• Holding of the 45th Soka University/33rd Soka Women’s College Commencement Ceremony


Holding of the 45th Soka University/33rd Soka Women’s College Commencement Ceremony

    On March 18 (Sunday), the 45th Soka University Graduation Ceremony and the 33rd Soka Women’s College Graduation Ceremony were held, respectively, at the Ikeda Auditorium and the Central Education Discovery Hall. The ceremony was attended by Ms. Dame Claire Bertschinger, who also congratulated the graduating students. Dame Bertschinger is currently the director of the Professional Diploma in Tropical Nursing at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), teaching medical experts that aim to work in a resource-poor environment or at nations with low- or medium-level incomes.

    At the ceremony, Vice President Ryohei Tanaka shared his opening words, followed by a message from the founder read by Board of Trustees Chair Yasunori Tashiro. Then, the conferral of degrees took place. A doctorate degree was given to eight doctoral students, juris doctor degrees to 25 students completing law school, master’s degrees to 111 students completing the master’s program, professional graduate school degrees to 19 students completing professional graduate school, bachelor’s degrees to 1,691 undergraduates and 512 correspondence course graduates, and associate degrees to 265 Women’s College graduates. In addition, 32 students received a completion certificate of the Soka University preparatory Japanese Language course (with one such certificate being given to a student in Spain’s Valladolid University Double Degree Program), a bachelor’s degree from China’s Beijing Language and Culture University was given to 12 students completing the Chinese Language Double Degree Course of the Faculty of Letters, and a bachelor’s degree from the U.K.’s Buckingham University was given to seven students completing the English Double Degree Course.
    This was followed by conferrals of awards from prominent institutions overseas. The India Soka Ikeda Women’s College World Friendship Award was given to Ms. Kimiko Sugimoto (Faculty of Letters), the Mahatma Gandhi Youth Peace Award was given to Mr. Koichi Kimura (Faculty of International Liberal Arts), the Lu Xun Youth Literature Award from China’s Shanghai Lu Xun Development Center was given to Mr. Shinichiro Sakamoto (Faculty of Law) and to Ms. Minako Tateno (Faculty of Law), and the Bingxin Literature Museum “Bingxin Youth Literature Award” was given to Ms. Kanako Kimura (Faculty of Law). Also, the Soka University Contribution Award was presented to 21 students, and the “Founder’s Award” was given to Soka University’s Mr. Hideo Ohashi (Faculty of Law), Ms. Yuka Kato (Faculty of International Liberal Arts), and Ms. Hiromi Nishimura of the Soka Women’s College (Department of English Communication).

    After a statement of determination was shared by a graduating student, President Yoshihisa Baba spoke as follows: “My heartfelt congratulations go out to the graduating students that can bask in the glory of graduating today. I am sure that all the parents and guardians are deeply moved since warmly watching over and raising these graduates. I express my congratulations to these graduates from the bottom of my heart. (Omitted). In his message that the founder sent to all of you for the entrance ceremony, he shared four types of strengths as ‘true learning’ which are: ‘The strength to continue learning throughout our lives,’ ‘The strength of wisdom to make use of knowledge,’ ‘The strength to perceive the trends of the world,’ and ‘The strength of philosophy to win and open up any situation.’ No matter how the times should change, with the strength of ‘true learning,’ new development is possible. Let’s continue making efforts throughout our lives in order to further elevate the four strengths that the founder has shared. As we approach the 50th anniversary of Soka University’s founding, our graduating students are playing active roles not only in Japan but in various locations throughout the world. As the 45th graduating class, in whichever field and whichever country you may go to, I am sure that the network of alumni will warmly welcome each of you. Toward a new stage, please courageously embark on a new journey.”

    President Keiko Ishikawa shared at the graduation ceremony for the Soka Women’s College: “All of you, the members of the 33rd graduating class, have shown remarkable achievements through your unseen efforts. Your example will surely serve as a great strength for your juniors, who will also create a new era. In your daily life, you have talked about building the college. This means that you are the main players of this college. By inspiring and improving each other, I am sure that both you and your friends have shown tremendous growth and development. I feel that you have embodied the three founding guidelines of Soka Women’s College that our founder has created. In this society, which experiences drastic changes and which is hard to predict regarding the future, those who have trained their sense of creativity will be needed more than ever. Please continue to be women that remain undefeated and that can advance forward on the great path of human harmony, always maintaining a sense of appreciation and the spirit to repay one’s debt of gratitude.”

    This was followed by congratulatory words from Ms. Bertschinger.
    On this day, Soka University’s the title of “professor emeritus” was conferred upon President Keiko Ishikawa of Soka Women’s College, as well as on Ms. Akiko Hasunuma, Ms. Ayako Inoue, Mr. Shinichi Kogure, Mr. Ichiro Takahashi, Mr. Shunji Fujii, Mr. Masaki Shiraishi, Mr. Koichi Miyata, and Ms. Yuri Aoyama, and the title of “professor emeritus” of Soka Women’s College was conferred upon Ms. Toshiko Nagashima. Also, the Soka University Schliemann Award, which honors those who showed outstanding achievements in learning languages, as well as the Soka University Da Vinci Award, was presented to students and groups that showed great results in academics.

    In his message, Soka University founder Dr. Daisaku Ikeda shared the following encouragement:
    “As the founder, there is something that I always think about. That is, how much those that are noble throughout Japan and the world must be congratulating the conferral of degrees at Soka. It is my pride that there is no degree more entrusted with expectations and trust by many sincere people (including those that were not able to attend university) than the degrees conferred by Soka. I am sure that professors and faculty that share the same founding spirit will agree with this. To the 45th graduating class of Soka University and the 33rd graduating class of Soka Women’s College, as well as those of you in the correspondence course, graduate school, and the most-outstanding international students: Today, I am warmly watching over your departure with the spirit of directly presenting each of you with your degree, as I praise the tremendous efforts that you have made. (Omitted). Thinking of the smiles of President Nelson Mandela, who is a proud member of our university, I would like to send the following three phrases of encouragement to you young, hope-filled individuals. First, ‘Create indomitable roots! Be a proud and magnificent tree full of mission.’ Second, ‘Have a thick trunk of sincerity! Let the flowers of trust bloom!’ Third, ‘Create a forest of global citizens! Sow the seeds of peace.’”
    After the ceremony, all the graduating students sang the song, Mother, to express their appreciation to their parents and guardians.