Home > Entrance ceremony:The President's welcome address (April, 2024)

Entrance ceremony:The President's welcome address (April, 2024) 

Congratulations to all new students on your enrollment at Yamagata University. I extend my heartfelt congratulations to your families as well, whose unwavering support has been invaluable. The faculty, staff, and current students warmly welcome you as new members of our university community.

Allow me to introduce Yamagata University, the esteemed institution where you will study. Its roots traced back to the Yamagata Prefectural Normal School, established 146 years ago in 1878. This was the year after the end of the Civil War, when Japan was beginning to move from the turbulent period of the Meiji Restoration to a modern nation. Yamagata University itself was founded 75 years ago in 1949, emerging from five institutions of higher education established in Yamagata Prefecture during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, just as Japan began recovery from the aftermath of World War II.

Nowadays, Yamagata University has greatly developed as one of the leading universities in eastern Japan boasting six faculties and six graduate schools. Over 100,000 graduates actively contribute to various sectors of society. In this new era, embracing the ethos of "Regional Innovation," "Future Creation," and "Multicultural Collaboration," the university is dedicated to education, research, and societal co-creation, shaping a brighter future in tandem with our communities.

As I mentioned, Yamagata University and its predecessor schools were both founded at a time when the world was in turmoil. We find ourselves amidst significant global shifts akin to those difficult times. Rapid global warming is having a major impact on agriculture and ecosystems, and large-scale natural disasters are occurring frequently around the world. In society, new professions and industries are expected to be created through artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, and other advanced technologies, and various social issues, such as the declining population, are expected to be overcome. On the other hand, the world is flooded with uncertain information, and the deepening conflict and division among nations and peoples, including Ukraine and Palestine, are making our society even more unstable.

Living in these unpredictable and uncertain times, I encourage you to cultivate the capacity to chart your path no matter how society changes. I hope that you will deepen your values and beliefs through various experiences in your university life, and by connecting them with objective knowledge, you will develop the ability to decide for yourselves how you want to live, rather than relying on fixed values and authorities.

Moreover, I would like you to be aware that, after the age of 18, you are allowed to act as a fully responsible individual in society. The idea of studying for a few years at university and then going out into the world is antiquated. No need to wait until you graduate from university to do what you want to do. Please have the courage to challenge what you want to do without fear of failure. Being a student does not prevent you from acting as an independent person in society to realize the dreams you have in mind.

To this end, Yamagata University provides diverse opportunities for you to actively engage with society. To give an example, the Student Challenge Project, which will be implemented again this year, allocates funds to projects planned by students under the three themes of "energizing the community," "making the university fun," and "fulfilling our own dreams," and supports their activities. I hope to receive many applications from you. Besides this project, there are senior members of our clubs who have used what they have learnt in class as a starting point to engage in activities to revitalize their local communities, and have received the ' Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications’ ‘Hometown Creation Award (Furusatozukuri Taisho)'. Also, some of our students have proposed new business plans based on the results of their research, and have obtained research funding to realize the plans. Your time as a student is invaluable, offering the freedom to explore and pursue diverse interests. Please make the most of this precious time and actively try things you have never been interested in before, or things you thought were in a different world, to expand the world in which you are active.

In experiencing many of these things, you may feel anxious, as well as hopeful, as you begin your new life. However, you are not alone in the university. There will always be someone by your side who cares about your existence. As you experience many things in the future, you may sometimes face things that you cannot solve on your own, or things that are difficult or painful. In such difficult times, please call on your friends and family, as well as us, the teaching staff. The faculty and staff of Yamagata University will do their utmost to support you at all times.

On behalf of the faculty and staff of Yamagata University, I sincerely wish you all a fulfilling time at Yamagata University.

                               President Tamate Hidetoshi, April 3 2024