s alumni and friends who live and work in Japan.”

Save the date

We are pleased to report that following on from the success of this event, the British Council have very kindly agreed to host a University of Sheffield alumni reception in Tokyo on 3 July 2009. If you are a Sheffield graduate living in Japan and would like to make sure that you receive an invitation to this event, please update your contact details here.