May 11, 2018
On April 20 at the Ritsumeikan Tokyo Campus, President Deguchi addressed an audience of nearly 100 alumni. He focused on the future of Japan, as well as the role of a university president in meeting with graduates and strengthening the network of APU alumni.
In his talk, President Deguchi remarked, “You can understand most of the world by looking at things in ‘vertical’ and ‘horizontal’ ways. Looking at things vertically, you see a connection over time, and can look at things that happened in the past. When you look at things horizontally, you are looking at how the world is at the present moment. You are not looking at episodes, you are looking at evidence. The world becomes much easier to understand when looking at the vertical, the horizontal, and the numbers.”
“APU graduates have a wide network that spreads across the world, so you can say that you have strong horizontal connections. That’s quite a blessing. I think all of you young people have a strong will to work. I hope you will all challenge yourselves and make use of what you learned at APU, and in line with the APU2030 vision, change the world.”
President Deguchi continued by saying “In today’s era, these three things are important: people, books, and travel. I implore you to meet many people, read a lot of books, and go to more places. Exchanging ideas with fellow alumni and adding to your own personal experiences will give birth to ideas…just as with a delicious meal, if you want to know how to have a delicious life, you need to gather the ingredients of knowledge. And to make that delicious life, you need the ability to think. Studying many things gives you the knowledge that goes hand in hand with thinking about many things. Put them together, and you will have a more flavorful life. But this is not just about gaining more knowledge. It is about acquiring a habit of thought, which is important. Forge your own way of thinking by talking with your friends and mentors, and consider the ways that they perceive and think about things.
You may have heard about what the future will be like, but you can’t truly know. That’s because each and every one of your actions will dictate the course of society and the future. If you use what you’ve studied at APU and push yourselves, the future will change. The important thing is to act. The future of Japan rests with you.”
President Deguchi reflected on becoming president of APU, saying, “There was a lot of coincidences. Timing was an important factor. I think it was fate. It’s my goal to make APU a better place. I have three points I’d like to focus on. There are many people who still don’t know about APU, so first I would like to increase awareness of the university. Second, in order for APU to expand its capabilities, I would like there to be a solid financial base to strengthen the university. And my third point involves you, the alumni. Society will see you and glimpse the institution that produced you. I strongly believe that by enjoying and being active in your careers, those around will know that APU is an amazing place. I intend to call upon every alumni chapter, both in Japan and around the world, and take advantage of opportunities to meet other alumni. APU’s values depend upon you, the alumni. In order to better affect change, I must get to know the graduates. It will take your efforts to make APU better known, and the future of APU depends upon those efforts. That is what I wanted to say.”
In a Q&A session after the talk, President Deguchi spoke about the Tokyo Chapter of the Alumni Association, ending the meeting with “I hear you are all very active. Get people excited about APU. I’ll do my best to help.”
On April 28, President Deguchi spoke to the Fukuoka Chapter of the APU Alumni Association at a chapter meeting in Fukuoka City. After hearing President Deguchi’s lecture on the APU2030 Vision, alumni had the chance to participate in group discussion.