Happy New Year to you all. I wish you all the best of health and prosperity as we welcome 2019.
Marking 150 years since the Meiji Restoration, last year we also celebrated a century-and-a-half of education and research at our university since the school for Dutch studies established by our founder, Yukichi Fukuzawa, was renamed Keio University.
It was also the year the new hospital building on Shinanomachi Campus, a state-of-the-art medical facility built to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the establishment of the School of Medicine, was completed and unveiled to the public.
Furthermore, in 2018, we celebrated a century of nursing education at Keio, which began with Shibasaburo Kitasato instituting the Department of Medicine Nurse Training Center as well as marking a decade since the Kyoritsu University of Pharmacy merged with the Keio University Faculty of Pharmacy. As we head into the era where more and more people will live beyond the age of a hundred, there are great expectations for the School of Medicine, Faculty of Nursing and Medical Care, and Faculty of Pharmacy to join forces, more than ever before, to carry out research in the life sciences and make significant discoveries and contributions in the branches of this field. Additionally, both the Graduate School of System Design and Management (SDM), which studies complex social systems, and the Graduate School of Media Design (KMD), where innovative designs for the future are being envisioned, celebrated their 10th birthdays.
There were also illustrious sports-related achievements in 2018, credit for which must be given to the sensational performances of the students, including the Keio University Baseball Club winning consecutive seasons of the Tokyo Big6 Baseball League, the Keio Senior High School consecutively participating in the spring and summer Koshien baseball tournaments, and Keio students and alumni accounting for five gold medals at the Asian Games.
We hope that this year too will be a year in which we make new leaps forward in all areas of academia, research, and medical care, while cherishing the traditions and customs of our university.
In a time full of rapid transitions, a world that is ever-changing, to bring about the harmonious coexistence of technology and people and to augment the happiness and well-being of humanity, great weight is attached to the roles of comprehensive universities, where there is dialogue, an interconnection, between the sciences and the humanities. For a university to develop an exclusive flavor while being held in high esteem on the global stage, it must be an institution to which diverse national and international talent flock and become proficient in their chosen academic disciplines in an open-minded and forward-thinking learning environment before venturing out into the world as competent professionals making valuable contributions to society. This is what Keio has always stood for and has continuously strived to achieve, and this is why Keio garners respect from peers and professionals, prospective students and parents, in communities both at home and abroad.
There are ambitious undertakings in motion in all aspects of education and learning at the university, including strengthening the integrated education from elementary school to university, expansions in interdisciplinary research and education that also embraces the cohesion of the sciences with the arts, and the enrichment of industry-academia collaborative projects. We believe that these endeavors will lead to the betterment of society and Keio University will do everything within its power to ensure their success.
Mindful that none of this can be accomplished unassisted, we ask for your kind and unwavering support and friendship in the year ahead.