November 21, 2010
300th Academic Honor Awarded from University of Massachusetts Boston
University of Massachusetts Boston Chancellor Dr. J. Keith Motley (left) and Mr. Ikeda (right) converse during a ceremony for the conferral of an honorary doctorate of Human Letters
On November 21, 2010, the University of Massachusetts Boston awarded Daisaku Ikeda, founder of Soka University and SGI president, the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa, at a ceremony held in Tokyo's Shinjuku Ward.
This brings to 300 the total number of honorary doctorates, honorary professorships and equivalent titles conferred upon Mr. Ikeda by institutions of higher learning in some 50 countries for his efforts to build peace and to promote cultural exchange and humanistic education.
University of Massachusetts Boston Chancellor Dr. J. Keith Motley headed a delegation including Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Dr. Winston E. Langley and Associate Provost and Director of International and Transnational Affairs Professor Eunsook Hyun, which was visiting Japan to sign an academic exchange agreement with Soka University and present the honorary doctorate to Mr. Ikeda.
The University of Massachusetts Boston is part of the University of Massachusetts system. A research-intensive public university, it enrolls 11,000 undergraduate and 4,000 graduate students.
In his citation, Dr. Motley introduced Mr. Ikeda as follows: "Inspiring Buddhist leader, peacebuilder, writer, educator, and global founder of institutes to better humanity," and lauded his advocacy of individual empowerment and social engagement.
Mr. Ikeda commented: "I am deeply honored. The academic honors I have accepted have all been on behalf of the members of SGI around the world. This is recognition of their multifaceted contributions. As a private citizen, I will redouble my efforts to promote peace, cultural exchange and education."
Mr. Ikeda and Dr. Motley agreed that, particularly in times of great turmoil and confusion, the role of education must be to foster people dedicated to the welfare of humankind.
Mr. Ikeda received his first honorary doctorate in May 1975 from Moscow State University in recognition of his educational endeavors, efforts towards nuclear abolition and philosophical writings. He has since been awarded academic honors from a wide range of institutions including Tsinghua University, the University of Hong Kong, the University of Denver, the University of Glasgow, the University of Delhi, the University of Sydney, the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro and the University of Ghana.
[Adapted from an SGI press release and an article in the Seikyo Shimbun dated November 22, 2010, Soka Gakkai, Japan]