Friday, 27. November 2020 - 10:33

In Honor of the Late Dr. Sydney Brenner

The Okinawa Prefecture recently honored Dr. Sydney Brenner, the founding father of the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University (OIST), with the presentation of a statue of Dr. Brenner with attendance by the Vice Governor of Okinawa Kiichiro Jahana, OIST President Peter Gruss as well as OIST executives. The unveiling ceremony took place on November 26.

Unveiling Dr. Brenner's statue

The statue, presented by the Okinawa Prefecture and the Council for Promotion of OIST, shows Dr. Brenner contemplating OIST's vision, with the three words "Vision," "Challenge" and "Innovation" inscribed on it.

Dr. Brenner's statue presented by Okinawa Prefecture and the Council for Promotion of OIST

Starting with OIST’s inception, the late Dr. Sydney Brenner served as President of the OIST Promotion Corporation from 2005 to 2011. As a founding father, he laid a solid foundation for OIST's commitment to world-class education and research.

Koji Omi, a member of the OIST Board of Directors and a driving force behind the concept of OIST's founding in 2001 when serving as the Minister of State for Okinawa and Northern Territories Affairs, and as the Minister for Science and Technology, once commented that he recognized Dr. Brenner as someone who shared his vision for the new university and so entrusted the latter  to nurture the idea to fruition as it developed.

At the unveiling ceremony on November 26, Vice Governor of Okinawa Kiichiro Jahana said, "Dr. Brenner once had a grand vision to build a world-class graduate university here, and he made it a reality. On behalf of the 1.45 million people of Okinawa, I would like to express our sincere respect, gratitude and appreciation to Dr. Brenner for his accomplishments.”

Kiichiro Jahana, Vice Governor of Okinawa Prefecture

OIST President Peter Gruss said, "Dr. Brenner was very supportive of younger scientists and a champion of improving their lives. It was typical of him to raise his hand for the leadership role when OIST was still in the conceptual stage. He guraranteed a foundation that would lead to accreditation of a new type of university that would be international, free of disciplinary boundaries and committed to the very best science, showing that OIST could be the best in the world from the start. Today, Sydney’s statue stands as a reminder of the many remarkable contributions he made not only to OIST, but to science and the world.”

By Kyoji Nakao


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