About Waseda Sections For Prospective Students For Researchers For Alumni

History & Development

In the year 2007, Waseda University celebrated the 125th anniversary of its founding by Shigenobu Okuma, scholar and government leader. Waseda is one of Japan's top private, co-educational institutions of higher learning. Founded as a college with three departments under the old Japanese system of higher education, it has since grown to become a comprehensive university with two senior high schools and a School of Art and Architecture. Outlined below are the benchmarks in the University's history:

Chronology

Waseda’s history has been colorfully interspersed with visits by great scholars, politicians, journalists and more, from all over the world. Holding true to founder Shigenobu Okuma’s ideal of harmony between Eastern and Western civilizations, Waseda continues to provide intellectual stimulation to its academic community.

1882

Tokyo Senmon Gakko (College) founded by Shigenobu Okuma with the Departments of Political Science, Law, English, and Physical Science.

1890

Department of Literature established.

1893

Graduate courses launched in the Department of Literature.

1900

Faculty members sent to Europe and America for the first time under the newly-established Foreign Travel Scholarships for faculty members.

1902

University Library building completed. Acquisition of university status. Renamed Waseda University, the institution comprised Schools of Political Science & Economics, Law, and Literature, seven senmon-bu (junior colleges), and a single graduate school.

1903

School of Education established.

1904

University status acquired under Senmon Gakko School Act. School of Commerce established.

1905

School for Chinese students established (closed in 1910).

1909

School of Science and Engineering established.

1920

Chartered under the newly enacted University Act comprising five undergraduate schools of Political Science and Economics, Law, Literature, Commerce, and Science and Engineering; Department of Commerce added in senmon-bu (junior college).

First Higher School (3-year course) newly launched.

1922
Albert Einstein

Death of Shigenobu Okuma, founder of the University.

The campus overflows with students trying to get a look at the famous scientist when Albert Einstein comes to give a lecture at Waseda.

1925

New University Library and Student Hall completed.

1927

Okuma Auditorium completed.

1928

Tsubouchi Memorial Theatre Museum completed.

1933

Administration Building, Gymnasium, and Television Laboratory completed.

1938

Kagami Memorial Laboratory for Materials Science and Technology established.

1939

Coeducation introduced.

1940

Science and Engineering Research Laboratory established.

Institute of Social Sciences established.

1945

Imperial-Gift Memorial Hall, Okuma-Kaikan faculty club, First Higher School Building, and Science and Engineering Research Laboratory Building destroyed by fire as a result of air-raids.

Reconstruction and renovation started.

1949

Four-year college curricula established, with eleven schools, in accordance with the new education law.

Waseda Senior High School started as an affiliated school.

1951

Graduate Schools (master's degree programs) under the new educational program established, with six Schools.

Two new graduate school buildings, one for Humanities and Social Sciences and the other for Science and Engineering, completed.

1953

Graduate Schools (doctoral degree programs) established.

1956
Tanzan Ishibashi

Waseda has turned out many politicians including several prime ministers since Tanzan Ishibashi, the first Waseda alumnus to be elected P.M.

Systems Science Institute established.

1957
Jawaharlal Nehru

Together with Tanzan Ishibashi, Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru is the first recipient of an honorary doctorate from Waseda.

1958

Advanced Teacher's Training Course established. Institute of Comparative Law established.

1959

Center for Informatics established.

1962
Robert Kennedy

Institute of Language Teaching established.

Robert Kennedy attends a student debate in the Okuma Auditorium. On his return to the United States he published an account of his travels "Just Friends and Brave Enemies", using the royalties to create the Robert Kennedy Scholarship which he donated to Waseda.

1963

International Division established.

1966

School of Social Sciences (Evening Division only) established.

1968

Evening Division of the School of Science and Engineering abolished.

1973

Evening Divisions of the Schools of Political Science and Economics, Law, and Commerce abolished.

1974

Institute for Research in Business Administration established.

1978

Institute for Research in Contemporary Political & Economic Affairs established.

1979
Herbert von Karajan

Herbert von Karajan receives an honorary doctorate. In commemoration of his visit, the longtime resident counductor of the Berlin Philharmonic conducts the Waseda Symphony Orchestra.

1981

Extension Center established.

1982

Waseda Honjo Senior High School started as an affiliated school. First centennial anniversary of the founding celebrated.

1987

School of Human Sciences established.

Advanced Research Center for Human Sciences established.

1988

Center for Japanese Language established.

1990

Graduate School of Education established.

Center for Scholarly Information established.

1991

Graduate School of Human Sciences established.

