Congratulations to you all who earned your master’s degree or doctorate. I feel great joy and it gives me much pleasure to be able to hold this diploma ceremony with you today. On behalf of the Kyoto Institute of Technology (KIT), I would like to extend my heartfelt congratulations to everyone.
With that said, due to COVID-19, this time again, we have had to limit ceremony attendance to the individuals receiving their degrees today. As president, I would like to express my appreciation to your families, who supported you toward this day, the faculty members who guided you in your research and studies, and others involved. I am disappointed that I am unable to thank them directly, and hope that you can let them know these thoughts of mine.
Ever since the KIT established its Graduate School of Science and Technology in 1988, the Graduate School has awarded master’s degrees to 12,000 students, and doctorates to 1,262 students. Today, we have awarded master’s degrees numbers 12,001 through 12,014, doctorates (after completing a course of study) numbers 1,053 through 1,069, and dissertation doctorate number 211.
It is hoped that the results of your research and studies will be utilized for the further development of your respective fields as well as to create new technological innovation and new industries. They will surely be of use for the research carried out by students who will attend the graduate school after you.
Engineering and scientific technology have been developed and accumulated for the resolution of various challenges faced by humankind. You have accomplished one goal – that of obtaining a degree, and that accomplishment will surely lead to a contribution to humankind.
However, I am sure that you do not see yourself as having reached your goal just by having obtained your degree, and see today as being simply one step to pass through toward the final goal. Yes, you have, without a doubt, now become a specialized engineer and researcher with your degree as proof. I do not think having obtained a degree means that you will immediately be capable of resolving the world’s current challenges. Truth be told, it may be that it would still be impossible for you to do so at this stage.
I believe that people who have obtained degrees have not only honed their skills in the various processes needed for tackling challenges – including investigation, research and experimentation, prototyping, and making improvements – but have also developed a mindset for thinking very tenaciously during each phase. What is more, I believe that degree-holders also have experience in making presentations, thesis presentations, and so on, that indicate the originality and validity of obtained results, and depending on circumstances, even the existence of new challenges and problem areas.
That is why I believe that degrees are proof of the possession of capabilities to take on various challenges that the holder may encounter in the future. In particular, the doctorate is proof that the holder has the capability to formulate the agenda themselves for research. Put simply, those who have obtained the degree are individuals who are conditioned to think continually and keep trying. I also believe that they know the joy of encountering new challenges, making discoveries, exploring, constructing logical arguments, and leading such efforts into some kind of outcome.
KIT is currently promoting the KYOTO AGORA project, which imagines a possible future for humankind in 10- 20- or 30-years’ time, and explores, as an institute of technology, agenda for research that will be required in the future. In this project, discussions are carried out by faculty members of different areas of specialization to develop research agenda with unprecedented vision. Of need going forward will be maintaining a broad vision and endeavoring to deliberate and collaborate with people of fields that differ from our own.
My hope is that you, too, will endeavor to deliberate and collaborate with people of various fields that differ from your own while further honing your skills and knowledge in your own area of specialization. And that you will do this for the true happiness of humankind and accurately resolve the variety of challenges that you encounter.
What I have spoken of up to here is nothing other than the capabilities as “Tech Leaders,” which are KIT’s human resources development goal. Our definition of Tech Leaders is individuals who use their knowledge and skills in their area of specialization as a foundation, exhibit leadership on the global stage, undertake projects that address various social issues, and bring them forward to success. My hope is that everyone who obtained their degrees today will uphold an awareness as a Tech Leader and continue to further train, as engineers and researchers, in your own area of specialization, while maintaining a broad vision and endeavoring to deliberate and collaborate with people of fields that differ from your own—and that you will make a true contribution to the future of humankind.
I will end this commencement address by congratulating you again for the milestone you have achieved today and wishing everyone good luck and success in the future.
September 26, 2022
President, Kyoto Institute of Technology