February 26, 2007
Guizhou University, China, Appoints SGI President Honorary Professor
On February 26, 2007, Guizhou University (GU), Guizhou Province, China, named Soka University founder Daisaku Ikeda an honorary professor in recognition of his contributions to the promotion of Sino-Japanese relations. A delegation headed by GU President Chen Shuping was present for the conferral which took place at Soka University's Central Tower in Hachioji, Tokyo.
Founded in 1902, Guizhou University is part of the Chinese Ministry of Education's "Project 211" targeting about 100 of the country's top universities. With 24 colleges and over 20 affiliated research institutes spread across its nine campuses in the provincial capital of Guiyang, the university also engages in international exchanges with more than 20 universities overseas.
Other members of the delegation accompanying President Chen were: Foreign Affairs Director Zhang Caifeng, College of Foreign Languages Party Secretary Li Bin, College of Law Vice Dean Yu Guizhong, Japanese Language Department Head Hu Jiaming, Institute of Japanese Culture Director Yang Zhiqiang and Vice Director Wang Xiaomei.
President Chen remarked that Guizhou University has long promoted Sino-Japanese friendship, with its faculty of Japanese language playing an important role toward this end. Hailing Mr. Ikeda's pioneering role in strengthening amicable Sino-Japanese relations and his lifelong dedication to creating a world in which all people have an equal opportunity to receive quality education, Dr. Chen stated that the honorary professorship recognizes the Soka University founder's eminent character, noble achievements and tireless efforts to further bilateral friendship. In his citation, Dr. Chen also expressed the university's expectations for Mr. Ikeda, as honorary professor, to serve as an exemplary model for their students.
The diploma was entrusted to Soka University President Masami Wakae in proxy. In an acceptance message, Mr. Ikeda conveyed his heartfelt appreciation for the accolade and extolled the spirit of humanistic education that pulsates in Guizhou University. Quoting Chinese writer Ba Jin (1904-2005) who believed the essence of education is to inspire positive transformation in each student and strengthen their resolve to live true to their ideals, Mr. Ikeda expressed agreement with Dr. Chen for placing highest priority on students and their needs, as well as for his emphasis on faculty members' positive influence on students in fostering not only knowledge and ability but also wisdom and character.
[Adapted from an article in the February 27, 2007, issue of the Seikyo Shimbun, Soka Gakkai, Japan]