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President Katsuhiko Shirai

President Katsuhiko Shirai

To our inaugural freshmen in the "Second Century" of Waseda

President Katsuhiko Shirai

Congratulations on your admission to Waseda! It is our pleasure to have talented new members joining the Waseda family.

As you might already know, last year was the 125th anniversary of Waseda University. We held a commemorative ceremony on 21st October to celebrate this. One hundred twenty-five years is a very long period of time. Waseda would not enjoy its current status and recognition, if it were not for the efforts of our predecessors.

Founder Shigenobu Okuma made clear statements on his founding principle when he established "Tokyo Senmon Gakko" -- the predecessor of Waseda. Then in 1913, he declared in his work Mission that "independence of learning," "practical utilization of knowledge" and "good citizenship" are to be the eternal philosophy of the university. Since this ideal had always been practiced, inherited and aimed at by every individual involved in Waseda, its footprint has turned into the tradition of Waseda. In the 125th anniversary commemorative ceremony, I presented "The Second Century Declaration of Waseda": "Waseda University has been nurturing people who will contribute to peace and the advancement of humankind. Based on our founding principle, we would like to continue to evolve, through our efforts in education and research, into a university that creates the future of the world while being loved and anticipated by people in all places." This idea, rooted in our founding principle, is a mission for every one of us at Waseda.

In this globalized age, there are no problems that can be solved by Japan on her own. Even though you are living in Japan, you are actually connected directly with the whole world. Please look around yourself. There are freshmen at Waseda from all over the world. It is in fact the assignment, as a student at Waseda, to live, to study, to research and to understand each other with students from different countries. Throughout these four years, I hope you will further your education as a world-class leader and realize the meaning of "From east and west, from age to age, all tides of civilization" in our Alma Mater.

(Offered by WASEDA WEEKLY)