Good morning, everyone.
The Tokyo Tech community is pleased to welcome students, parents, family members, staff, and friends to the 2022 Spring Graduation Ceremony for bachelor's program students. To begin with, I would like to acknowledge the outstanding graduates completing their degrees today. Despite the enormous challenges and unpredictable environment that have emerged during your time at the Institute, you have all attained successfully an important milestone in your lives. In the face of rapid change and uncertainty, your unshakeable determination, individual and collective creativity, and adaptive resilience have been truly remarkable, and we celebrate together the culmination of your hard work. I am delighted to see so many of you here in person, and I want you all to take pride in being members of Tokyo Tech's tenacious Class of 2022.
To the families, friends, and loved ones who have tirelessly offered their comfort and support: Thank you, on behalf of everyone at Tokyo Tech, for entrusting these individuals to us, and for everything you have done during these difficult times.
On this special day, 1,041 students graduate from Tokyo Tech with bachelor's degrees. Graduates: Throughout your time at the Institute, you have explored not only your technical specializations, but also the liberal arts, humanities, and social sciences, in order to formulate your own distinctive vision of the world. You have collaborated with your peers and trusted mentors to generate fresh, innovative ideas and new value. You have sought the questions and answers that define your path to new discoveries and a better, brighter future. I want to congratulate you for these efforts, and thank you for adding another unique page to the 142-year history of Tokyo Tech.
As you complete this shared journey and your roads begin to diverge again, I encourage you to maintain a broad perspective, an openness to new ideas, and a strong resolve to pursue your passions — the qualities that have brought you this far. In addition, I urge you to take time to consider the many people who have helped you along the way. None of us can achieve our goals alone. That is why I invite everyone to think about how you, too, can share your knowledge and creativity with the people you encounter in the future, or those who follow in your footsteps.
When you gather on the wood deck with your diplomas later today, perhaps you can take one more look around at the lasting legacy that past Tokyo Tech members left for you and the community.
As you stand in front of the Main Building and face Ookayama Station, you can see a permanent symbol of the Institute and the surrounding area — Centennial Hall by the Main Gate. This landmark was designed in 1986 by Kazuo Shinohara, a fellow Tokyo Tech graduate and world-renowned architect who was recognized with the Golden Lion Award at the Venice Biennale of architecture. A number of Shinohara's works were born while he was still a Tokyo Tech instructor at the laboratory of Kiyoshi Seike.
Seike, who taught architecture at the Institute from 1948 to 1979, became known across the world for devising unique ways of structuring and designing buildings using low-cost materials. He also designed the Administration Building next to the wood deck just in front of the Main Building.
On the slope on the other side of the four rows of cherry blossom trees is the 70th Anniversary Auditorium where your loved ones are currently watching this ceremony. That building is the work of architect Yoshiro Taniguchi, who also taught at Tokyo Tech for some 35 years. He created structures such as the Tokyo National Museum and the San Francisco Peace Pagoda.
And on Suzukakedai Campus, the work of Tokyo Tech alumnus and professor emeritus Akira Wada — mainly the earthquake engineering utilized in the J2 and J3 Buildings, and the seismic retrofitting of the G3 Building — continues to enhance the safety of the community.
These Tokyo Tech architects are shining examples of community members who not only shared their knowledge and creativity with the world, but also left their mark on our campuses with you — the next generation — in mind. I hope their contributions, and the stories of other Tokyo Tech greats who came before you, will inspire you to continue following your unique interests while paying it forward.
Today marks the successful end of one stage in your lives, and the beginning of a new one. As you look forward to future challenges, so too does the Institute with the creation of a completely new university, tentatively named Institute of Science Tokyo, or Tokyo Kagaku Daigaku, together with our long-term partner, Tokyo Medical and Dental University. While this integration will fortify and diversify our abilities to search for truth and reason, and push the boundaries of technology for the betterment of humankind, it will not change the fact that you are all lifelong members of the Tokyo Tech community. Regardless of our evolution and continuous pursuit of new challenges, we will always cherish our traditions and welcome you here with open arms. Whenever you face adversity, think back to your Tokyo Tech friends and colleagues for additional courage and strength, and remember that the Institute and the Tokyo Tech Alumni Association, or Kuramae Kogyokai, are always here to engage with you. Reach out to us when you can! Join the Tokyo Tech Online Community and let us continue to communicate and share our achievements and the impact we create.
Finally, I want to draw your attention to the Tokyo Tech 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 entered this window seeking knowledge, guidance, motivation, and excitement. Today, you are standing at this same window, facing the world, ready to take flight.
Class of 2022: Continue to seek new challenges and opportunities with resilience, persistence, and passion. Continue to pursue your own path while sharing your knowledge to create a better, brighter future!
Class of 2022: Congratulations!
March 27, 2023
President, Tokyo Tech