November 6, 2014
Peoples' Friendship University of Russia Presents Honorary Doctorate
Peoples' Friendship University of Russia presented an honorary doctorate to Daisaku Ikeda, SGI president and Soka University (SU) founder, for his contributions to the development of culture, learning and education and to fostering academic relations between Russia and Japan. A ceremony was held by proxy on the Soka University campus in Hachioji, Tokyo, on November 6, 2014. In attendance were Evgeny Martynenko, head of the International Protocol Office; Vladmir A. Tsvyk, dean of Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences; Soka University President Baba, who accepted the diploma on behalf of Mr. Ikeda; and student and faculty representatives.
Peoples' Friendship University of Russia, located in southwest Moscow, was founded in 1960 with the stated objective of supporting developing nations, mainly in Asia, Africa and South America, by providing higher education and professional training. It is one of the leading higher education and research institutions in Russia with overseas students from around 150 countries living in the same dormitory during the school year. More than 29,000 graduate and postgraduate students are currently studying at the university and approximately 15,000 are from outside the Russian Federation.
In his conferral speech, Dr. Martynenko commended Mr. Ikeda for his multifaceted efforts and values based on humanism and compassion and stated that he is especially impressed with Mr. Ikeda's ideals that inspire people, in particular, those of the present generation who are in the process of character building, to believe in their own strength and believe they are protagonists of their own destiny.
In an acceptance message read by a representative, Mr. Ikeda expressed his deep appreciation for the honor and lauded the Russian university's vision reflected in a magnificent mural on the wall of their main building depicting a torch whose flames reaches out to the entire world. It is the light of education that ignites this flame of wisdom in the life of one youth then spreads to another, he said, eventually uniting the five continents as the flame of peace that illuminates the future of humankind. Referring to the flame as also representing creativity, humanism and unity, Mr. Ikeda resolved to shine a light upon global society together with the youth.
People's Friendship of Russia delegation take a commemorative photo with Soka University students and officials
[Adapted from an article in the November 7, 2014, issue of the Seikyo Shimbun, Soka Gakkai, Japan]