学長・野風草だより

No.275

No.275 2012年10月1日(月)

海外提携校からの80周年のお祝い

 9月30日に、ホテル阪急インターナショナルで、80周年のお祝いに来てくださったアメリカ・メンフィス大学、ニュージーランド・ワイカト大学の日本事務所、韓国・韓世大学の皆さまをお迎えして歓迎レセプションを行いました。それぞれの大学からお祝いのメッセージをいただき、和やかに懇談しました。終了後は、会場を移してピアノ演奏を聴きながら、十五夜でしたので月見の宴と思いましたが、台風17号の影響で、かないませんでした。かわりに「ムーン・リバー」をリクエストして、楽しみました。
 記念式典では、海外提携校を代表してメンフィス大学のシャノン・ブラントンさんより、お祝いのメッセージを英語でスピーチしていただきました。祝賀会では、一緒に鏡割りを行い、お祝いのプレゼントを頂戴しました。皆さんからは、是非おいで下さいとの招待を受けましたので、機会があればお訪ねしたいものです。メンフィスは、1999年にアメリカ南部の農村調査した時、トランジットで数時間降り立ったことがありました。ソウルは何度も行ったことがありますが、ニュージランドは未踏の地です。皆さま、遠路お祝いにお越しいただき、本当にありがとうございました。今後とも留学などの交流が深まることを期待しています。お世話いただいた国際交流の担当者の皆さま、ありがとうございました。

Dr. Shannon Blanton's Congratulatory Remark

Chairman Yasuhisa Katsuta, President Mitsutoshi Tokunaga, honored faculty, students, and distinguished guests - Thank you all for inviting me to be here to join in this very public recognition of the vital role that the Osaka University of Economics plays in enhancing the education and lives of your students and the citizens of Japan. I am greatly honored, on behalf of the University of Memphis, to congratulate you on all of your accomplishments as you celebrate your 80th anniversary. It is my pleasure today to pay tribute to the teaching and research achievements and milestones that you have witnessed during your first eighty years and to celebrate your collective contributions. 

Since the founding of your university in 1932, the world has experienced increasing globalization that has introduced both incredible opportunities but also incredible challenges for institutions of higher education.  It is critical that students build a solid academic foundation that is complemented by skills and knowledge that they are able to apply in their careers. Through your strength in the academic areas of economics, business administration, information management, and human sciences - as well as your emphasis on experience-based learning programs and a career support system - you have faithfully pursued the mission of your university to link your students and the university to society and to facilitate practical human learning. I am greatly impressed by your commitment to developing both the intellect and character of your students, and by your commitment to further promote research activities that enrich your local community and region.

I am honored that, in 2002, a partnership was formally cemented with the signing of an agreement between your university and mine to pursue a collaborative educational partnership. Some of our students from our business school and the Japanese program come here to further their knowledge and understanding, and to benefit from internship experiences. This year, two of your students are studying on our campus for the academic year, and we are delighted that they are with us. It is so nice to see our students interacting with each other in Memphis and in Osaka. Their perspectives toward the world may change forever because of our successful partnership, and I look forward to our future joint efforts in creating a lasting influence in the lives of our students. 

These are times of change that inspire both anxiety and hope. Thomas Friedman, a political journalist in my country, once said, "The ability to learn how to learn will be the only security you have."  As the purveyors of higher education, we have the enormous responsibility of unraveling complex scientific and social puzzles and searching for solutions that will improve our lives and our world, of breaking down intellectual boundaries so that we may become an increasingly enlightened and productive people, and of deepening ties between our academic communities so that we may strengthen the bonds that connect us and increase global understanding, of helping our next generation to amass knowledge and develop critical thinking skills.

As we gather today to celebrate the 80th anniversary of the Osaka University of Economics, I am honored to be able to extend my congratulations to you in commemoration of all that you have accomplished and to wish you the very best in the years to come.  Thank you.