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President's Message

Developing fully-fledged members of society with a well rounded education and broad international perspectives

TAMURA, Shinichi

President TAMURA, Shin'ichi

 

In 2012, Hokusei Gakuen University celebrated the 50th anniversary of its founding. It was founded in April 1962 as a small institution with only a School of Humanities, which consisted of a Department of English and a Department of Social Welfare, each with an enrollment capacity of 50 students. Despite its initial small scale, over the past 50 years Hokusei has developed into a large university with a student body of more than 4,000. I believe the driving force behind this development has been the expectations and trust invested in the university’s education by countless students. The solid achievements resulting from the students’ expectations and trust also helped the university to develop. The education offered at Hokusei is based on character building according to Christian principles. Thanks to an education which fosters the development of fully-fledged members of society who have a well rounded education and broad international perspectives, the university has produced thousands of competent graduates, many of whom have excelled in various fields.

The forerunner to Hokusei Gakuen was a girls’ school, which was established by American missionary Sarah C. Smith. When the school was renamed Hokusei Girls’ School, Inazo Nitobe, an official involved in the school’s management, played an essential role. Nitobe is the author of the well-known book Bushido: The Soul of Japan and also dedicated himself to promoting world peace as one of the first Under-Secretaries General of the League of Nations. Amid the general atmosphere of male chauvinism in those days, Nitobe emphasized the importance of character education for women, and he made a great impact on the education at Hokusei Girls’ School. Sarah Smith and the other individuals involved in the school’s establishment also believed in character education and a spirit of dedication to society. This spirit has been passed down through various educational programs, particularly those promoting international exchanges which build bridges to other cultures. These include student exchange programs with many sister schools, as well as various short-term study programs. This spirit also led to the dispatches of student volunteers in the wake of the Great Hanshin Earthquake of 1995 and the Great East Japan Earthquake of 2011.

Lilac trees, designated as the official tree of Sapporo, are popular among local residents. They are believed to have been brought to Sapporo for the first time by Sarah Smith from her hometown, Elmira, New York. Many of the lilac trees now blooming on Hokusei’s campus were grafted from the offspring of trees introduced by her. I hope that all graduates of Hokusei Gakuen University will become deeply rooted in society, like those lilacs, and thrive and contribute to society while remaining true to the spirit of the school’s founder.

 

 

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