April 29, 2007
Brazilian University Commends SGI President
Rector Paes-Peró (4th from right) entrusts Mr. Ikeda's degree certificate to SGI Vice President Hiromasa Ikeda (3rd from right)
On April 29, 2007, Universidade Federal de Mato Grosso do Sul (UFMS) of Campo Grande in Mato Grosso do Sul State, Brazil, conferred an honorary doctorate upon SGI President Daisaku Ikeda in recognition of his contributions to global peace, mutual understanding between diverse cultures and environmental conservation. The ceremony took place at the newly opened SGI-Brazil (BSGI) Ikeda Culture Center in São Paulo. Guests included President Kokei Uehara of the Brazilian Society of Japanese Culture and renowned Brazilian pianist and composer José Carlos Amaral Vieira.
Founded in 1962 as a school of pharmacology and dentistry, UFMS established a faculty of medicine in 1966 and has campuses in five cities across the state.
The conferral began with the citation read by UFMS Prorector Cezar Augusto Carneiro Benevides, who lauded Mr. Ikeda for bridging cultures through dialogue, advocating humanism and promoting peace education. He also announced the university's plans to establish a research institute for studying Mr. Ikeda's ideals and activities for peace as represented by his writings.
In his conferral speech, UFMS Rector Manoel Catarino Paes-Peró commended Mr. Ikeda for his commitment to the cause of world peace through one-on-one diplomacy based on the spirit of global citizenship, and also the members of SGI-Brazil for taking initiatives to serve their communities and the nation at large in the fields of culture, education and environmental conservation.
SGI Vice President Hiromasa Ikeda accepted the award on his father's behalf and read the SGI president's message of appreciation.
[Adapted from articles in the May 1 and 2, 2007, issues of the Seikyo Shimbun, Soka Gakkai, Japan]