On February 24, the first Graduation Ceremony was held at Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University inaugurated in 2011, and 14 students from 10 countries and regions were awarded with their PhD. Approximately 300 participants, including the family members of graduating students and those who were involved with the establishment of the Graduate University celebrated the students’ graduation and new departure. Mr. Koji Omi (85), an OIST Board member who advocated the inauguration of OIST in 2001 when he was the Minister of Okinawa Affairs, was also awarded an honorary doctorate.
OIST President Peter Gruss delivered his message to the graduating students, citing the word of a US great literally figure, “All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make, the better. I wish you all the best of luck in your next grand experiment.” For congratulatory greeting, Nobel Laureate Dr. Steven Chu, who al opromoted the establishment of OIST, came to the podium and encouraged the graduating students, “May you live long and prosper. May your children know that the Earth they lent you was well cared for.”
Dr. Caroline Starzynski who spoke on behalf of the graduating students greeted with smile, wishing that all the remaining PhD students loads of persistence and good luck.
After the OIST graduation, some will obtain research related jobs at institutions such as at Harvard Univeristy or the Univesity of Tokyo, and one will be engaged in an editorial position at Springer Nature, a scientific publishing enterprise.