President's Message

Hiroaki Hatayama
President of J. F. Oberlin University

A university has several important missions. One of them is to conduct research and apply the results for the benefit of society. Another is to help people grow by educating them. Yet another is to serve as a cornerstone for building peace in the surrounding community and in the world as a whole.

Part of J. F. Oberlin University’s creed is the ideal of “Gakujijijin”: learning in order to be able to help others. This ideal incorporates all three of the missions mentioned above. Learning entails both studying the knowledge that others have discovered and searching for new knowledge, and if you only have the desire, you can go on learning for a lifetime. The deeper and stronger your learning is, the more you will have to give to others and to society. When many people continue to learn, when they continue to work for the benefit of those around them, and when they show appreciation for others’ learning and work, they can find meaning in their lives and build a spiritually rich society.

J. F. Oberlin strives to enrich people’s lives and serve as a foundation on which to build a peaceful society. Its philosophy is to produce globally-minded citizens in accordance with Christian values. It asks its graduates to spread the ideal of “Gakujijijin” around the world, and I will do all I can to further these aims.


President Hatayama was born in 1962 in Kagoshima Prefecture. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree from J. F. Oberlin University and received a Master of Arts degree from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. He went on to get a Doctor of Philosophy degree from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and a Master of Business Administration degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He became a professor at J. F. Oberlin University in 2006 and has served as a special assistant to the president, as the dean of the College of Cornerstone Education, as the director of the Center for International Studies, and as a vice-president of the university. His principal field of study is rhetoric. In April, 2018, he became the fifth president in the history of the university.