A Celebration of Partnership
To commemorate the 50th anniversary of their student exchange program, Ateneo de Manila University hosted a testimonial dinner for Japan’s Sophia University on October 2, 2018 at Areté. It was an incredibly enjoyable evening as administrators of the two universities, past and current participants of the Ateneo- Sophia exchange student program gathered to celebrate this milestone.
The program began with a tree planting ceremony participated in by Ateneo de Manila University President Fr. Jose Ramon T. Villarin, SJ and Prof. Yoshiaki Terumichi, President of Sophia University. The tree planted was a narra tree, a tree which grows in both countries. The joint tree-planting symbolized the enduring partnership between the 2 universities and nations.
“We’ve been building the bridge between our 2 island nations and building it with people and relationships. I am glad to note that beyond student exchange, Sophia and Ateneo are going into other ventures. We hope that we can continue this relationship, which is not just academic but also personal,” said Fr. Villarin.
Ateneo de Manila University President Fr. Jose Ramon T. Villarin, SJ
Prof. Terumichi echoed this sentiment, expressing his optimism in fostering a deeper relationship between the 2 Jesuit universities, especially in a time of digital uncertainty.
“We are facing the digital society led by AI (Artificial Intelligence), IoT (internet of things) and Big Data. Global risks of international relations, global economy, natural disasters and so on have become more serious. What can we do for our students and the next generation society as Jesuit universities? A lot of collaboration should become deeper and have clarity.” Ateneo is a strong partner of Sophia University, he added.
Prof. Yoshiaki Terumichi, President of Sophia University
The joint tree-planting is a symbol of the enduring partnership between the 2 universities and nations.
A video featuring heartfelt testimonials from the graduates of the exchange program was also presented. The audience was treated to cultural performances by Tugtugang Musika Asya and the UP Dance Company. Graduates from the first and second batches of the exchange program also serenaded the crowd with an earnest rendition of a Japanese song which they learned from their time in Japan.
Cultural performances by Tugtugang Musika Asya and the UP Dance Company
Graduates from the first and second batches of the exchange program serenade the crowd.
Indeed, it was a memorable night, filled with fun, happiness and good memories; a truly delightful way to celebrate a robust partnership with Ateneo de Manila University and Sophia University.
This article originally appeared on www.ateneo.edu.