Graduation Message from the Acting President

University News | March 25, 2020

Congratulations to you all upon achieving your bachelor’s, master’s, professional, and doctoral degrees from Hokkaido University this March. I wish you the best as you each embark on your careers and lives. I would also like to add my sincere congratulations to your parents and families, guardians, teachers, and all other people who cared for you and guided you to this point.

While I am sure you had hoped to celebrate the start of your journey with friends and family, the extraordinary circumstances of the coronavirus outbreak forced us to cancel the scheduled commencement ceremony. Without doubt, graduation is a very special life occasion, however, much to our regret, we had no other choice but to give it up in order to safeguard you and your family against the spread of this infectious disease. Having missed an opportunity to make a toast to you, all university faculty and staff would like to offer our applause on the completion of your study and wish you a bright future ahead.

This March, we are privileged to award 2,441 bachelor’s degrees, 1,687 master’s degrees, 77 professional degrees, and 313 doctoral degrees. Among them, 33 bachelor’s degrees, 291 master’s degrees, 14 professional degrees, and 72 doctoral degrees were awarded to international students. I believe you all must have faced many difficulties to achieve your degrees, but you deserve appreciation for overcoming the difficulties and for accomplishing your academic goals. You should be proud of yourselves just as we are proud to see you taking off to the global stage.

As you know, Hokkaido University has four educational and research pillars – the Frontier Spirit, Global Perspectives, All-round Education and Practical Learning – which the university has valued and fostered for over 140 years since the days of Sapporo Agricultural College. It means that all of you have been studying in a learning environment with those basic philosophies. I am sure that, along with having gained expertise in a field of study, you are now able to see things from various and comprehensive perspectives and work with open minds. You have acquired not only a global view and far-reaching vision but also remarkable knowledge and wisdom from your educational experience.

Graduation is a launch out into the ocean of the global community, but not a break away from our university community. We would always like to be your “home port” and hope you develop even stronger ties with all alumni so that you will feel welcome whenever you come back.

As I am sure you know, “Boys, be ambitious.” and “Be gentlemen” were the words the first Vice-Principal of Sapporo Agricultural College Dr. William S. Clark left to the students of his day. At the beginning of this new phase of your lives, I would like to leave you the following words in the spirit of today: “Be ambitious.” and “Be global citizens”! And now, finally to conclude this message, I hope these words stay with you when you forge your own path in life, and help you build a successful career.

March 25, 2020

Acting President, Hokkaido University