Sep 16, 2022
On behalf of all faculty and staff, I would like to offer my sincerest congratulations to all those who are graduating and completing their degrees today.
Online classes, restrictions on extracurricular activities, and other troubles during the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic made the precious time you spent as students of APU more difficult in many ways. But you never gave up. You continued to move forward, tackling new challenges with resilience. I take this opportunity to express my deep respect and congratulations to you all for overcoming your struggles together and reaching this milestone.
I would like to share three pieces of advice with you as you graduate and step out into the wider world. The first is that graduation is not the end of your learning journey; it is a new beginning. The world is changing at a tremendous pace, and these changes will surely accelerate into the future. That is why I urge you to continue your learning journey throughout your lives, engaging with people of diverse backgrounds and ideas, reading many interesting books, traveling the world, and expanding your horizons. Upon leaving his university, René Descartes declared that he would learn “from the great book of the world” from then on.
My second word of advice is to continue taking action and challenging yourself at all times. No matter how wonderful your ideas are, if you don’t act, the world won’t change in the slightest. Naturally, changing the world is no simple task. Most people who try to do so probably fail. But the reason that human society has achieved so much progress is that there are people out there who have continued striving. They believe that the world won’t change unless they take action, even though they also understand the harsh reality that 99% of people fail trying. I sincerely hope that you will seek to be “change makers” and challenge yourselves continually, without fear of failure.
APU too will continue to tackle new challenges as we work toward the New APU.
Thirdly, I want you to remember that you are now part of a worldwide APU community. There are more than 20,000 people who studied at APU and are playing active roles around the world today. You are all part of this global network now. Whatever you’re trying to achieve, the most important thing is to have people to support and guide you. I hope you will continue to value your connections with the APU community across the globe as you pursue your own interests and challenges. You will always be welcome back here at APU, the home base of our global network. Please do come back, any time at all. And while you’re here, don’t forget to drop in to my office.
Let me conclude with the wish that your life from here on is full of happiness. Congratulations once again to each and every one of you.
September 16, 2022
President, Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University