2019 Commencement Ceremony Dean’s Remarks and Graduation Speech by Student Representative

Dean's remarks

Hiroyoshi Endo, Dean of the Graduate School of Public Health

On behalf of the faculty and supporting staff of the Graduate School of Public Health, it is my great honor and privilege to have the opportunity to say a few words directed towards the Master of Public Health graduating class of 2019.

From the bottom of my heart, I would like to congratulate the 24 of you and all those who have supported you, including your family and friends. As most of you are working professionals, I can imagine that you must have had stressful days and nights as you had to balance studying while working, in addition to family priorities.

Surely, you must be filled with relief, excitement, and perhaps a bit of anticipation and uncertainty for what tomorrow may bring.
Your Master of Public Health degree represents both the time you invested in hard work as well as the new opportunities that lie ahead.

During the time you spent at St. Luke’s, our hope is that you have obtained practical skills and knowledge required of public health professionals, and through the master’s capstone project, you had the opportunity to apply those to real life issues. In the wake of the novel corona virus epidemic, the importance of public health has been dully recognized even among the general population. Your training obtained at St. Luke’s could contribute in a critical way to addressing this epidemic, including at your workplace. I imagine that in this current situation we face, your professional contributions would be greatly appreciated even immediately after graduation.

Another very important asset you have obtained is your network of people. Our school is proud of the diversity it cultivates in professional background, nationality, culture, and experiences, to name a few. As professionals, you have to continue studying throughout life. This is a long and hard road, but connected with this network of diversity, you will not have to walk this road alone. You will be able to share problems and concerns you encounter and cheer each other on in your paths moving forward.

Even after graduation, we consider you as part of the domestic and global network of St. Luke’s. As members of the extended family of St. Luke’s, you are always connected with us. We are in the process of strengthening the alumni association with the help of graduates and current students. Your active contribution to the activities of the alumni association will be much appreciated which may include assistance with teaching and research activities for current students.

We started a doctoral program in public health from last year, and next month, we will have the pleasure of welcoming almost 30 new students admitted into the MPH and DrPH programs. No doubt they will follow in your footsteps and continue the tradition of hard work and success.

We look forward to the successful development of your professional carrier paths and wish you all the best in your future endeavors.

Thank you.

Graduation Speech by Student Representative

Rina Kotake (19MP103)

The cherry blossoms were in full bloom and the warm spring breeze seemed to calm my anxious heart as I entered the door of St. Luke's International University on my first day of class. That was about a year ago, but I still remember it vividly as if it were just yesterday. Excitement and perhaps a little bit of fear filled the air as I and my classmates greeted our faculty and staff for the first time. I will never forget the smiles and warm welcome we received from everyone on that day. I felt like we were treated as a family, like we were a part of a big team. The Graduate School of Public Health is indeed an ideal interactive educational environment with a rich diversity of students from various cultures and professional backgrounds. The unique curriculum and dedicated faculty and staff made it possible for the school to achieve its aim of "providing high-quality graduate education in public health that meets global standards for the training of professionals who can contribute to improving the quality of health care.” This school indeed exceeded whatever expectations I had when I joined the MPH program.

In behalf of the graduating class of 2020, I would like to extend our sincerest and heartfelt gratitude to Dr. Tsuguya Fukui, President of St. Luke’s International University, Dr. Hiroyoshi Endo, Dean of the Graduate School of Public Health, and to all the members of the faculty and staff, for walking alongside all of us throughout our journey. The journey we embarked on was not an easy one. But with the supportive faculty and friendly classmates, who all had a common goal of seeking for a high-quality health care for everyone, it became more meaningful and worthwhile to study and learn more about public health at this school.

This day may mark the end of our journey as students of the Graduate School of Public Health, but it also marks the beginning of our new path as public health professionals. I hope that with the degree which we just earned, we all can act as seeds, which would grow into big trees, or a ripple that could create a big wave of positive changes in the field of public health in the near future.

It is quite unfortunate that we did not have the chance to personally thank our teachers and bid them goodbye. However, as public health professionals, we have the deepest understanding of the difficult decision the school administration had to make. Although we have lesser chances of setting foot in this school again, we are still somehow connected through our bond as alumni of the Graduate School of Public Health at St. Luke's International University.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank my project supervisor, Dr. Mihye Lee, and the director at my workplace, Dr. Hideko Yamauchi, for their guidance and support. I am also grateful to my parents for their endless love, and to God for seeing me through difficult times and for all the blessings He has given me.

To all my fellow graduates, may God be the light to the paths that we choose in achieving our own goals. May God bless us all.

With the Dean, Dr. Endo, and the Capstone Supervisor, Dr. Lee