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Incoming Smithie from Japan shares the story behind her name

This year, as part of the admission process at Smith, prospective students were asked to tell the college about the best gift they’ve ever given or received. Here’s one sample, from an incoming international student, Ayumi Akiyama ’18 from Tokyo, Japan.

Love. Freedom. Beautiful.

As a weak premature baby, I was not expected to survive, but my parents still gave me a beautiful Japanese name, Ayumi. There are three parts to my name.

“A” is love. No matter what kind of emotional and economic consequences my parents faced, they gave me support and unconditional love.

“yu” is freedom. My mother dreamed that I was descending from heaven holding my great grandma’s hand. Because I was too young to die. So, my ancestors gave me freedom to live.

“mi” is beauty. God gave me the beauty of passion, the beauty of life and the beauty of love.

Because of my name, I am alive. Because of my name, the evil of death shattered. And, most importantly, because of my name, I understand the preciousness and fragility of life.

Ayumi will be joined by more than 100 other international first-years coming to Smith this fall.

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