1993
Bill Clinton

Advanced Research Center for Science and Engineering established.

Bill Clinton gives a lecture at the Okuma Auditorium followed by a friendly question and answer session with students.

1994

Graduate School of Social Sciences founded.

1995
Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela is awarded an honorary doctorate and speaks passionately about democracy and peace in his recipient's address.

1996

Media Network Center established to allow integration of Center for Informatics and other units working on information systems.

1997

Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies established as successor to the former Institute of Social Science and the Systems Science Institute.

1998
Jiang Zemin

Graduate School of Asia-Pacific Studies established.

Aizu Museum founded.

Global Information and Telecommunication Institute established.

Institute for Advanced Studies in Education established.

In the first official visit to Japan by a Chinese head of state, President Jiang Zemin gives a lecture at the Okuma Auditorium.

1999

Human Service Center established.

2000

Graduate School of Global Information and Telecommunication Studies established.

Open Education Center established.

Kyushu Laboratory, Advanced Research Institute for Science and Engineering established.

2001

Graduate School of Japanese Applied Linguistics established.

Art and Architecture School replaced College of Technology.

Student Union Building (Toyama Campus) completed.

Comprehensive Research Organization established.

Research and Development Center established.

2002
Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo

Distance Learning Center established.

Hirayama Ikuo Memorial Volunteer Center established.

Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo becomes the third Philippines President to receive an honorary doctorate degree.

2003

School of Sport Sciences established.

Graduate School of Information, Production and Systems established.

Okuma School of Public Management, Graduate School of Information, Production and Systems established.

Graduate School of Asia-Pacific Studies (MOT) Established.

e-school within School of Human Sciences established.

Kawaguchi Art School established.

2004
Yuan Tseh Lee

School of International Liberal Studies established.

Department of Global Political Economy established within the Faculty of Political Science and Economics.

Waseda Law School established.

Graduate School of Finance, Accounting and Law established.

President of Academia Sinica and Nobel Prize Laureate in chemistry, Yuan Tseh Lee receives an honorary doctorate degree in recognition of great contributions to humankind as a scientist.

2005
William Henry Gates III (Bill Gates)

Graduate School of Accountancy established.

Chairman and Chief Software Architect of Microsoft Corp. William Henry Gates III aka Bill Gates receives an honorary doctorate degree. Gates gives a memorable speech with a message, "I look forward to the contributions that today's university students will make to the world".

2006
Wangari Muta Maathai

Graduate School of Sport Sciences established.

Wangari Muta Maathai, the Nobel laureate for Peace receives an honorary doctorate in recognition of her civilian efforts in achieving peace and environmental sustainability, as represented by the Green Belt Movement.

2007
Henry A. Kissinger

Schools of Letters, Arts and Sciences I and II were reorganized into School of Culture, Media and Society and School of Humanities and Social Sciences.

School of Science and Engineering was reorganized into School of Fundamental Science and Engineering, School of Creative Science and Engineering, and School of Advanced Science and Engineering.

Graduate School of Science and Engineering was reorganized into Graduate School of Creative Science and Engineering, Graduate School of Advanced Science and Engineering, and Graduate School of Environment and Energy Engineering.

125th anniversary.

Henry A. receives an honorary doctorate in recognition of his contribution to the world peace. He emphasized the importance of international cooperation to students in his recipient's address.

2008

Graduate School of Teacher Education established.

The Tokyo Women's Medical University-Waseda University Joint Institution for Advanced Biomedical Sciences (TWIns) established.

National Chairman of China Hu Jintao visits Waseda University for speech on future-oriented amity to next term's Japanese and Chinese youth.

100th anniversary of Faculty of Science and Engineering.

US-Japan Research Institute (USJI) established.

2009

Waseda Setsyryo Junior High School, High School opens.

Waseda BioScience Research Institute in Singapore (WABIOS) established.

Special lecture by Kim Young-Sam, former President of the Republic of Korea.

George W. Bush, 43rd President of the United States of America, gives special talk.

2010

Cooperative Major in Advanced Biomedical Sciences (with Tokyo Woman's Medical Universit) opens.

Cooperative Major in Nuclear Energy (with Tokyo City University) opens.

Cooperative Major in Advanced Health Science (with Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology) opens.

Waseda Saga Junior High School, High School opens.

Secretary-General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon visits Waseda University for speech on "Peace and Disarmament" and dialogue with students.

2011

Office for Aiding Reconstruction from the Great East Japan Earthquake established.

Center for Research on Reconstruction from the Great East Japan Earthquake established.