The university of Aizu AY 2016 entrance ceremony took place on Thursday, April 2, 2016. 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 317 new students, 242 to the undergraduate school, 69 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. Yoshifumi Igarashi and Ms. Akane Takeshige 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.
As the snow in Aizu finally begins to melt, the arrival of spring brings a renewed sense of calm. Today we welcome the x new students who have gathered here in Aizu to the University of Aizu, including new undergraduates, x new master's students, and x new doctoral students. Here with us to celebrate are the Governor of Fukushima Prefecture, the Chairperson of the Fukushima Prefectural Assembly, the Mayor of Aizu-Wakamatsu City, and other esteemed guests. On their behalf, and on behalf of the faculty and administrative staff, I would like to express my congratulations to you, your families, and those who have supported you until now.
It has been five years since the great disaster, and activities to revitalize Fukushima are now in full swing. 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, which you will gain a mastery of here at this university, are greatly expected. Two years ago, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology selected the University of Aizu as part of its Top Global Universities Project. With the activities related to this project now shifting into high gear, we are determined to contribute to the revitalization of Fukushima through the development of globally viable talents.
You new undergraduates are about enter a period in which you must struggle with freedom. In one since, you have all lived highly restrained lives up until graduation from high school. You now find yourself faced with a wide range of new freedoms, so it is natural that you should feel some confusion. However, that very confusion is also residual effect from your restrained lives so far. I would like all of you to remember that the manner in which you make use these new freedoms will greatly affect your future. You may not be aware of this fact now, but in five or ten years from now, you will realize what I mean. Some of these new freedoms include intellectual freedom, freedom in relationships, and the freedom to form your own 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 thinking 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.
Through each of these encounters, you will become aware of your ignorance and your lack of thinking. Please also think of this as another encounter with freedom. How seriously you think, choose, and act will be tested here. Your identity will be formed though 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 information science and information technology. I assume that both these fields are completely new to most of you. You will eventually come to understand that IT 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 freedoms as I mentioned earlier. This link will ensure your growth.
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 2, 2016
The University of Aizu