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October 8, 2007

Mexican Women's College Honors SGI President

Soka University President Yamamoto (foreground, left) receives Mr. Ikeda's certificate from CUIH Rector Galindo (foreground)

On October 8, 2007, Centro Universitario de Integración Humanística (CUIH), a women's college in Naucalpan de Juárez, México State, conferred an honorary doctorate in humanities upon SGI President Daisaku Ikeda at the Soka University Central Tower in Hachioji, Japan. The first foreign recipient of the honorary degree, Mr. Ikeda received the accolade in recognition of his outstanding achievements in the field of humanities and for his unflagging dedication to global peace. Rector María del Pilar Galindo de Cordero entrusted the award to Soka University President Hideo Yamamoto, who received it on behalf of Mr. Ikeda. Rector Galindo and other CUIH delegates were in Japan on a cultural exchange program.

In her conferral speech, Rector Galindo recalled her initial meeting with Mr. Ikeda in February 1981 during his visit to Mexico. It was then that she learned of the SGI president's broad-ranging efforts for peace through education and culture and his dialogues with the world's leading figures. She has since continued to read Mr. Ikeda's works and visit SGI exhibitions hosted by local SGI-Mexico members. Noting that her school promotes culture, social sciences, women's education and family harmony, Rector Galindo remarked that SGI and CUIH share common ideals. She also expressed hopes that influential people everywhere will follow Mr. Ikeda's example by speaking out for a more peaceful and equitable society.

In an acceptance speech read by Soka University Associate Vice President Tadashige Takamura, Mr. Ikeda expressed his deepest appreciation for the honor bestowed upon him from Mexico's premier seat of learning, a champion of the humanities and the enhancement of women's education. He pledged to exert his utmost as a bridge of peace connecting Japan and Mexico, and Japan and Latin America at large.

Among the other attendees were: CUIH Academic Director Carmen Leticia Gámez Pérez and Cultural Relations Director María Eugenia Cubas de Monterrubio; Embassy of Mexico in Japan Cultural Section Secretary Sara Gabriela Luna Camacho; Soka Women's College President Katsuhiko Fukushima; Soka University Board of Trustees Chair Yasunori Tashiro; and SGI-Mexico Youth Leader Daisuke Inoue.

Established in 1969 as an institute of higher learning, CUIH aims to enhance women's position in society and provide women with equal opportunities in education. The baccalaureate program offers courses in human sciences, culture and tourism, while the graduate school offers courses in contemporary Mexican art, Mexican history and contemporary Latin American literature. Some 90 percent of the students are women, among whom are mature students with families.

[Adapted from an article in the October 9, 2007, issue of the Seikyo Shimbun, Soka Gakkai, Japan]