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September 15, 2019

National University of Jujuy Confers Honorary Professorship

On September 15, 2019, Argentina’s National University of Jujuy (UNJu) conferred an honorary professorship upon Soka University founder and SGI President Daisaku Ikeda for his dialogues that promote peacebuilding and for his contributions that have inspired awareness of global citizenship. The conferral took place at the Tecnópolis Stadium in Buenos Aires and was attended by UNJu Rector Rodolfo Alejandro Tecchi, a Soka Gakkai delegation from Japan and some 4,000 SGI members from seven Latin American countries. SGI Vice Study Department Chief Shinji Shimizu accepted the award on Mr. Ikeda’s behalf.

The national university is located in San Salvador de Jujuy, the capital of Argentina’s northernmost province, Jujuy. Jujuy shares its borders with Bolivia and Chile and is known for the Quebrada de Humahuaca valley, which was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2003. UNJu’s precursor, Instituto de Geología y Minería (Institute of Geology and Mining), was established in 1946 by the National University of Tucumán. It was later redesignated the Provincial University of Jujuy in 1972 and formally established as the present national university in 1973. UNJu currently has four faculties with an enrollment of some 25,000 students.

In a citation, Rector Tecchi remarked that peace and dialogue are the two pillars upon which UNJu stands and stated that “the conferral of an honorary professorship upon Mr. Ikeda, a distinguished philosopher and writer, reflects UNJu’s desire to integrate various cultures based on the spirit of solidarity.” He further affirmed that UNJu’s view that it is youth who shoulder the mission of peacebuilding is consonant with the SGI and shared his hopes to strengthen their partnership.

In his acceptance message, Mr. Ikeda conveyed his heartfelt gratitude for the honor and identified three components for ushering in a “triumphant spring” for humankind based on UNJu’s philosophy. First is the power of the handshake grounded in wisdom and friendship, he said, referring to UNJu’s emblem symbolizing friendship (handshake), freedom (Phrygian cap) and peace (olive tree), noting that the emblem represents solidarity based on the wisdom of youth. Second is the power of value creation emanating from the life of the land, demonstrated by UNJu’s beginnings as a geological and mining research center and its continued pursuit of value through a commitment to education as the path to realizing a society of peace and human development. Third, he said, is the power of action that shines a light on people, as indicated by the school motto, “Ignite your torch with this flame,” taken from the words of Argentine poet, Raúl Galán, a Jujuy native.

Mr. Ikeda concurred with the words of activist, writer and former Argentine President Domingo Faustino Sarmiento (1811–1888), who stated, “I believe that the words and actions of one individual can instill spiritual strength in others.” What inspires a person with courage, said Mr. Ikeda, is a caring heart that radiates human warmth, words that encourage and sincere dedication. Uniting with other UNJu faculty members, Mr. Ikeda vowed to strive together with the youth to create a brighter future for the sake of people’s happiness, the flourishing of society and a world of peace.

National University of Jujuy in Argentina presents an honorary professorship to SGI President Daisaku Ikeda

UNJu Rector Tecchi (foreground, left) entrusts the certificate of honorary professorship to SGI Study Leader Shimizu (foreground, 2nd from left)

[Adapted from an article in the September 19, 2019, issue of the Seikyo Shimbun, Soka Gakkai, Japan]