UMUC - Asian Division - Mason G Daly - Greetings - March 27 1960

Abstract

Europe;Hoffmann, RosemaryGreetings: Dr. Mason G. Daly, Director Far East Division Commencement , 27 March 1960 Dignitaries Faculty Students and Guests The faculty of the Far East Division meets with students in classrooms at more than 45 locations in Japan, Korea, Okinawa, Taiwan, and Guam. Only on this one day of the year do we feel the need for a centralized campus and a big auditorium. We find the Kudan Kaikan, however, curiously appropriate for this American academic convocation in 1960, the centennial year of Japan-American diplomatic relations. A former building on this spot served the Tokugawa government as the Barbarian Books Investigation Office, a place to censor western publications in a sealed-off Japan not yet visited by America’s Commodore Perry. The same building sorvad to house the first US Consul General to Japan, Townsend Harris, during his long-delayed visit to Edo from Shimoda. And, on this corner of Tokyo, beside the Imperial moat, the great Tokyo University began. It is fitting that this convocation has an historic setting rich with tradition, because these robed dignitaries and students draw upon hundreds of years of solemn European and American tradition for the regalia and ritual of this ceremony. But change is also symbolized here today. Whereas a university once prided itself in being the quiet citadel of learning, designed to formally educate the few and the young, the modern university has been challenged to uphold its traditions and values and at the same time contribute dynamically to a society everywhere in cataclysmic change. There is more to be done than to pass on the accumulated knowledge of the past. The university must interpret the immediate present, it must experiment with and predict the future; it must be in the marketplace, at the space launching pad, at the labor forum, in the underdeveloped country, the refugee camp, merged into every sphere of human endeavor. We may take some satisfaction in the fact that even this new peripatetic development is not without comforting tradition. The teaching orders of the Middle Ages went everywhere in the known world, carrying tradition, religion, culture. Also, in America we can recall the energy with which established universi­ties spawned little teaching coteries and colleges on the western frontier as fast as new settlements were made. We do not expect to leave satellite universities strung out across the world because of Maryland 's present overseas activities. But we are surely demonstrating, as did the medieval scholar and the pioneer American, what is by now an accepted university maxim - that the university campus is not a close or a cloister, not the refuge of a few intellectual aristocrats, not separate from the rest of society. There may be no medieval or pioneer precedent for one aspect of this event today: the alliance of the military and the civil academic. All but ten of these graduates are in one of the United States armed forces; the other ten are affiliated with these forces, either as employees or as dependents. Fifteen years ago the US military,made the baccalaureate degree the goal of its personnel, and began establishing many means by which its people could advance academically with civilian institutions. Maryland is here at the invitation of these overseas commands, operating with complete academic autonomy, abiding by the same university regulations and requirements in Seoul or Taipei or Itazuke which apply at College Park, Maryland. In this audience and on this stage are commanding officers from all over the Pacific and the Far East who are determined to make this academic objective part of the United States military tradition. In this audience are civilian education specialists, hired by these commands to promote and guide this objective, men and women through whom this university coordinates its program. The military student receives tuition subsidy and command encouragement to develop knowledge and skills that are not military in nature, but are part of the intellectual development needed by an American in or out of uniform. No other military service in the history of the world has invested so much in developing the citizen soldier. We are pleased to have so many Japanese university presidents and professors here today. Your highly literate people are making far greater demands upon your university facilities than American institutions ever faced. Your struggle to uphold tradition during a time of immense change and bursting expansion is one of the most noteworthy phenomenon in education today. You will, we trust, find this ceremony interesting, this off-campus activity both acceptable and challenging. On behalf of the staff and faculty of the Far East Division, I congratulate these graduates; I warmly praise the civil and military education personnel for their assist ance to these graduates (and to the thousands of others who have studied with them during this last academic year); I applaud the families who have generously shared the off-duty time and energies of these graduates. And, I invite all of you, participants and guests, to take pleasure in this ceremony and in the reception which will follow

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