ICU 2013 Summer Commencement Address by Junko Hibiya, President


Junko Hibiya, President

I would like to extend my congratulations to all those graduates of the College of Liberal Arts who have received their bachelor's degrees, and to those Graduate School students who went on to further study and received their master's and doctoral degrees. Permit me to offer my heartfelt greetings to the friends and families of today's graduates.

ICU was founded exactly sixty years ago, in 1953, based on Christian ideals and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. We aim to educate individuals who serve God and humankind as critical, responsible, and peace-building global citizens. The mission of ICU embraces three principal commitments: academic, Christian and international. You have just received a Bachelor of Arts/Master of arts/Doctoral diploma from us.

At a time when the knowledge base and methods of inquiry are constantly expanding, no one would assume that learning ends at graduation. A twenty first century higher education must equip students to engage in a lifetime of learning, to meet the changing demands of the world. Such an education ought to facilitate productive and rewarding careers, and provide students with the means to become responsible global citizens. With your education here, we hope that you have developed habits of mind that include the following qualities.

Based on your academic foundation, you are now able to plan your own path for creative and independent learning.

You now have the ability to learn through Japanese and English and to use those languages to communicate with the people form around the world.

You can communicate effectively both in writing and in speech. The ability to express one's ideas and thoughts to those who have specialized in different areas, or who come from diverse backgrounds, is of particular importance. To realize this, one must listen others' ideas and thoughts carefully, and answer their queries appropriately. At ICU, you have nurtured such ability by participating in the discussion sessions and group work conducted in various courses.

You always think critically. At the start of my address to you, I noted that ICU was founded sixty years ago. Since then, we have regarded the cultivation of individual thinking abilities and the power of scientific criticism as a crucially important goal in our educational program. To achieve this goal, we require students to approach issues from diverse points of view and to acquire the ability to analyze them carefully, logically and critically.

And finally, you have the capacity to integrate knowledge across the arts and sciences and to implement theories in real-world settings. Education at ICU strongly encourages students to learn both inside and outside the classroom. The places available for learning range from this campus of extraordinary flora, fauna and cultural heritage to foreign countries where students are engaged in service learning. Many of you have realized the importance of transcending the boundaries of academic disciplines by reaching out to surrounding communities.

All of these timeless qualities will constitute the foundation of your life and will serve you well. I strongly encourage you to apply them, not for yourself but to serve God and humankind. At the beginning of today's ceremony, we read Verses 7 and 8 of Chapter 7 of the Gospel according to Matthew. Keep asking, searching, and knocking. Never give up. Then each and every one of you will be given your way. May God bless you.