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Capitol University Confers "Laureana S. Rosales Education and Humanitarian Award"

On April 7, 2010, Capitol University of the Philippines presented Daisaku Ikeda, SGI president, with its first Laureana S. Rosales Education and Humanitarian Award in a ceremony held in Tokyo, Japan. Mr. Ikeda was conferred the award, which included a commemorative plaque, for his "lifelong passion to work for peace, rooting out the fundamental causes of human conflict."

Capitol University was established by the late Laureana San Pedro Rosales in 1971 as a private, co-educational institution. Today, over 6,100 students are enrolled in its eight colleges, a graduate school and professional schools. Ms. Rosales is a noted philanthropist and survivor of the Bataan Death March during which thousands of Filipino and American prisoners of war died or were killed while being forcibly marched by Japanese soldiers from the Bataan peninsula to prison camps during World War II. She founded the university--along with a preschool, elementary and high schools, and a medical center--in the belief that the only way to avert the recurrence of the barbarity such as she experienced during World War II is through education.

University President Casimiro Juarez Jr. and his wife, Executive Vice President Fe R. Juarez, represented the university. SGI Vice General Director Hiromasa Ikeda accepted the citation on behalf of his father.

In his acceptance message read at the presentation ceremony, Mr. Ikeda expressed gratitude for the award and plaque and shared his recollections of his meeting with Ms. Rosales in 2004. He denounced war as "the ultimate malignancy," saying that education, in contrast, "represents the highest form of justice, enlightening our lives and compelling humanity to strive towards individual happiness and social betterment."

Mrs. Kaneko Ikeda was also presented the Award of Distinction from Capitol University for her service to peace and education.

[Adapted from an article in the April 8, 2010, issue of the Seikyo Shimbun, Soka Gakkai, Japan]