Tokyo, Japan, 24 February 2009 – In a ceremony steeped in tradition, Open University Malaysia (OUM) today conferred the Honorary Doctor of Arts (Humanities) to Dr Daisaku Ikeda, President of Soka Gakkai International (SGI), in a Special Convocation held at Soka International Friendship Hall.
OUM Chancellor The Honourable Datin Seri Jeanne Abdullah, also the Prime Minister’s Wife, conferred the award to Dr Ikeda, who became the first international recipient to receive the Honorary Doctorate from the University. The convocation was attended by His Excellency Dato’ Mohd Radzi bin Abd Rahman, Malaysia’s Ambassador to Japan as well as key officials from both OUM and SGI.
The Honorary Doctorate was awarded in recognition of Dr Ikeda’s outstanding work in promoting world peace and character development through education. Prior to this, OUM had conferred honorary doctorates to three individuals, who are OUM’s founding members and former Vice-Chancellors of Malaysia’s leading universities.
OUM and SGI have a long standing relation through collaborations aimed at providing learners from both institutions exposure to the best learning experience. In May last year, Datin Seri Jeanne was conferred the Award of Highest Honor by Soka Women’s College, Soka University, Japan.
The recipients of OUM’s Honorary Doctorate were selected based on their profound contribution towards the betterment of the community. Dr Ikeda, is not only a respectable academic, but also a distinguished figure who has dedicated his life in propagating the culture of peace and harmony through social engagement and lifelong learning.
Speaking at the convocation, Datin Seri Jeanne said: “Learning institutions shoulder the noble responsibility of creating a society that values education. OUM and SGI share the same sentiments in making education accessible to the masses to help develop human capital.”
President/Vice-Chancellor Prof Tan Sri Anuwar Ali, in his speech, said that OUM is honoured to confer Dr Ikeda with the honorary doctorate. “He is a visionary man who believes that education and world peace are closely linked. Likewise, at OUM we believe that education spurs socio-economic development to elevate the living standard of people.”