On April 19, Wei Loon Leong (MBA ’05, BS ’03), director of international alumni relations, hosted an alumni reception with President Tripathi and other UB officials for more than 140 alumni and friends in Tokyo, Japan. The gathering was held at Meiji University, UB’s newest international exchange partner and one of the largest and most prestigious universities in the country. The trip also marked the first official visit to Japan for Tripathi, who discussed key points of the UB 2020 strategic vision. The audience was multigenerational, with degrees earned over a period spanning from the 1970s to 2013.
Professor Nobuhiro Igawa (MLS ’97, MA ’92, BA ’90) journeyed seven hours by high-speed train from his home in Kagoshima to attend the event.
Japan chapter member Eri Ota-Kostova (BS ’02) delighted the crowd with a slide show that set the stage for much reminiscing, and promised to return to UB for a visit.
Though English was the primary language spoken at the gathering, Japanese tradition dictated the program. Respect for elders meant that speeches were presented from oldest to youngest.
The developing Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus was the most talked-about subject of the evening by far. UB Bulls football was a distant second.
Attendee and Kenmore, N.Y., native Peter Kaufman (BS ’04) moved to Tokyo immediately upon graduating to work for T-Mark, an IT firm with offices in Tokyo and Buffalo. (The firm was launched by another Buffalonian, Greg Norton.) Kaufman and his Japanese wife are now raising their two children in Tokyo.
Hats, messenger bags, T-shirts. Best of all? The grand prize was a bottle of Anchor Bar wing sauce!
American staples found at many alumni events were replaced by sushi and shoju, a Japanese wine.