The conferment ceremony, which took place in the morning of March 7, 2017, had as participants and witnesses Soka University’s top officials led by President Yoshihisa Baba; Tan family members; key officers of UE and FUSE and other members of the Lucio Tan Group of Companies; and SU students.
Dr. Tan has been involved in education for at least the last three decades, having put education at the center of the LT Group of Companies’ corporate social responsibility programs, and ensuring that relevant LT Group teams work together to help improve the quality of education.
Through the UE-TYKFI scholarship program, which marks its 30th year in 2018, thousands of scholarships and grants have been provided to financially challenged but academically deserving UE students and professors. TYKFI itself, which was named after Dr. Tan’s late father Tan Yan Kee, renders education-related corporate social responsibility by donating school buildings and facilities. A complement to all this is FUSE, which the LT Group established in 1994 to help improve the skills of English, Science and Mathematics teachers through comprehensive training, research and advocacy.
Dr. Tan is the latest individual from the Philippines to be conferred an honorary doctor degree by Soka University, following former Presidents Corazon C. Aquino and Fidel V. Ramos, former Supreme Court Chief Justice Hilario G. Davide Jr., and University of the Philippines President Jose V. Abueva.
The occasion also saw the signing of an academic partnership-expanding memorandum of understanding, signed by Soka University President Yoshihisa Baba and Chairman Yasunori Tashiro and UE Chairman Lucio Tan and President Ester Garcia with Soka Gakkai International-Philippines Vice General Director Eduardo Tan, UE Vice Chairman Jaime Bautista, Mrs. Carmen Tan and SGI-Philippines Director General Hisako Alcantara as key witnesses.
In his acceptance speech, Dr. Tan expressed being “humbled by this honorary degree that recognizes my life’s work to help improve the quality of education in my country.” He said that he and SU Founding President Daisaku Ikeda both “dream of making the world better. And what better way to make the world better than to invest our energy, wisdom and resources into educating the youth?” He then said that the degree “in fact, [honors] all of us in UE, UERM, TYKFI, FUSE and the rest of the LT Group.”
Aside from the honorary Doctor degree, which came with the prestigious SU Medal of Honor and a citation, Dr. Tan was also conferred the Soka Friendship Award by the SU student body. The occasion also saw the signing of an academic partnership-expanding memorandum of understanding, signed by SU President Baba and Chairman Yasunori Tashiro, and UE Chairman Tan and President Garcia.
Founded by Dr. Daisaku Ikeda, Soka University was opened on April 2, 1971, “to carry on the legacy of the value-creating educational philosophy” of Soka (“value creation” in Japanese) educational philosophy originator Tsunesaburo Makiguchi and his successor Josei Toda. Soka University is one of Japan’s “Super Global Universities,” certified with a global seal from Japan’s Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) to undertake internationalization.
Dr. Ikeda himself was conferred by UE with the honorary degree of Doctor of Humanities on September 30, 2014—a highlight of the University’s 68th Foundation Anniversary. The conferment was a way of citing, among his many other accomplishments, how far Dr. Ikeda has come and how much he and his global foundation Soka Gakkai International have progressed in making our world a world of peace.
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from UE News © 2017