Congratulations to all of you who received your degrees from Kyushu University today.
In total, 408 students received their degrees: 67 from our bachelor’s programs, 187 from our master’s programs and 154 from our doctoral programs. Among the recipients, 280 are international students.
On behalf of the faculty and staff of Kyushu University, we are delighted to be able to celebrate you and the numerous others involved in your journey. We extend our heartfelt congratulations to you all as you embark on your next adventure.
Today, we have invited Dr. Wen-Chang Chen, President of National Taiwan University, to deliver the congratulatory address to join us for this year’s commencement.
I would like to take this opportunity to warmly welcome President Chen. We are delighted to have you here with us today.
National Taiwan University and Kyushu University have cultivated a close relationship over many years. On this occasion, we are going to sign the” Strategic Partnership Agreement” which we believe will lead to even more cooperation, collaboration, and unwavering trust between our two universities. Furthermore we hope for the development of a thriving relationship between Taiwan and Japan.
The COVID-19 pandemic, which began at the end of 2019, quickly spread throughout the world and led to unprecedented changes in our everyday life. To the recipients of the degree today, your academic journey must have been filled with unparalleled challenges. We, the faculty and staff of Kyushu University, respect your fortitude and resilience and are proud of your academic achievements.
In today's world, we are surrounded by a number of concerns, from the COVID-19 pandemic to Russia's ongoing invasion of Ukraine and this summer's record-breaking heat wave that has been said to be "the age of global boiling." We are constantly facing these challenges whenever and wherever. The number of COVID-19 cases has not been declined and we still need to pay attention. The Ukraine invasion, which has been over a year and a half, we cannot see the way to peace while fears escalate over Russia's potential use of nuclear weapons. Despite the establishment of “Sustainable Development Goals” in 2015, we humans are not able to give up our modern lives of convenience and efficiency. Yet, we are responsible to take actions in realizing a sustainable world where all the people live in peace and harmony.
Although I have mentioned too many dark topics, it is important to remember that there is always “light”. Shohei Ohtani's triumphs for the Los Angeles Angels have been amazing which makes me proud. Watching him play was a weekend morning ritual for me. In August, the National Museum of Nature and Science's crowdfunding campaign titled “Preserving Treasures of the Earth!” received overwhelming support. Even with the financial burden of rising energy costs, the widespread will of our society to protect Japan's historical treasures is a good sign.
I believe each of us has a responsibility to play a role as a member of the society. I hope that you will be a “light” in the darkness that leads us to a brighter future.
We, Kyushu University have formulated the Kyushu University Vision 2030, a ten years vision that outlines a path to transform our institution into a university that drives social change with integrative knowledge. According to this vision, we integrate knowledge across the University to discover new insights from unique perspectives, construct new ways of thinking, and provide solutions to the ever-growing list of challenges facing society today. This spirit of our vision is now learned in the disciplines you've mastered and your attitude toward your studies.
And today, all of you have once realized your dreams. Now, step out to the world and seek your bright future. Do not fear the difficulties and challenges you face. We are always the biggest supporters of your new journey.
Kyushu University places great importance on connections with its alumni. Any time you want to learn more or challenge yourself with new goals, we will welcome you back to Kyushu University. Upon your return, let us once again embark on a “journey of knowledge.” Today, many alumni associations have been established overseas. I hope you’ll take full advantage of these networks to maintain a fulfilling connection with the University and society around you.
We are particularly proud of one alumnus, Dr. Tetsu Nakamura, who engaged in medical activities in Afghanistan for many years. He devoted himself to constructing irrigation canals in an effort to bring stability to the region, and we would never forget his ways of thinking and his ways of doing.
Please let me quote a passage from the end of Dr. Nakamura's book, Providence Was With Us:
“Humans are part of nature. Nature is inside of us all. This fact is both an undeniable fate and a blessing that regulates all life on earth. There is no way for us to survive as a species without a reconciliation between nature and humanity and between humans themselves in the endeavors of science, economics, medicine, agriculture, and all other aspects of human behavior. I believe that this is the mark of a decent civilization.”
In these uncertain and challenging times, I hope all of you will keep an eye on the state of the world as you carve out a place for yourselves on the global stage.
Once again, congratulations on your graduation.
September 25, 2023
President, Kyushu University