Ladies and gentlemen, good morning!
The Tokyo Tech community is pleased to welcome students, parents, relatives, staff, and friends to the 2019 Spring Graduation Ceremony for bachelor's program students. I would like to congratulate sincerely all of our graduates today. Let us also express our respect to your families, who have given so much to support you on your journey so far.
On this special day, we celebrate the graduation of 1,023 students with bachelor's degrees. The young talents in front of me are not only the newest holders of a Tokyo Tech education, they are also the first cohort to complete the Institute's new curriculum, launched in 2016. Graduates — you are the first students to create and complete your own Tokyo Tech Visionary Projects and other liberal arts challenges while acquiring highly specialized technical qualifications. I commend you all, and thank you for adding another unique page to the 139-year history of the Institute.
The list of “firsts” you have achieved is already noteworthy, but I sense that this is just the beginning. By combining your knowledge and skills with an enterprising mindset, you have the potential to create and innovate — to follow the Tokyo Tech students and faculty who came before you and changed the world. Dr. Yogoro Kato and Dr. Takeshi Takei were just two of these trailblazers. Over 90 years ago, Kato and Takei teamed up at Tokyo Tech's Department of Electrochemistry to develop ferrite, a ceramic material with magnetic properties. This unique invention, coupled with a passionate, enterprising approach, led to the establishment of TDK, a pioneering example of a university-launched startup that today employs over 100,000 people. In the 21st century, ferrite remains a key component in smartphones, tablets, and electric vehicles. Undoubtedly, world-changing startups and scaleups like this require deep knowledge, extraordinary skill, determination, and discipline, but also, a bit of luck. Fortune, however, favors the bold. Be bold, keep an open mind, communicate and collaborate with those around you, and you may soon find yourselves discovering completely new territory.
At the Tokyo Tech entrance ceremony four years ago, some of you may have been surprised when my predecessor welcomed you to the Institute in English. We have come a long way since then. Numerous Tokyo Tech researchers and students — including many of you — have received awards from a range of prestigious international bodies. Many of you have taken advantage of the expanding study abroad opportunities at the Institute. Later this year, a new international exchange hub — Hisao & Hiroko Taki Plaza — will open in the heart of Ookayama Campus to boost further global opportunities for students. While you may not have a chance to make use of Taki Plaza as students, I invite you all to return here to view this landmark and exchange stories with the students who follow in your footsteps.
As you move into the next phase of your life, I ask you to wear your Tokyo Tech badge with pride. The Institute is diversifying rapidly, and the Tokyo Tech name is gaining recognition around the world. As alumni, you are the genuine ambassadors of this institution and the outstanding education and research it represents. The world needs your compassion, creative abilities, and leadership more than ever. Don't be afraid to say that you are members of Team Tokyo Tech.
Finally, I want to draw your attention to the Institute's seal, the swallow by the window. This seal symbolizes the Institute as a hub of technical innovation from which the windows of the world open up to its members. You all entered this window seeking knowledge, guidance, motivation, and excitement. Today, you are standing at the same window, facing the world, ready to take flight. I encourage all of you, as Tokyo Tech graduates, to enjoy every moment of your flight, continue embracing challenges with courage and passion, and strive to create a better future for yourselves and those around you.
Once again, thank you, and congratulations!
March 26, 2020
President, Tokyo Tech