Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University

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Notes from the President

My message to new APU graduates (2017 Spring Graduation Ceremony)

Mar 17, 2017

3rd President KORENAGA Shun

On this special day, I wish to all of you, whether heading off into the workforce or moving on to higher education, my congratulations on completing your four years at university, and on your successful graduation from APU.

I trust that for all of you, student life at APU was both challenging and enjoyable: Challenging, because day-to-day classes and end-of-term exams are meant to require challenging study. Enjoyable, because human beings are meant to have a joyful and enjoyable life – as that is what I presume we were born for. We live in a time where many societies are long-lived, with average life expectancy extending into the eighties. The short four years of life we spend at university, a place that opens up new doors and also furnishes the time and space for that to happen, is a valuable experience that bestows a decisive effect on each life. For those who made it through these four years with no regrets – and also for those whose four years may leave them with a regret or two – living the student life at APU is a powerful springboard that will launch all of you towards the next stage in your lives.

APU is a campus that imparts a curious ability upon each of us. I find it likely that every student, faculty member, and staff member at some point has heard the words “Evolve! Grow!” while on campus. These whispers echo across campus, whether carried by a heavy fog, blown on a gusting APU wind, or glowing in a warm flood of sunshine. They echo, imploring each of us, “Evolve and thrive!” APU itself has evolved, being selected as one of Japan’s Top Global Universities. We have also gained recognition and accreditation as one of the world’s top business schools from AACSB, an international certification body for business schools worldwide. Each of you must have evolved as well, to have successfully made it to your graduation ceremony here today. You need to keep evolving, even after graduation. Never give in to mindless ideologies such as xenophobia and ethnic discrimination. With a heart resolute and open to other cultures, make it your mission to promote freedom, peace, and humanity in this world.

A university acts as a single community. A community that includes not only the students, faculty, and staff presently at the university, but also those who have forged on after graduating from the university, as well as faculty and staff who may no longer be working there. In the case of APU, we have alumni all over the world who we stay in contact with through alumni chapters. We also have professors who came here from overseas, and who have since returned to their home countries to continue their lives. This year will see the retirement of Professor Francisco P. FELLIZAR, Jr., who first came to teach at APU in 2002, and who has been serving as a Vice President. For many years as a professor of Environmental Development he became a focal point of education at APS, and has developed many capable students and graduate students. I believe Professor FELLIZAR’s profound insights and warm personality symbolize the spirit of APU. Even after retiring, I trust he will continue providing leadership for us as a member of the APU community. I would like to express our profound respect and deep gratitude to Professor FELLIZAR for his many years of contributions, both as a scholar and an educator.

APU will continue to evolve. In three years we will celebrate the 20th anniversary of our founding. The APU logo with its waves is one that inspires images of a luxurious ocean liner roaming around the vastness of the seas. A cruiser that, equipped with a high-performance engine, pays visits all across the Asia Pacific region, and ultimately overcomes the vastness of that ocean. I believe that, along with our alumni, together we can cut a path to just such a wonderful future.

Once more, I wish you my heartfelt congratulations on your graduation.


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