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Spring Semester Entrance Ceremony 2009.4.3

Spring Semester Entrance Ceremony 2009.4.3

I would like to congratulate all the new students here today at the 2009 Entrance Ceremony, and welcome you to Hiroshima University. It is my hope that your new life as a Hiroshima University student will be fulfilling and steadfast. I would also like to express my congratulations to the parents and those related to these new students.

Hiroshima University began in 1874 as Hakushima School of Secondary Education, and after various transitions, was combined with the Hiroshima University of Literature and Science, Hiroshima School of Secondary Education, Hiroshima School of Education, Hiroshima Women's School of Secondary Education, Hiroshima School of Education for Youth, Hiroshima Higher School, Hiroshima Higher Technical School, and Hiroshima Municipal Higher Technical School on May 31, 1949 to become the new Hiroshima University, with its main campus in Higashi-Senda, Hiroshima City, an area which was devastated by the atomic bomb.

Inheriting the founding spirit of "a single, unified university, free and pursuing peace," as was set forth by our first president, Tatsuo Morito, Hiroshima University completed a unified move to Higashi-Hiroshima in 1995, and now, Hiroshima University welcomes its 60th anniversary since founding. During these 60 years we have continued to develop as a leading comprehensive university in Japan, fulfilling our mission as a national university to provide education, research, and social contributions under our 5 Guiding Principles: The Pursuit of Peace, the Creation of New Forms of Knowledge, the Nurturing of Well-Rounded Human Beings, Collaboration with the Local, Regional, and International Community, and Continuous Self-Development.

The progression of scientific technology in the latter half of the 20th Century is remarkable, and it can be said that the rapid and widespread developments which have come of this are greatly changing our human society. And while these technological progressions bring great developments, at the same time, they also are the root of many new issues in 21st Century society such as environmental pollution, energy and food crises, terrorism, and more. These, along with the progression of globalization and internationalization, have brought great diversification to our society and I believe that in the future, the role of universities as institutes of higher education shall become even more crucial in solving the issues which confront humanity.

Comprised of 11 faculties and 12 graduate schools, a hospital, as well as 11 attached schools in 4 cities across Hiroshima Prefecture, the largest number of any domestic national university, Hiroshima University is one of the leading and key national universities in Japan. The university is also home to a host of research centers, such as the Synchrotron Radiation Center, and the Research Institute for Radiation Biology and Medicine, renowned around the world for its achievements in research on the effects of radiation. The institute is rightly located in Hiroshima City, where the atomic bomb was dropped. In order to fulfill the mission given to us as a university, we are striving to maintain and develop education and high-level research which is unique to our university, as well as create leading centers of education and research at the international level by making effective use of all the experience we have gained thus far. It is our ultimate aim to cultivate human resources who are rich in humanity, have a wide range of knowledge, and will contribute to society.

Hiroshima University is also working toward better and more intensive peace science research, not only because Hiroshima University was founded in the first city in the world to experience the atomic bomb, but because it was also the first national university to establish an Institute for Peace Science, opened in 1975. We at Hiroshima University encourage all of our students to think about international peace by including courses on peace in our liberal arts curriculum. Through this, we hope that as proof of their scholarship at Hiroshima University, students will have more opportunities to come together with friends and family to discuss international peace.

One could say that a truly meaningful life is one in which your abilities are fully realized; and when we begin to see that the goals and efforts we have put forth for ourselves are connected to the future, that is we can truly feel that our lives have meaning. It is my greatest hope that you, who are entering Hiroshima University today as new students, will endeavor hard in your studies, keeping steadfast goals in mind, and that that effort will lead you to a more meaningful life in the future.
Today we welcome all 3,778 new students, whom all face the dream of building a society which is filled with hope in the future. Let us walk as one, students and faculty together, toward this goal.

Once again, congratulations, and welcome to Hiroshima University.

April 3, 2009

Toshimasa Asahara