Visits from Global Intellectuals

Yotsuya Campus Visitors

Sophia University has hosted many lectures and symposiums and invited dignitaries from various countries and fields. Rather than obtaining information from the media, we hope to give people the opportunity to listen to the ideas, philosophies, and messages from these visitors directly.
We believe that meeting global intellectuals will help everyone gain valuable insight.

*Position names are as of the time of the visit

Pope Francis

Pope Francis delivered a message to about 700 students, faculty, and staff in Room 101, Building 6, in a session titled “Message from Pope Francis to Those Studying at the ‘University of the Seat of Wisdom.’” On December 18, 2017, he enjoyed an online video chat with Sophia University students in the “Let’s Talk with Pope Francis” project. (Nov.26, 2019)

Arturo Sosa, Superior General of the Society of Jesus


Jesuit Superior General Arturo Sosa was invited to deliver a special lecture titled “Jesuit Higher Education in the World.” The Society of Jesus, the founding parents of the University, are a religious order of the Catholic Church established about 500 years ago, and Pope Francis was a member of the order. Approximately 350 people, including students, faculty, and staff, attended the lecture. (July 31,2019)

Maria Fernanda Espinosa Garces, President of the 73rd session of the General Assembly of the United Nations


Ms. Fernanda Espinosa Garces visited Sophia University for a few days in Japan before assuming the presidency of the UN General Assembly. She gave a lecture for 90 minutes and met with students and faculty.(Aug. 31, 2018)

His Excellency Mr. Silence Dlomo, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of South Africa


Mr. Silence Dlomo, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of South Africa to Japan, gave a speech on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the birth of Nelson Mandela, the first black president of South Africa. (May 21, 2018)

Antonio Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations


The university organized a special lecture titled “Global Challenges: The Role of Human Security” by Mr. Antonio Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations. After his lecture, he met with about 30 students. They engaged in enthusiastic exchanges on a wide range of topics, including conflict mediation and the North Korean nuclear crisis. (Dec. 14, 2017)

Filippo Grandi, UN High Commissioner for Refugees


Filippo Grandi, UN High Commissioner for Refugees, gave a lecture on refugee issues. Sophia University has concluded an educational partnership agreement with the UNHCR Representation in Japan, and an agreement on  higher education projects for refugees to accept one UNHCR-recommended refugee each year as a regular scholarship student.(Nov. 19, 2017)

Gerald Curtis, Professor Emeritus of Political Science, Columbia University

In a session titled “Let’s Talk about the World—U.S. President-Elect Trump,” Curtis, one of America’s leading scholars of Japanese politics, reflected on the U.S. presidential election.(Nov. 18, 2016)

Joseph Nye, former U.S. Assistant Secretary of Defense

He spoke on the U.S. presidential election in a lecture titled “The 2016 U.S. Presidential Election and the Future of U.S.-Japan Relations: Joseph Nye White Heat Debate.” Dr. Nye is an international political scientist who has advocated the importance of soft power in international relations and is well known as the co-author of the “Armitage Nye Report” that provided guidelines for US-Japan relations from a non-partisan standpoint. The lecture clearly showed his popularity and the high interest in this topic.(Oct. 26, 2016)

Caroline Kennedy, Ambassador of the United States

U.S. Ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy visited Yotsuya Campus of Sophia University and held a round table discussion with 12 students. Based on the issues from the G7 Ise-Shima Summit, opinions were exchanged in English on four topics (public health, epidemics, international exchange in education, and women’s empowerment). (June 2, 2016)

Mother Teresa

In a lecture titled “What is Beautiful?” she urged Sophia students and others to cherish those close to them who have a hunger in their hearts amidst their material wealth.(Apr. 26, 1981)

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