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Spring Semester Entrance Ceremony 2013.4.3

Spring Semester Entrance Ceremony 2013.4.3

Today at the 2013 Entrance Ceremony, on behalf of Hiroshima University, I would like to congratulate all the new students here and sincerely welcome all of you. It is my hope that your new life at Hiroshima University will be meaningful and productive.

Hiroshima University was established in 1874 as Hakushima School, but after various transitions, was combined with eight schools to be re-established on May 31, 1949 as the new Hiroshima University, with its main campus in Higashi-Senda, Hiroshima City, an area that was devastated by the atomic bomb. In 1995, Hiroshima University completed its merger and relocation to the present Higashi-Hiroshima Campus. Currently, our university has 15,000 students and has developed into a leading comprehensive university in Japan with 11 faculties and 11 graduate schools.

The Great East Japan Earthquake of March 11th 2011 inflicted a heavy toll on our country, and showed us the limits and weakness of humankind, which depends on the blessings of nature. It made us feel powerless and showed us that our over-reliance on technology was a serious mistake.
Furthermore, this natural disaster made us aware of issues such as rapidly progressing depopulation, many problems caused by an aging society and the fragility of an overly centralized society. On the other hand, the mutual support of earthquake victims and the wholehearted support they received from all over the country and even from overseas reminded us of the importance of human kinship, a value we were losing during Japan’s rapid economic development after World War II. We should never forget the great toll taken by the Great East Japan Earthquake, and review our attitude of being totally committed to the economy. We should cultivate sensitivity to cope with a world of increasing diversification, value spiritual richness and build a society based on new values.

Human society is becoming more and more global, growing in diversity and complexity. We benefit from the development of academic science. But on the other hand there are many new issues such as financial instability, air pollution, environmental destruction, depletion of resources and terrorism. I believe that the university as “Base of Knowledge Creation” will play an increasingly important role to solve these problems of human society.

Our university’s goal is to become “a University that lets students grow, a University with a strong global presence”. Unlike the passive learning up through high school, you must tackle unsolved issues, and take the initiative in studying and academic training. Hiroshima University provides liberal arts and specialized education as well as maximum experience-based learning, and makes great efforts to foster excellent human resources who are able to contribute to society by cultivating rich humanity, broad knowledge and wisdom, and the basic skills of behaving as proper members of society.

I wish for each of you who embark on their student life today, to specify your goals throughout your student life: what to learn and what to acquire. I would like to encourage you to try hard for your goals, without being scared of making mistakes and to keep a bold challenging spirit. I sincerely hope all of you grow into strong personalities who are able to overcome failures and difficulties.

Today, I have the honor of welcoming 3,917 new students to Hiroshima University, and I wish to walk together with you and all of the staff members toward the pivotal goal of “contributing to future society”.
Once again, congratulations, and welcome to Hiroshima University.

April 3, 2013

Toshimasa Asahara
President, Hiroshima University