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Spring Semester Entrance Ceremony 2014.4.3

Spring Semester Entrance Ceremony 2014.4.3

Today at the 2014 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 fulfilling and steadfast. I would also like to express my congratulations to the parents and those related to these new students.

Hiroshima University was established in 1874 as Hakushima School, but after various transitions, was combined with eight schools - Hiroshima University of Literature and Science, Hiroshima High School, Hiroshima Higher Technical School, Hiroshima Higher Normal School, Hiroshima Women’s Higher Normal School, Hiroshima Normal School, Hiroshima Young Men’s Normal School, and Hiroshima Municipal Higher Technical School - to be re-established on May 31, 1949 as the new Hiroshima University with its main campus being in Higashi-Senda, Hiroshima City, an area that 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 protects the integrity of our Five Guiding Principles: (1) the Pursuit of Peace, (2) the Creation of New Forms of Knowledge, (3) the Nurturing of Well-Rounded Human Beings, (4) Collaboration with the Local, Regional, and International Community, (5) Continuous Self-Development. Under these principles, Hiroshima University has been engaged in fulfilling a national university’s mission of education, research and contribution to society. Our university has developed into a leading comprehensive core university in Japan with presently 11 faculties and 11 graduate schools, a university hospital, 11 attached schools, the Research Institute for Radiation Biology and Medicine, the Hiroshima Synchrotron Radiation Center. As our university was established in Hiroshima City, the city that experienced the world’s first atomic-bombing, it was the first national university to open an Institute for Peace Science in 1975. Furthermore, Hiroshima University has been continued efforts to teach its students the importance of global peace by offering lessons on peace which are compulsory for liberal arts education. I wish that in future, our students will have many more occasions to talk with their family or friends about global peace and act as an evidence of our university’s principles.

Our rapidly changing society has grown in diversity and complexity. At the same time, academic research has made remarkable advances beyond our expectations: The research group of Dr. Yamanaka succeeded in developing iPS Cells. The Higgs Particle, the base of mass, was discovered and 3D printing technology has progressed greatly. We benefit from the development of academic science. But on the other hand there are many new issues we have to overcome such as erratic democratization movements, widening gap between rich and poor, recurrent terrorism, environmental pollution and the rapidly aging population. And not to mention the Great East Japan Earthquake which occurred on March 11, 2011 and the subsequent Fukushima nuclear accident that followed had a serious influence on our country’s society as a whole. Also in future we have to give more than a passing thought to the affected areas, to direct our attention to them and to stand together and dedicate all our strength to the resurrection of these regions. I believe that the university as “Base of Knowledge Creation” will play an increasingly important roles to solve such problems of human society.

I think that young people who will shape our future society - especially university students - have to be strongly aware of environmental changes in society. Unlike the passive learning up through high school, university students must actively focus themselves on scholarship and their achievements should contribute to solution of issues for all humanity. Therefore, Hiroshima University has made great efforts to foster excellent human resources able to contribute to society through promoting advanced world-leading research.

It is said that people with experiences of a major failure are receiving better evaluation rather than people with an accumulation of small successes recently. People who experience failure and setbacks and have enough “power of failure” to overcome all kinds of obstacles are now highly evaluated. I would like to encourage you to take all kinds of challenges in your student life without being scared of making mistakes. Your experiences will help to develop yourself and I wish that you will grow into proper and self-responsible members of society with a capacity of judgment. That’s the kind of human resources needed by society.

Living a fruitful life means to show one’s ability to the fullest. I wish that all of you, who enter this university today, can find a clear goal and continue to take challenges and that you take advantages of the knowledge and wisdom of your predecessors and cultivate sensitivity and broaden your horizons by experiencing our extraordinary art and culture. I also wish you to continue to study throughout your lives and believe that this is the key to a meaningful live.

Today, I have the honor of welcoming 3,907 new students to Hiroshima University, and I wish to walk together with you and all of the staff members toward the pivotal goal of “building a society which is filled with hope in the future”, seeking the high ideals of “contributing to future society”.

Once again, congratulations, and welcome to Hiroshima University.

April 3, 2014

Toshimasa Asahara
President, Hiroshima University