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5,696 Students Receive Their Undergraduate Degrees at the Nishinomiya Uegahara Campus (Fall AY2020)
Kwansei Gakuin University's graduation ceremony for Fall AY2020 were held at the Nishinomiya-Uegahara campus gymnasium on March 17 and 18. A total of 5,696 students from 11 schools set out for the working world. Last year, the ceremony had to be cancelled due to the spread of COVID-19, but this year, the university took sufficient measures to prevent the spread of infection, such as establishing sufficient distance between the seats and dividing the ceremony into four sessions instead of two, and held it over the course of two days.On the 17th, the ceremony was held in the morning for the Schools of Humanities and Economics, then in the afternoon for the School of Science and Technology, the School of Policy Studies, and the School of International Studies. On the 18th, the ceremony was held in the morning for the School of Business Administration, the School of Human Welfare Studies, and the School of Education, then in the afternoon for the School of Theology, the School of Sociology, and the School of Law.
In his ceremonial address, President Osamu Murata of Kwansei Gakuin University congratulated the graduates and spoke about the impact of last year's spread of COVID-19 and the changes in the world in a post-COVID society, saying, "This situation is expected to continue for at least a year, but we need to look ahead to what a post-COVID world will be like in a few years. You will all be entering society at a major turning point in time. What is needed in a post-COVID society, or Society 5.0, is an innovative spirit unencumbered by existing ways of thinking. In an age where individual characteristics and individuality are required, young people are expected to take the initiative in transforming society. It is necessary for you to constantly train yourselves to evolve and grow ahead of the times," he explained, and asked for them to respond.
Then, regarding reports that young people's values are changing to "a desire to help others" and "a desire to improve society" amid the spread of COVID-19, he said, "This idea is almost synonymous with Kwansei Gakuin University's school motto, 'Mastery for Service.' We do not want weakness. We do not want to be weak, we want to be strong, we want to be masters. But the purpose of our desire to be masters is not to accumulate personal wealth, but to serve the world. I sincerely hope that you will train yourself to respond to the changes in society and the world, and use the results not only for your own benefit, but also for the benefit of humanity worldwide. I hope that you will keep this in mind and play an active role in society, taking pride in the fact that you are graduates of Kwansei Gakuin University," he encouraged.
In his congratulatory address, Dr. Jo Funaki, Chancellor of Kwansei Gakuin, introduced the words "Keep this holy fire burning" left by Dr. C.J.L. Bates, who was forced to resign from his position as President and Chancellor and return to Canada just before the Pacific War. "Keep this holy fire burning. I believe "this holy fire" is the radiance in each and every one of you, and the fact that you have life means that you have your own radiance. I think the reason why Dr. Bates used the word "holy" is because radiance has such a quality to it. Radiance when one is striving to achieve an ideal, with hope for the future, has a completely different quality from that of radiance when one is pursuing only hatred and self-interest. Please keep the brilliance that gives hope and strength to those around you and to the society around you, and demonstrate the power you have cultivated at Kwansei Gakuin. I hope that you will start rowing with confidence from today into the great sea of infinite possibilities that lies ahead of you, illuminating your surroundings with light and fire."
The degrees were then conferred on the representatives of each school. At the end of the ceremony, the school song, "Sora no Tsubasa," was played along with a special movie, and the students received a warm sendoff.
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