My First Dean's Speech at the Entrance Ceremony of the Graduate School of Management, Globis University

The first entrance ceremony for the Graduate School of Management, Globis University took place over the noon hour on the first Sunday of April, amid beautiful cherry blossoms.

This was the first entrance ceremony since GLOBIS was officially authorized as a Graduate School of Management, and the fourth, counting the earlier events for the GDBA (Graduate Diploma in Business Administration). A ceremony at the Osaka Campus was held a week earlier. This year, four students are taking the GDBA course and 23 are studying for their MBAs at the Osaka Campus, while at the Tokyo Campus, 23 students are taking the GDBA and 55 are pursuing their MBAs. That adds up to 105 students at the two campuses who are studying to obtain GDBA certification or MBA degrees.

For more about the GDBA, please refer to the column "The Road To Globis University (3)—Establishment of a Society-Recognized Business School" (Japanese)
This was the first time I would be addressing an entrance ceremony with the title of dean. A few students in attendance were older than me. Moreover, GLOBIS ceremonies allow family members to attend, and so my usual casual remarks would not be enough for this occasion.

I was wracking my brain about what to say.

I came up with several ideas, but I certainly couldn't miss mentioning the three pillars of the educational principles of GLOBIS and I wanted at all costs to communicate our mission of nurturing leaders of change and creativity. I also wanted to include the history of fostering GLOBIS up until now as well as our future directions. All this had to be concisely presented in 10–15 minutes. I sat down in front of my computer and started putting things together, little by little.

The day of the ceremony arrived. Students, dressed for the occasion, were accompanied by their families, and gathered at the GLOBIS Campus in Nibancho. Some brought their wives, others came with toddlers, parents. Someone brought along their younger sister, and others were with their sons and daughters, who appeared to be university students themselves.

As the start time of 11 o'clock approached, I went inside. More than 80 students, over 20 faculty members, and about 40 family members gathered in an orderly fashion in a hall created from two GLOBIS classrooms, room 101 and 102. Elgar's Pomp and Circumstance was quietly playing. Turning off the music, Keiko Kogure, the master of ceremonies, proudly declared the start of the ceremony. The dean's name was announced, and I quietly made my way onto the stage to deliver my first speech as Dean of Graduate School of Management, Globis University.

"Ladies and Gentlemen, congratulations on your admission into the university. 
Today marks a very joyous occasion, during this beautiful season of cherry blossoms, and I welcome the talented 78 individuals present here today, including 23 GDBA students and 55 postgraduate students. On my way to the campus today, I saw the cherry blossoms and felt happy and excited, the way you feel when something new is about to begin."

I was a little nervous, but continued, speaking slowly.

"When I think back to 14 years ago, when I was 29, GLOBIS started. We didn't have funds, a history of customer trust, or an established track record; we were literally starting from scratch. All we had to work with was our good health, the skills gained from an MBA education, and the belief and determination to make things happen".

Indeed, we had started from zero.

"In the beginning, we had one room in a rented apartment that served as our office, and we began teaching to a group of 20 students in a rented classroom on Dogenzaka. We started out with very little, but we always held firmly to our belief that we could create a widely respected graduate university comparable to the Harvard Business School, and that we would nurture outstanding human resources. In 1996, we embarked on the joint MBA program with the University of Leicester, and in 2003 we started the GDBA. Today, we have reached the point of welcoming the first students into our graduate management program.

Through the invaluable efforts of staff and faculty, we were ranked number three in Japan last year by the Nikkei Business Daily. For us, this represented just one more step along the way toward our goal of having GLOBIS rise to ultimately become the number one business school in Asia.

All of you selected this graduate program, the embodiment of change and creativity, as the place where you would complete your education. We have, I believe, a duty to live up to the trust and expectations of you brilliant people. As well as offering the best possible curriculum, educational content and faculty, we intend to put all our resources and talent in the service of your education.

You, as leaders of change and creativity, have successfully cleared the hurdles of screening, exams, and interviews, to earn your place in this program. I believe each one of you have been given the role to bring change and creativity to Japan, Asia and the world.

Today, as you formally enter GLOBIS, I have two requests. I suspect you will hear these two points over and over again during your time here.

My first request is that you strive to absorb as much as possible, by taking full advantage of the three pillars incorporated into the educational principles of GLOBIS. 

(Here are the bare essentials)
* A place to develop ability (knowledge, conceptual skills, interpersonal relationships aptitude)
* A place to construct a human network reaching into the future (Your contemporaries will be your colleagues for life. You also have colleagues in Nagoya and Osaka.)
* A place to discover your resolve and your career

My second request to you as leaders of change and creativity is that you continually sharpen your people skills, that you expand your human capacities.

