President’s Commencement Address
LastUpDate： March 28, 2017
Ladies and gentlemen, congratulations on your graduation from Osaka Prefecture University. On behalf of the university, it is my great pleasure to give an address to memorialize this event.
My address has three parts. First, I will ask you this question “Can any place be associated with a special kind of smell?” Second, I will ask you if you can identify any particular person who has influenced you, or whom you have influenced, during your study. Finally, I would like to encourage you to surely keep in touch with us after your graduation.
I’d like to begin with an experience from last December, when we held FLEDGE, a symposium on entrepreneur education, at Grand Front Osaka. One of the student speakers who had been able to visit Silicon Valley said this about his experience: “It was a very impressive tour. I felt something different from my previous understanding of Silicon Valley. It is difficult to express the difference, but the place seems to have a special smell.”
Silicon Valley is that famous area on the West Coast of the USA, where many venture companies started. What is smell of that area that he mentioned in his story? Do you believe that place can have a certain smell? According to my understanding, smell is invisible but gives a distinguishing character to the place and its inhabitants. Then I wondered if the OPU campus has a smell or not. If so, do students attending OPU get that smell from the campus? Does my question make sense?
I think there is an OPU style which is a kind of smell. OPU students always give full play to their abilities. They are sometimes clumsy. You have much room for growth. Most of you will not run away from any difficulty.
Smelling this kind of OPU style while you were here in our campus, you will give out special qualities even if you do not aware of them. This is our great pleasure. We will continue to take care to maintain this OPU style.
Next let us consider how we handle positive influence between persons. One of my friends, a professor at the University of Georgia, shows his “influencers”and “influencees” on his homepage. Both influencer and influencee are words derived from influence. Your influencer is somebody who has positively changed the way you think. Your influencee is somebody who has changed their way of thinking because of you.
So I have this question. Who were your influencers and influencees while you were in our campus? Are your influencers your laboratory supervisor or club seniors? Are they your classmates or international students? Are they rather examples of art, music or books? How did they change your way of thinking? On the other hand, who are your influencees? Are your influencees your juniors in a laboratory or club? Are they your classmates or international students? How did you change their way of thinking?
I wonder whether the way of thinking that your seniors changed in you is the same as the way that you changed your juniors. If this is true, I think this might be a kind of OPU style as smell. In order to check if you smell OPU, please remind of your influencer and influencees at this graduation moment.
Thirdly, let us consider important terms in the OPU vision. One is “flying” and the other is “reliable center of community”. All OPU campuses relate to term “flying”. The Mozu in Naka-mozu and Sagi in Shira-sagi are kinds of bird. Habikino was named because the swan which was the reincarnation of Yamato-Takeru showed his feathers when he flew off from Furuichi. Rinku was named because they look out Kansai Airport.
On the other hand, being a reliable center of community requires OPU to be sustainable. You may be afraid that the OPU brand may disappear when OPU is integrated with OCU (Osaka City University). Even if the integrated new university has a different brand name from OPU, it is still your mother school. Do not worry. Our alumni association will take care of you continuously.
OPU has a graduate school for members of society, life-long education program and entrepreneur education program. In order to keep in touch with you, OPU publishes an e-mail magazine once a week and posts daily activities on our Facebook page. So please keep in touch with us.
Let me summarize the three parts of my address. You may not be aware of any OPU smell attached to your activity but I am sure you have it. Being proud of that OPU smell; please jump into your world just like birds. Further, please look for your influencer and influencees at your new position. During working with them, the OPU smell from your activities here will play an important role.
Please come back to the Sakura festival in April and university festivals in May and November. Then you may experience the OPU smell again. OPU and you are influencers and will influence each other forever.
Thank you for your kind attention. Once again, congratulations on your graduation.
March 24, 2017
Hiroshi TSUJI, president of OPU