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Degree Conferment Ceremony 2010.3.23

Degree Conferment Ceremony 2010.3.23

I would first like to congratulate each and every one of the graduates receiving diplomas on this day. I would also like to congratulate the parents and those related, and express my deepest gratitude for your continual support of Hiroshima University. I would also like to thank all of you for taking the time to be here with us at the degree conferment ceremony today.

Hiroshima University was newly established On May 31, 1949, with the foundation principle to become “a single unified university with the pursuit of peace.” Succeeding this principle, this national university’s missions were being carried out, developing into one of the more prominent comprehensive universities in Japan. We celebrated Hiroshima University’s 60th anniversary last year.

In 1960, Hiroshima University experienced a campus disturbance, and in 2004 this national university went corporate. As a higher educational institution, we sternly rethought our importance to society. Using this as a trigger, we began to search for new ways to change the form of our educational and research institutions. And now, we have arrived at a time when more than half of all students are pursuing 4 year degrees, and we must reorganize the way each individual receives his education and alter the way we impact society.

Now, to look back at some of the major events that were completed during your time at Hiroshima University. The founding of iPS cells, the advancement of computer simulation technology were completed, and whilst these exemplary feats, we were also plagued by environmental destruction and international disputes, tremendous earthquakes and tsunamis, magnified artificial disasters such as swine flu, and successive natural disasters which are all changing the world we live in. The scientific research that has improved at rapid speeds beginning with the latter half of the 20th century onto the 21st century has been a blessing to mankind, but has simultaneously birthed numerous new issues. During this era, Hiroshima University must serve as a nucleic university, and guide the 21st century society of mankind as a center of excellence and contribute in constructing the future society.

In an environment like this, you were all able to carry out your lives at Hiroshima University, and while enjoying many new experiences, were able to leave your individual footprints in the history of this university. These results will forever live on in our records.

As a part of the advancement of scientific research, human society has undergone globalization, and it is important that you are capable of converting your experience here to be able to conscientiously participate in international society. As a basis of this globalized society, international peace is essential. To make international peace a reality, on top of having pride for Japan’s excellent culture, you must deepen your worldwide understanding and take a step into this new society. By looking back on the history that your predecessors have left, I believe it is important that you use that wisdom to birth a new solution to any human coexistence issues.

I have always pushed the importance of attempting bold challenges during your student life. However, it is not conceivable that the preferred outcome is always acquired, as it is more likely that you learned more from the mistakes you made. I believe that you will all continue to grow from the hardships and mistakes that you will experience from here on out. In order to fulfill this resolution to contribute to society, you must boldly accept this challenge without fear. Carefully guard the humanity that you accepted during your student life, and even if you encounter any difficulties in society, I have great expectations that you can overcome them with the skills you have acquired.

The change that human society is undergoing has recently been accelerating. Rather than getting tossed about in these changing environments, holding onto the resolution to contribute to human society, establish a set of values for yourself, and I want you to apply these to life as you take one step forward at a time. Rather than just wishing for peace, I believe in your potential to gather your ideals and approach life courageously without fear of mistakes.
As you embark on a new chapter of your lives, I pray that the roads ahead lead to a brighter future, filled with promise and hope. Congratulations.

March 23, 2010

Toshimasa Asahara
President, Hiroshima University


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