University of Delaware, Newark, Delaware, USA
January 15, 2000--Honorary Doctorate
Professor David P. Roselle, President
We have a saying in my country, "Don't sweat the small stuff." If you do sweat the little stuff . . . then you'll fill your life with little items, worrying about things that don't really matter, and you'll never have the quality time you need to spend on important things.
It is now my great pleasure to honor an individual who, most certainly, has always had his priorities clearly defined and has spent his life working to realize them. Indeed, Dr. Ikeda has helped many, many others recognize the big stones of their lives and, through his role as "Peace Builder," has even helped nations recognize the big stones of their existence.
This honorary degree is the highest degree that the University of Delaware bestows, and it is presented to persons whose contributions to the quality of life in our world have warranted exceptional recognition. The first honorary degree was awarded by the university in 1841, and among recent recipients are artist Andrew Wyeth, Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor and former President of the United States George Herbert Walker Bush.
Today, we are honored to add to this list the "Peace Builder," Daisaku Ikeda . . .
Distinguished educator and articulate advocate of global good citizenship, your life has been a quest to use the power of education to . . . "drive back the dark clouds of the mind." For you, education has served as a means to enhance understanding and dialog across philosophical and ideological boundaries . . .
Visionary humanist, you have always believed and espoused that within each individual lies the key to lasting peace and happiness. Convinced that everyone--when nurtured by education--has both the potential and the resources to make a true and lasting difference in our world, you have devoted yourself to imparting values that engender respect for the dignity and fundamental rights of all people.
Tireless worker for a better world, you have entered into meaningful dialogue with individuals around the globe, enjoying their respect and friendship, and to further your impact on the world's conscience and consciousness, you have published in more than twenty languages . . .
Daisaku Ikeda, Peace Builder, the University of Delaware salutes you and expresses appreciation for your efforts to enrich our understanding of our shared humanity.