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Fall Semester Degree Conferment Ceremony 2016.9.20

Fall Semester Degree Conferment Ceremony 2016.9.20

Congratulations to all of you who are graduating today. On this auspicious occasion of the 2016 Autumn Term Degree Award Ceremony, on behalf of Hiroshima University, I would like to offer my deepest and heartfelt congratulations to all of you gathered here today.

 In particular, I would like to pay special tribute to the international students here today, whose tremendous efforts to overcome linguistic and cultural differences should be acknowledged in addition to their academic achievements.

Needless to say, the degree that each of you has earned today is a result of great efforts and hours of in-depth study. At the same time, the invaluable contribution and support of your families, friends, and other significant people around you must never be forgotten.

This year has seen important historical events occur in Hiroshima. This is not just because of Hiroshima Carp’s victory in the Central League Championship for the first time in 25 years. This year is also special, because President Obama, as the first incumbent American president in history, visited the Hiroshima’s Peace Memorial Park on 27th May, placing a floral tribute at the cenotaph for A-bomb victims and making a memorable speech, which was broadcast all around the world. This event comprised a ground-breaking step towards world peace. So, when the year 2016 is looked back in future, it will be remembered as a memorable year in which you graduated from Hiroshima University.

It may come as a surprise to you, but our Peace Memorial Park and Hiroshima University have something in common: the landscape architect Mr. Kenzo Tange, not only designed this famous park, he was also a graduate of Hiroshima High School, which was one of the predecessors of Hiroshima University. In addition, the well-known inscription on the cenotaph for A-bomb victims “Let all the souls here rest in peace; for we shall not repeat the evil,” was composed and brush-written by an emeritus professor of Hiroshima University, Dr. Tadayoshi Saika.

You have completed your studies at Hiroshima University, which has the founding principle of "a single unified university, free and pursuing peace." I hope that you are all very proud of your achievements, and it is my sincere wish that all of you will keep on developing your skills as “peace-pursuing cultured individuals with international experience.”

Last month, a book entitled “Can Hiroshima University be in the Top 100 Universities in the World?” was published from a bookseller PHP. I believe that this book serves the role of sending out a message to all the staff as well as to the past, present, and future students of Hiroshima University. By aiming to become a “University of World-wide Repute and Splendor for Years into the Future,” and also by joining hands with you who are about to spread your wings on the global stage, I would like to keep moving forward with the catch phrase of “Ēne Hirodai! (it means “Nice Hirodai!”)”

Finally, I sincerely wish that your road ahead will lead to a brilliant future, filled with promise and hope. Congratulations once again!

September 20th 2016
Mitsuo Ochi
President, Hiroshima University