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Top>HAKUMON Chuo [2015 Early Spring Issue]>Driving force towards a bright future

Hakumon CHUOIndex

On Graduation Day – Farewell Messages

Driving force towards a bright future

Shozaburo Sakai/ Chancellor and President, Chuo University

Shozaburo Sakai

To all of you who are receiving your degree today, I would like to praise your devotion and hard work during your time here, and offer you my congratulations on your graduation from Chuo University. Also to parents, families, and those deeply involved with the graduates, along with the staff at Chuo University, I would like to extend our congratulations.

Many of you entered Chuo University 4 years ago in April 2011. You began your university lives amid the unprecedented turmoil throughout Japan brought about by the Great East Japan Earthquake and the ensuing nuclear accident in Fukushima. Through this great tragedy, starting with those who were affected in the disaster areas, our daily lives were affected in many ways, which also led the university to operate under less energy and prepare for planned outages. However, even in the midst of such tragedy, people came together in the spirit of helping each other throughout all of Japan. At Chuo, as an extension to our activities in contribution to society, we have increased our organization and participation in volunteer activities, building strong cooperative relationships with local governments and communities in the affected areas. There were more lectures and presentations focused on natural disasters and risk management from an education and research aspect as well. The unforgettable 3.11 forced structural change upon society and university. As students who had direct impact from that day, you are the first generation to carry your experiences and take them into society. I believe there are many opportunities for you in the future that only you will be capable of doing. Together with our faculty and staff, I strongly hope that you will put your strengths to use for the benefit of society.

This year marks the 130th anniversary of the founding of Chuo University. This university was built with the founding spirit of “Fostering the Ability to Apply Knowledge to Practice.” The university founders strongly proclaimed to nurture academic traditions that place importance on true respect for experience, establish individual freedom and self-help, cultivate a positive spirit and anti-establishment mindset, and a progressive spirit of free generosity. This practical education, a tradition Chuo University should be proud of, do not simply acquire knowledge that is adapted for practical use. It is the nurturing of creative critical minds through academic research, with its core lying in instilling knowledge that can respond to issues in society. This concept is also implied in the current university message of “Knowledge into Action”. Going forward, you will encounter new challenges that will require you to make decisions. Domestic and international issues, such as the decreasing birthrate and ageing population, regional revitalization, environmental issues and poverty, are becoming more complicated and multilayered. As I said earlier, I want you to challenge yourself and aim for a job that no one else has accomplished before. All of us at Chuo wish you a successful journey. Your past experience is your foundation that will lead you to the road to professionalism.

Once again, congratulations to the graduates embarking on a new journey from Chuo University. I pray that you are ambitious and sound in mind and body, that you will follow a life that is plentiful, that you are able to confront various issues that you may encounter, and become the driving force cutting the path to a bright future.