On May 18, Akio Toyoda took the podium as a guest speaker at Babson College, located in the suburbs of Boston, Massachusetts (USA) for their commencement ceremony. In 2019, Babson College was celebrating the centennial of its establishment.
The Babson College list of graduates for the year 1982 included a name of importance to Toyota – Akio Toyoda. Following his education and university undergraduate degree awarded by Keio University in Japan, Akio studied business administration at Babson, a school renowned for educating entrepreneurs.
On the day before the 2019 graduation ceremony, Toyoda visited the dormitory where he once lodged as a student. While there, he thought back to his own youth as he reflected on the message he wanted to convey to the graduating students.
The video included in this article of the speech is exclusively in English.
Although it may contain the occasional unfamiliar proper noun or jokes specific to the territory, the aim is to allow viewers to sense the unique atmosphere of an American graduation ceremony.
The below also includes a transcript of the speech. We hope you’ll forgive us if we don’t take the time to explain some of the jokes, but the whole world knows that there’s nothing that ruins the moment more than having to stop to explain a joke.
From a senior to juniors.
From a current CEO to future CEOs.
From Akio to the graduating students—please enjoy this 14 minute 20 second pep talk.