Home > News & Events : News > 2024.03 > President's Message to Graduates in March 2024

Graduation ceremony 2024: The President's farewell address 

To all those conferred with degrees today, congratulations on your graduation and completion. I extend my heartfelt felicitations to all graduates and completers.

You have spent a significant portion of your university life during the global pandemic of COVID-19. It must not have been easy for you to learn while your various activities were restricted by the pandemic. Even though, you overcame the difficulties and acquired the skills to learn in a new way. This valuable experience will surely help you in your future work and life.

The pandemic has spurred substantial changes in university education. At Yamagata University, students and faculty collaborated to embrace new modes of online and on-demand learning, fundamentally altering our educational landscape. Your contribution to this transformation will be indelibly etched in Yamagata University's history. Take pride in this achievement.

Your resilience in overcoming numerous hurdles, steadfast pursuit of goals, and arrival at graduation or completion are truly commendable. We, the faculty and staff, wholeheartedly applaud your endeavors and stand by you as you embark on new journeys.

Initially, the COVID-19 was a completely unknown fear, but as we accumulated scientific knowledge about it, the fear diminished, and society began to move forward positively. As we learned from this experience, when society faces significant challenges, bold behavior changes are necessary. Living in an era dubbed the century of longevity, you'll encounter numerous opportunities or imperatives to adapt your behavior in pursuit of desired lifestyles. The key here is the knowledge that gives you the courage to step into unknown territories.

However, in today’s rapidly changing society, where industrial structures and natural environments are undergoing swift transformations, the knowledge and skills necessary for survival are constantly being replaced with new ones. In the future, when you may need to take actions to overcome significant challenges, the knowledge acquired solely in school may not be sufficient. Hence, I encourage each of you to perpetually learn and expand your potential, leveraging the "ability to learn" acquired at Yamagata University even beyond its gates.

Should you ever seek to acquire new knowledge, Yamagata University welcomes you back. We offer diverse learning opportunities for active members of society and stand ready to support your educational pursuits.

Conflicts persist in regions like Ukraine and Palestine, exacerbating tensions and divisions among nations. These issues are not detached from our daily lives. As you step into this new chapter of your lives, you may initially be preoccupied with personal matters. Nevertheless, I implore you to remain engaged with events both in Japan and globally, and to contemplate their significance.

"Thinking" entails questioning conventional wisdom and preconceptions. In an era inundated with uncertain information, discerning right from wrong grows increasingly challenging. However, if individuals forsake independent thought in favor of absolute authority and values, society risks collapse.

There may come a juncture in your lengthy lives when society faces pivotal, irreversible decisions. I urge you not to passively observe but to proactively contemplate the future society should strive for.

In your life, there are many happy times, but there may also be difficult times when you lose sight of yourself and feel like giving up everything. At such times, please don't suffer alone; seek solace from diverse sources. No matter how turbulent the times are, society is built on people helping each other. There will always be someone to support you. As your alma mater, Yamagata University will maintain connections through the alumni association and continue supporting you to lead fulfilling lives.

On this memorable day of degree conferment, please report your graduation and express your gratitude to your family, friends, and all who aided you. Extend thanks to alumni associations and local residents for their varied support during economic hardships like the pandemic and inflation. In acknowledgment of the many who facilitated your studies, I wish all graduates and completers success in their respective paths.

Lastly, I earnestly hope each of you will actively engage in society and contribute to realizing a world where all are respected, fostering peace.

                                                                                     President Tamate Hidetoshi, March 25 2024