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From Maharishi University of Management

MAY 31, 2015 • ISSUE 297

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Commencement speaker
Dr. Yukio Hatoyama


Dr. Hatoyama receiving an honorary degree from President Morris


Mrs. Hatoyama, Dr. Hatoyama, and Dr. Bevan Morris


Alexandra Warwick, who received a BA in education, giving the Valedictorian address


This year’s Salutatorian Claire Potter, BA in media and communications

(Photos by Ken West)

Former Japan Prime Minister
Addresses Record Number of
Graduates at 2015 Commencement

Dr. Yukio Hatoyama, former Prime Minister of Japan, delivered the commencement address to a record graduating class at the University’s 40th graduation ceremony on May 23.

“It was an enormous honor to have a former prime minister of Japan speak at our graduation ceremony,” said MUM President Dr. Bevan Morris, who presented Dr. Hatoyama with an honorary degree of Doctor of Laws.

A record number of 391 students, representing 61 different countries, received degrees. Altogether 83 students received bachelor’s degrees, 243 received master’s degrees, and three earned doctoral degrees. Also receiving degrees were 43 students at Maharishi Invincibility Institute in South Africa, who have been enrolled in MUM’s BA in business and MBA programs via distance education.

Member of a distinguished Japanese family

Dr. Hatoyama’s family has a long history of government service. His great-grandfather was the Speaker of the House of Representatives in Japan’s legislature in the late 1800s. His grandfather was Prime Minister of Japan in the 1950s and helped secure membership in the United Nations for Japan. His father was Japan’s Foreign Minister. His younger brother served as Minister of Internal Affairs and Communications.

His family also has a long history in higher education. His great-grandfather, after stepping down from government service, became president of Waseda University, and his great-grandmother co-founded Kyoritsu Women’s University.

Distinguished political career

Dr. Hatoyama holds a PhD in industrial engineering from Stanford. He was a professor of engineering at Tokyo Institute of Technology and at Senshu University before entering government service.

His political career began in 1986, when he was elected to the House of Representatives. He was instrumental in forming two political parties in Japan and was credited by Time magazine with helping Japan take steps toward a multi-party system after decades of single-party government under the Liberal Democratic Party. 

He became president of the Democratic Party of Japan and was elected Prime Minister in 2009. Despite his relatively short time in office, he has a long list of achievements, including greater spending on education and student scholarships and free support services for people with disabilities. Under his leadership, Japanese relations with China became more cordial. During his tenure as Prime Minister, Time named him the 6th most influential person in the world.

Dr. Morris met Dr. Hatoyama in Tokyo when he visited Japan in November 2013 and found him to be a “man of remarkable warmth and sweetness, fascinated by Consciousness-Based education and Maharishi University of Management.”

Dr. Hatoyama and his wife have been practicing the Transcendental Meditation technique for more than 25 years. ”Through his Transcendental Meditation practice, he has placed himself on the royal road of living the highest goal of life in the state of enlightenment,” Dr. Morris said. ”He is further expanding his capacity to serve his country and the world and achieve his high goals for the world family.”

The importance of peace

In his address, Dr. Hatoyama spoke about the importance of peace and happiness in the world. As a means to achieve that goal, he introduced the concept of ”fraternity,” which he defined as a blend of self-dignity and respect for the dignity of others. This principle of fraternity can promote mutual understanding between nations and help resolve disputes using constructive dialogue. “Exercising force never leads to essential or lasting resolution of any differences or disputes,” he said.

Dr. Hatoyama also praised Maharishi Mahesh Yogi for realizing that the road to world peace is through the peace of individual human beings who practice the Transcendental Meditation® technique. He also acknowledged the large body of scientific evidence demonstrating that the group practice of the TM technique has a positive effect on lowering crime rates and conflicts. He expressed his hope that world peace would be achieved more quickly through broader group practice of the Transcendental Meditation program.

During their stay in Fairfield, Dr. and Mrs. Hatoyama visited Maharishi School of the Age of Enlightenment, the MUM Center for Brain, Consciousness, and Cognition (EEG lab), the Sustainable Living Center, and the Golden Dome, where they were given a Yogic Flying demonstration.

Watch the video of the graduation ceremonies here.

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