COMING OF AGE CEREMONY HELD FOR SECOND YEAR IN A ROW
Posted on Friday, February 17, 2017 [12:18 PM]
Columbia Mayor Curtis Hardwick joined four LWC
students from Japan to celebrate
their Coming of Age ceremony Jan.
27 at Columbia City Hall. From left: Ryuhei Otsuka, Tomoki Takeda,
Curtis Hardwick, Miho Shiraki and Makoto
COLUMBIA, Ky. -- For the second year in a row,
Lindsey Wilson College and the city of Columbia held a coming of
age ceremony for international students studying abroad at LWC on
Friday, January 27. Traditionally, the Coming of Age ceremony --
also known as Seijin no Hi -- is held throughout city halls in
Japan every January. The ceremony, which dates to the 8th century,
celebrates when a person in Japan reaches legal adulthood, which is
the age of 20. Four LWC students from Japan were recognized during
Columbia City Hall.
More than 40 LWC classmates, faculty and staff and area residents
gathered in a city hall meeting room as Mayor of Columbia Curtis
Hardwick told the four Japanese students about the responsibilities
and challenges of adulthood, just as a Japanese mayor would
"You have become an adult," Hardwick said. "Your future may not be
totally clear to you yet, but dream big dreams and be hopeful. By
having made the decision to come to the U.S. and study at Lindsey
Wilson College, you are playing at active part in fulfilling your
dreams and hopes. "
The four students being recognized then spoke, expressing their
gratitude to those who honored them. Following the ceremony at City
Hall, the students celebrated at a reception that featured
traditional Japanese dishes, held at LWC's Roberta D. Cranmer
Dining & Conference Center. At the reception, the students were
surprised with video messages recorded by their families in Japan.
Sabine Eastham, Director of the International Student Program,
helped plan and organize the event again this year. Eastham says
that sharing rich experiences is one of the goals of LWC
"The presence (of international students) broadens cultural
awareness," Eastham said. "Exchange students are only here one
year, so we want to give everyone as many experiences as
To enrich the campus' culture, LWC houses international students
in residence halls with American students, and international
students are also active in campus life. LWC has more than 100
international students from 39 different countries enrolled this
In addition to holding events such as the Coming of
Age Day ceremony, Eastham said LWC's International Student
Program also looks for way to give back to Columbia-Adair County.
The program holds several events during International Education
Week that are open to the public, and LWC international students
visit Adair County schools throughout the year.
During their time in Columbia-Adair County, LWC's international
students are paired with area families, who introduce them to
Southcentral Kentucky culture and "open their hearts and homes to
welcome the students," Eastham said.
For more information about LWC's International Student Program,
contact Eastham at email@example.com or 270-384-8236.