Greetings from the Chairman
The Founder of this University, Professor Yasushi Yagasaki, once said the following words:
Schools should not be evaluated based on the quality of their applicants, but instead be evaluated on the quality of their graduates. For example, even if The University of Tokyo accepts the highest scoring students in Japan, if it produces corrupt bureaucrats and greedy corporate executives, we should not call this a ‘good’ school. An ‘average’ school would take mediocre students and turn them into reasonable adults. I would think that a ‘good’ school, however, would take those students who could not adapt to the ruthless competition of the national examinations, and would take those students who were left behind and were humiliated for their low scores. A ‘good’ school would be able to harness the unlimited potential hidden within all human beings, allowing such students who were left behind, and allow them to leave school as excellent members of society, don’t you think?
It has been 43 years since the founding of Matsumoto Dental University (MDU). This March we will see our 38th batch of graduates, which means we have sent off a total of approximately 4300 dentists, over 1000 dental hygienists, and several hundred dental technicians from our class rooms and out into the world. Among these graduates, many individuals are active all over Japan as the board members and trustees of dental associations, and even as representative members of government. These people are trusted leaders of their communities. A fundamental principle of our University is to “act as a good member of society before acting as a dentist”. This tenet will continue to be a vital part of our desire to produce graduates that contribute to their communities and to the country. At MDU, it is this kind of community leadership amongst our alumni members that we are most proud of.
Visitors to our campus will immediately recognize the beautiful nature in which we are surrounded. Even in the summer, you can enjoy the breathtaking views of frost-tipped mountains, and enjoy the gentle breeze that blows the snow off of the peak of Mt. Hotaka. As the seasons change, you can enjoy the various flowers that bloom in harmony with the progress of time. In combination with the most advanced equipment and facilities, we are proud to say that we truly believe this makes MDU one of the best environments in the world for your studies.
There is something else I wish to convey to any student who may be interested in applying to MDU. That is, I wish to emphasize to the students how essential it is to possess within yourself a “will to learn”. Students must not simply swallow the facts and ideas they hear from their professors, or the words they see in text books; students must chew these ideas up and digest them. Only then will this knowledge truly flow through your body as flesh and blood.
An academic spirit is one in which you question everything, and think over everything with your own perspective. I say to you: question your teachers and your seniors, and try to make sense of what they say using your own thought process. Through this process you will soon begin to see what questions lie ahead, and what you will therefore subsequently need to ask. Continuous efforts of this kind will strengthen your analytical abilities, and provide you with true knowledge.
We at MDU place great effort in giving our new students this ability to act on the spirit of learning. We hope that through their studies at MDU, the students (who just managed to survive the hell of preparing for entrance examinations) will no longer believe that studying is a difficult and harsh struggle, and begin to realize how fun and rewarding true learning can be.
I can promise the students that if you are able to foster this type of attitude towards learning, MDU’s unique approach to education will enable you to shine as a scholar and provide you with professional competency. Most of all, this will nurture your humanity? An essential part of what it means to become an excellent dental professional.