Message for March 2020 Graduates

Update: March 24, 2020

A hearty congratulation on your graduation.

As you cherish the fruits of your hard work,
we wish that success keeps following you in everything
that you do in these difficult times.

We wish you good luck for the new beginning in life.

Commencement Address by Junko Hibiya, President

As a result of careful consideration regarding the New Coronavirus infections, it has been decided that we will, unfortunately, have to cancel the Commencement Ceremony. I know that you, as well as faculty and staff, have been so much looking forward to this event.

Please allow me to reassure you that we are planning to invite every March graduate to the Commencement ceremony in June to celebrate along with the June graduates.

Here is my address to the graduates that would have been delivered on March 24 in the University Chapel.

Graduates of the College of Liberal Arts, master's and doctoral degree programs, congratulations! Permit me to offer my heartfelt greetings to the families, relatives and friends of the graduates who have supported your student life.

In October 2019, ICU held the first New Student Retreat for April as well as for September students. They travelled to the Yatsugatake highlands as you did; they also participated in various recreational activities on the second day. In recent years, a factory where mineral water is bottled has been added to the list. I selected this option.

In the factory, the bottles are labeled and boxed with overwhelming speed. I am certain that I am not the only one that was startled at this eye-opening technology. During our visit, we learned that this factory is trying to advance such important values as the promotion of environmentally conscious water use, and engagement with the local community. The tour ended with "mineral water tasting." Our understanding of the natural cycle of water has been substantially deepened.

What inspired me most, however, was a lecture, with a video, before the tour started. The bottled water, with a hardness of about 30, came from a deep underground source in the area, and we learned that it takes as long as twenty years for water from natural precipitation to become "clear and delicious water."

In June 2014, the Minami-Alps (the Southern Japanese Alps), where this factory is located, was designated a UNESCO biosphere reserve which started in 1976 as a part of UNESCO's Man and the Biosphere Programme (MAB) This is an area where the biodiversity of the area is preserved while promoting culturally, economically and socially sustainable development utilizing regional natural resources.

As of June 2019, there are 701 biosphere reserves in 124 countries, including 10 in Japan. The Minami-Alps Biosphere Reserve is characterized by biological and cultural diversity, nurtured by a series of mountains that are above 3000m. There is dense forest, as well as traditional customs, rich food culture and folk arts that have been passed down since ancient times. "Clear and delicious water" has been produced in such an environment.

Liberal Arts education that ICU has cherished since its foundation in 1953 also takes a long time. The whole person development and maturing of the personality that we aim for do not bear fruit immediately. As I shared with you in my address at your matriculation ceremony, our land was purchased with the funds accumulated through the good will of countless people. It is endowed with a campus of extraordinary nature and precious cultural heritage. Students of diverse background study together under our Japanese and English bilingualism. This rich environment includes the Main Building which was originally the Mitaka Research Institute of the Nakajima Aircraft Company, the Chapel featuring a pipe organ built by Rieger Organs, the Taizansō designated Tangible Cultural Properties of Japan, the first student center in Japan, the Museum that commemorates Dr. Hachiro Yuasa, the founding president of ICU, the new arena and pool which were completed in 2018, student dormitories, and faculty residences. The education you received here, and people you have met on different occasions may be regarded as natural precipitation abundantly fallen upon you.

Immediately after graduation, you may not realize the value of critical thinking, the ability to solve problems, writing skills, the ability to bring together diverse knowledge stemming from the fields of humanities, social sciences and natural sciences you have attained in the College of Liberal Arts, or deep scholarship and the ability to conduct research in your field you have acquired in the Graduate School. They will serve you well in your life. Today you leave ICU and start your individual journey. One day, more than twenty years later, you will become "clear and delicious water" produced by ICU. I am confident that you will fulfill the mission given to you as a capable individual who performs service to God and humankind. May God bless you all!

Junko Hibiya, President

Encouragements from faculty and staff members


Yoshito Ishio


Shoichiro Iwakiri


Takehiko Kamito


Allen Kim


Hiroyuki Kose


John C. Maher


Katsuhiko Mori


Tatsuo Nunoshiba


Hideki Okamura


Ken Okano


Yoshinori Sano


Yuji Shimizu
Takehiko Kamito, Kenya Kubo


International Educational Exchange Office


Religious Center


ICU Alumni Association Office


Sanseido Bookstore on campus


ICU Alumni Association Office


Dining Hall, Ms. Shiota


Global House
Mr & Mrs Tomita


Momi & Maple
Mr & Mrs Mukouyama


Zelkova House
Mr & Mrs Nitta


Ginkgo House
Mr & Mrs Maku


Oak House
Mr & Mrs Suzuki

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