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Far Eastern State Technical University, Vladivostok, Russia, Confers Honorary Professorship upon Soka University Founder

Dr. Turmov (right) presents the certificate to Mr. Ikeda

Dr. Turmov (right) presents the certificate to Mr. Ikeda

On July 9, 2007, Far Eastern State Technical University (FESTU) in Vladivostok, Russian Federation, conferred an honorary professorship upon Soka University founder Daisaku Ikeda at Soka University, Hachioji, Tokyo. Mr. Ikeda was recognized for his contributions to fostering cultural, academic and educational exchanges between Russia and Japan. FESTU executive advisor and former rector Dr. Gennady P. Turmov presented a certificate to Mr. Ikeda.

Founded in 1899 as the first institute of higher learning in Vladivostok, FESTU was given its present name and established by the Russian government as a full-fledged university in December 1992. FESTU enrolls some 35,000 students, including those taking long-distance classes, in 16 faculties at its four branch campuses. Among its high-level faculty of 700, three are members of the Russian Academy of Sciences. FESTU has academic exchange agreements with 80 institutions in 21 countries, and its humanities program emphasizes fluency in English, Chinese, Japanese and Korean.

In his citation, Dr. Turmov said he was honored to present the commendation to Mr. Ikeda, who he noted was known in Russia as an extraordinary social activist, poet, scholar and founder of educational and cultural institutions, as well as a prolific writer. Particularly noteworthy, he continued, was the depth of Mr. Ikeda's understanding and knowledge of classical Russian literature. He also extended Mr. Ikeda official membership to the UNESCO-approved Professors Club which he founded in 1994 with the aim of establishing a network among college professors and educators from throughout Russia and the world.

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Dr. Turmov and Mr. Ikeda share a laugh during their meeting prior to the conferral

­Upon receiving the commendations, Mr. Ikeda expressed his deep gratitude for ­the honor bestowed upon him. He praised Dr. Turmov as an astute educator with a strong sense of justice who taught students to see through deception and uphold truth while inspiring them with hope during the tumultuous transition following the breakup of the Soviet Union. Quoting from numerous celebrated Russian literary figures, Mr. Ikeda urged Soka University students to develop penetrating insight so they can become leaders who benefit society with resolute actions that uphold justice. He closed his acceptance speech by expressing his resolve to rededicate himself to his lifework of education and extended his best wishes for the further flourishing of Far Eastern State Technical University.

Soka University and Soka Women's College faculty and students, along with Russian exchange students who are currently studying at the university, attended the conferral. Guests included Professor Sylvano D. Mahiwo of the University of the Philippines Diliman and Dr. James Currall and Professor Michael Moss of the University of Glasgow in Scotland, U.K.

[Adapted from an article in the July 10, 2007 issue of the Seikyo Shimbun, Soka Gakkai, Japan]