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The university of Aizu AY 2018 entrance ceremony took place on Tuesday, April 3, 2018. Blessing with spring like weather, the ceremony was held in a warm yet dignified manner. Esteemed guests at the ceremony including Fukushima Governor Masao Uchibori delivered congratulatory messages to the new students. A total of 312 new students, 252 to the undergraduate school, 53 to master' s program, and 6 to the doctoral program were admitted by President Oka after their names were called at the ceremony.

In his welcome address, the President stated; "The revitalization of Fukushima can be thought of as a pioneering example for the revitalization of Japan as a whole, in which young people like yourselves are expected to play a significant role. In particular, your contributions through ICT (Information and Communication Technology), which you will gain a mastery of here at this university, are greatly expected. "

Mr. Aizawa Tomohide and Ms. Naya Kagome each made an oath on behalf of the new students admitted to the undergraduate school and the graduate school respectively.

Following the ceremony, a commemorative group photo was taken and UoA students handed out flyers to invite new students to join their clubs. The campus was filled with a celebratory atmosphere in the spring sun.

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Welcome Address from President

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Ladies and Gentlemen,

With the long days of snow finally leaving Aizu behind, and the imminent arrival of spring, we find ourselves in a season that calms the spirits.

I offer my heartfelt congratulations to 253 undergraduate students, 53 Master's students, and 6 Doctoral students who have been admitted to the University of Aizu. Today, we are joined by honored guests including the Governor of Fukushima Prefecture, the Chairperson of the Prefectural Assembly, and the Mayor of Aizu-Wakamatsu City, who have come here to celebrate your admission along with myself and the members of the faculty and administrative staff. Please allow me to express my congratulations to the friends and family who have supported each of you for the admission today. All of you new students, I would like you to convert your confidence in yourselves gained by getting successfully admitted to the university into energy with which you will make efforts at the university to become trusted individuals in society after graduation.

With seven years passing since the Great East Japan Earthquake of 2011, we have entered a phase of true revitalization. It is important to think about what this means, and what steps we can take to contribute to this process. The revitalization of Fukushima can be thought of as a pioneering example for the revitalization of Japan as a whole. On the other hand, as an advanced, mature country, Japan is confronted by challenges including a low birth rate and an aging population. As such, the expectations for young people like you are growing increasingly large. In particular, the expectations for your contribution through the ICT that you are going to learn here are likely far greater than you could ever imagine.

With its growing domestic and global reputation, the UoA has reached a stage in which it can attract the world-class people needed to further enhance its ability to develop high-quality talent.

Over the next few weeks and months, you new undergraduates will become aware of the fact that you have entered a world with values totally different from those which you have been familiar with up until graduation from high school. You will also realize that you have been blessed with opportunities to grow in a number of ways. This fact might not be entirely apparent now, but in five or ten years from now you will look back and understand what I mean. The ways in which you will grow include intellectual growth, growing in terms of relationships with other people, and growth in your views on society. Intellectually, you will encounter knowledge, skills, and ways of thinking that were unimaginable during your high school days. As for relationships, you will encounter new friends raised in different environments. As for views on society, you will have chances to think deeply about things behind various events occurring in Japan and in the world now from various angles. It is here that you are certain to realize that technology is not as isolated from the social sciences and culture as it appears.

I believe that the best way to assure this growth is to forever ask yourself whether there is something important that you are missing. In reality, you are in the middle of issues happening around you all the time that allow you to become aware of your ignorance and your lack of thinking. How seriously you think, choose, and act will be tested here. Your identity will be formed through this process. These experiences will contribute to your true ability to go out into the real world after your graduate this university.

The University of Aizu specializes in computer science and engineering. I assume that this field is completely new to most of you. You will eventually come to understand that IT is not just a component of society but will continue to become more and more central to our society and the economy. This fact is likely true to an extent beyond your imagination. In addition, please link your efforts to master of these technologies with your struggle with the various kinds of knowledge as I mentioned earlier. As ICT has the potential to drastically change society, it is essential that you learn diverse values.

We, the faculty and staff of the University of Aizu, will support your future growth. I would like to close my address by saying that I have high expectations that your efforts will bear fruit and that you will be able to go out into the world with confidence after graduating from this university. Once again, congratulations on your admission to the University of Aizu.

April 3, 2018
Ryuichi Oka
President of the University of Aizu

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