On Wednesday, March 20, a completion ceremony was held at J. F. Oberlin University’s new Shinjuku Campus. In addition to people involved in the design and construction of the campus, attendees included people from other educational institutions and from the neighborhood surrounding the new campus. In all, some 200 people attended the ceremony.
At the cornerstone ceremony preceding the completion ceremony, a copy of the Bible, the foundation upon which the entire university rests, was placed in a box which was then sealed within the cornerstone by President Hiroaki Hatayama, Chancellor Toyoshi Satow, and Toda Construction Corporation President and CEO Masanori Imai.
The completion ceremony took the form of a Christian worship service and was held in the new campus’ Centenario Hall, led by Reverend Jeffrey Mensendiek, one of the university’s chaplains. In his remarks, Chancellor Satow explained the origin of the Shinjuku Campus motto, “Hyakunin Sohshin,” or literally, “100 people creating new things”: philosopher Bertrand Russell, on a speaking tour of China in 1920, is said to have remarked that the country would survive as long as it had “at least 100 good people.” J. F. Oberlin University’s founder, Reverend Yasuzo Shimizu, who was working in China at the time, heard of Russell’s speech and was particularly impressed by these words.
Chancellor Satow continued, “As we begin a new era in the university’s history here in Hyakunincho, we hope to produce at least 100 good people in many different fields—people who can create new things and help the world.”
Certificates of appreciation were then presented to President Imai of Toda Construction and to Richard Bliah, founder and principal of the architectural firm Richard Bliah Associates, which designed the new campus.
Following the ceremony, attendees were given a tour of the new campus, including the Knowledge Cloud, a study area with electronic library facilities; the Food Lecture Room, in which students can get hands-on experience in managing food-related businesses; and the Presentation Room, in which the layout can be changed to suit the needs of individual presenters.
J. F. Oberlin University is extremely grateful to all of the many people who played a part in bringing the Shinjuku Campus to fruition. The new campus opened on April 1.
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