(Here are the bare essentials)
- Maintain the highest ethical standards
- Develop your sensitivities and ability to empathize with others
- Hold fast to a sense of justice, a philosophy of right conduct
- Develop a strong sense of mission (a personal mission statement)

Although you will all graduate in just a few years, I hope you will gain a deep joy in learning during your time here. And I want you to absorb everything that is being made available to you. Today, we have gathered great students, a great faculty and a great staff. We also have many great GDBA seniors. Never allow any barriers to come between GDBAs and MBAs; help each other and share your dreams without restraint.

I fervently hope all of you during your time at GLOBIS will develop and grow to new heights over the next few years."

April 2, 2006
Dean, Graduate School of Management, Globis University
Yoshito Hori

After I finished speaking, I quietly returned to my seat. I had been nervous, but overall I felt it had gone quite well. Following the dean's address, two students presented their enrollment declarations. They boldly proclaimed their determination to learn as leaders of change and creativity and to contribute to society. I was deeply moved.

Then, each student stood up and introduced themselves as their names were called out.  Intermittent laughter broke up the nervousness, and each introduction highlighted the individuality of the students. The common thing I observed in each student was a genuine enthusiasm and a solid character. Each faculty and staff member was also called out by name to share a brief word of greeting. With each statement, you could feel the depth of commitment to build a solid graduate program.

The ceremony then came to a close. It had been a somewhat unconventional, with everyone except family members having a chance to speak.

An informal reception was held in the adjoining lounge. The cherry blossoms could be seen out of the window, further enhancing the overall mood of the entrance ceremony. New students, family members, faculties, staff and GDBA seniors all enjoyed lunch together.

In this social gathering, after the photo session, GDBA seniors who had been kind enough to attend, shared their greetings, and then we invited family members to say a few words. In this way, everyone there had a chance say something.

I was deeply impressed by what the family members said. There was a mother who had come all the way up from Hiroshima, wives carrying infants or expecting to give birth, a son who was in his second year at college, newly weds, and fiancés with marriage just around the corner; all of them put their feelings into what they had to say. All of their remarks were full of affection, such as, "when I heard about graduate school, I felt uneasy at first, but coming here today I feel reassured. I want to be as supportive as I can to provide a genuine environment for learning over the next few years." Again, I was deeply moved.

The decision to enter the GLOBIS MBA/GDBA program is not something one can undertake alone. To begin with, it costs some 3 million yen, and you have to be willing to study on weekends or in the evening while continuing to work. This places a significant burden on family members for two or three years, in terms of both time and money.

These remarks from family members must have renewed the dedication of staff and faculty to offer a high-quality program and to establish a solid graduate school.

Finally, Honorary Dean James Abegglen gave a speech and closed the proceedings for the day. I decided to begin writing this column while still caught up in the emotion of the event.

April 2, 2006
Dean, Graduate School of Management, Globis University
Yoshito Hori

Mr. Yoshito Hori established GLOBIS Management School in 1992 and GLOBIS Capital Partners in 1996. In 2003, GLOBIS started its original MBA program which, in 2006, received accreditation from the Japanese Ministry of Education and gained “university” status. GLOBIS started a part-time MBA program in English in 2009 and a full-time MBA program in English in 2012.

A Harvard MBA graduate and former Sumitomo Corporation employee, Mr. Hori founded the Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) Japan Chapter in 1995 and became the first board member from Asia in charge of Asia Pacific region in 1996. He also served on the World Economic Forum (WEF)’s New Asian Leaders Executive Committee and Global Agenda Council on New Models of Leadership, as well as the Harvard Business School Alumni Board from 2005 to 2008. Currently, Mr. Hori is a board member of the Keizai Doyukai (Japan Association of Corporate Executives), and serves as co-chair of WEF’s Global Growth Companies.

In 2008, he launched the G1 Summit – a Japanese version of the WEF’s annual Davos forum. This led to the foundation of G1 Summit Institute in 2013, which Mr. Hori serves as Representative Director.

Just days after a huge earthquake struck northeast Japan in March 2011, Mr. Hori launched Project KIBOW to support the rebuilding of the disaster-affected areas. The following year Project KIBOW was incorporated as the KIBOW Foundation, which Mr. Hori serves as Representative Director.

An avid enthusiast of the Japanese game Go since age 40, Mr. Hori has been Director of the Nihon Ki-in (Japan Go Association) since June 2013.

Since October 2013, Mr. Hori has hosted a weekly TV program in Japan called Nippon Mirai Kaigi (Japan Future Conference). He has authored several books including Visionary Leaders who Create and Innovate Societies, Six Dimensions of Life, and My Personal Mission Statement.

Mr. Hori received his BS in Engineering from Kyoto University and his MBA from Harvard Business School.

He is an avid swimmer and enjoys spending time with his family, especially his five sons.

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