The Temple community came together Monday to reaffirm the university’s commitment to Japan.
President Ann Weaver Hart led the proceedings, urging solidarity with those who suffered as a result of the devastating March 11 earthquake and tsunami that struck the nation.
“We gather here today to recommit and reaffirm the unique partnership that temple university shares with the nation of Japan and the Japanese people,” said Hart. “The ties that bind us are not merely professional or diplomatic in nature. They are deeply personal.”
The ceremony featured multiple educational and cultural events, and was attended by Ambassador Shigeyuki Hiroki, consul general of Japan in New York, and Dennis Morikawa, honorary consul general of Japan in Philadelphia.
A Daruma doll ceremony began the day. Daruma dolls are Japanese symbols of perseverance and good luck. Traditionally, one eye is painted at the beginning of a task, and the other is painted when the task is finished. The ceremony was followed by a video message from Temple University Japan Dean Bruce Stronach and several teach-in sessions on subjects such as Japan’s recovery efforts, economy and social media use during the crisis. Between classes, students shared their stories.
To close out the day, the group took a bus trip to Shofuso Japanese House and Garden in Fairmount Park for a private tour and reception.
The daylong ceremony was a symbol of Temple’s ongoing effort to support the Japanese people. The university has also launched a web site that provides a centralized directory of support efforts underway at Temple and a section for the contributions of members of the Temple community affected by the events.
— Elizabeth DiPardo