Fall Semester Entrance Ceremony 2013.10.1
On this day, here at the celebration of the year 2013 Hiroshima University Fall Semester entrance ceremony, I would like to sincerely welcome all the newly entering students to Hiroshima University. The aim of Hiroshima University is “a university that lets students grow, a university with a strong global presence.” It is my hope that your new life at Hiroshima University will be fulfilling and steadfast.
Hiroshima University was established in 1874 as Hakushima School, but after various transitions, it 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 approximately 15,000 students and has developed into a leading comprehensive university in Japan with 11 faculties and 11 graduate schools.
Globalization of human society is progressing and becoming more and more diversified and complicated. The progress of academic research brings us wealth and comfort, but on the other hand, there are new issues to solve such as financial instability, air pollution, environmental destruction, exhaustion of resources and terrorism. I believe that it is the role of the university as a “Base of Knowledge” to solve the issues of human society, and to take on further responsibility.
Additionally, we are painfully aware of numerous problems concerning a rapidly aging population and the dangers of social overconcentration. I feel that the Great East Japan Earthquake of March 11, 2011, not only brought enormous damage to our country, but also reminded us that humankind should live in harmony with nature and never forget to pay full attention to it. Furthermore, I think that the nuclear plant accident alarmed us and destroyed the myth of security: a result of our over-reliance on technology. On the other hand, the mutual support of earthquake victims and the wholehearted help they received from all over the country, and even from overseas, reminded us of the importance of human kinship, a value that was becoming increasingly lost during Japan’s rapid economic development after World War II. We will never forget the large sacrifices after the Great East Japan Earthquake. Also, as recovery is unfortunately delayed, we should continue to promote efforts to reconstruct the affected areas. We must review our attitude of being totally committed to the economy and cultivate our sensitivity for a diverse society. We should not seek for material wealth, but for spiritual richness, something which is all too often lost. Placing importance on these attitudes, we should build a society based on new values.
A university is a place where students also learn by challenging problems without clear answers, and by studying independently. I hope that as a student of Hiroshima University you will be able to cultivate an attitude for continuing lifelong learning, foster excellent human qualities and gain broad knowledge and wisdom. I hope that you will increase your basic capabilities as members of society, and that you will grow into excellent personalities, able to contribute to the world.
The social environment is changing quickly and our future is unpredictable. Our society calls for strong personalities. Those of you who are entering Hiroshima University today as new students should set clear goals and define what you want to learn or acquire during your student life. I hope that you will keep these steadfast goals in mind, continue challenging without fear of failure and that you will grow into strong personalities who are able to overcome any setbacks or adversities.
Today we welcome 212 new students, whom all have the dream of “Contributing to future society”. Let us walk powerfully as one, students and faculty together, toward this goal.
Once again, congratulations, and welcome to Hiroshima University.
October 1, 2013
President, Hiroshima University