2017 Summer Commencement Ceremony

65 undergraduate students and 34 graduate students graduated from ICU at its summer commencement ceremony held at the University Chapel on Friday, 30 June.

At the ceremony, each student’s name was read out in keeping with tradition that has continued since the first commencement ceremony. Students whose names were called received their diplomas – the fruit of four years of learning – on stage and shook hands with President Junko Hibiya.

After commencement ceremony, a commemorative photo was taken in front of the chapel and family, faculty and staff took their picture together with the new graduates.

Commencement Address by Junko Hibiya, President


I would like to extend my congratulations to all those graduates of the College of Liberal Arts who have received their bachelor’s degrees, and to those Graduate School students who went on to further study and received their master’s and doctoral degrees. Permit me to offer my heartfelt greetings to the friends and families of today’s graduates who are with us today.

On March 31, 2017, ICU joined the United Nations Academic Impact, a program of the Outreach Division of the Department of Public Information to align institutions of higher education around the world with the United Nations and with each other. The Impact is informed by a commitment to support and advance ten basic principles:

  1. A commitment to the principles inherent in the United Nations Charter as values that education seeks to promote and help fulfil;
  2. A commitment to human rights, among them freedom of inquiry, opinion, and speech;
  3. A commitment to educational opportunity for all people regardless of gender, race, religion or ethnicity;
  4. A commitment to the opportunity for every interested individual to acquire the skills and knowledge necessary for the pursuit of higher education;
  5. A commitment to building capacity in higher education systems across the world;
  6. A commitment to encouraging global citizenship through education;
  7. A commitment to advancing peace and conflict resolution through education;
  8. A commitment to addressing issues of poverty through education;
  9. A commitment to promoting sustainability through education;
  10. A commitment to promoting inter-cultural dialogue and understanding, and the “unlearning” of intolerance, through education.

As a participant in the initiative, ICU is expected to commit itself to the fundamental precepts driving the United Nations mandate and to undertake activities that reflect adherence to these principles. The precepts, in particular, involve the realization of the universally accepted Sustainable Development Goals. On May 22, we held our first United Nations Academic Impact event on “Gender and Sustainable Development Goals”, featuring two keynote lectures and a panel discussion. On June 5, a workshop was held entitled “Tackling Global Challenges: Career Development for Diplomatic and International Public Services.” Some of today’s graduates may have participated.

Today you have received a Bachelor of Arts/Master of Arts/Doctoral diploma from ICU. Being a graduate of this institution, each and every one of you are now encouraged to endorse these ten basic principles yourselves. With the education offered here, you developed the ability to form independent plans as a self-motivated scholar; the ability to learn through Japanese and English and to use those languages to communicate with people from around the world; the ability to identify and solve problems based upon critical thinking; the ability to bring together diverse knowledge, and to put such knowledge to use in real-world situations; and the ability to effectively express ideas in both oral communication and the written word. In this borderless and constantly expanding knowledge-based society, where you will live having attained these abilities, everyone knows that learning does not end at graduation. To become a responsible global citizen who is able to meet the changing demands of the world, you must become an intentional learner and be actively engaged in a lifetime of learning. With your education here, you are now able to plan your own path for creative learning. Today, you finish your days at ICU and leave here for a wider world. No matter where you may be, I strongly urge you to apply these abilities to advance the ten basic principles of the United Nations Academic Impact through your own activities in a shared culture of intellectual social responsibility.

As an ICU graduate, I hope you will lead your life as a good citizen and keep wondering about what work advances these principles. Surely the path before you will likely differ; each of you will have a different role to fulfill. This is because God has provided for each of you unique gifts. You may not be able to find it right away. Under such circumstances, remember the verses 7 and 8 in Chapter 7 of the Gospel according to Matthew, that were read at the beginning of this ceremony. If you ask, it will be given to you. If you seek, you will find. If you knock, the door will be opened to you. Keep asking, searching, and knocking. Then each and every one of you will be given your way. I hope you will lead a life that makes you feel confident that you have advanced these principles. May God bless you all.