Global Ducks

UO benefits from strong support in Japan

Meggan Richard Tsukamoto ’00 (left) and Eric S. McCready Jr. ’96 (right) joined their benefactor and mentor, Osamitsu Yamada, for lunch with UO leaders in Tokyo.

Japan Ducks make a big difference for the UO on many levels.

For example, the name Yamada is very special on the Eugene campus.

In addition to providing scholarships that have allowed thirty-nine outstanding UO students (and counting!) to study in Japan, Osamitsu Yamada of Tokyo made the lead gift to establish one of the most important educational resources available to all UO students: the Yamada Language Center.

Mr. Yamada’s belief in the importance of education is something that he personally conveys to recipients of his scholarships by taking time to meet with the current Yamada Scholar for a meal once every month for the entire year that they spend in Japan.

That’s why lunch with Mr. Yamada was such a highlight for UO leaders during their recent business trip to Japan. And, in keeping with tradition, two past recipients of the Yamada Scholarship (see photo) made it a priority to attend as well.

Thanks in part to their experiences as Yamada Scholars, Meggan Richard-Tsukamoto '00 and Eric McCready Jr. '96 are among many expatriate Ducks who’ve chosen to make Japan their home. They stay involved with the university through membership in UOAAJ, the UO Alumni Association’s Japan chapter.

Dennis Galvan, the UO’s vice provost for international affairs, was impressed by the love that UOAAJ members expressed for the university during meetings with his group.

“The fruits of our brainstorming session will strengthen the UO’s many engagements and partnerships in Japan,” Galvan said. “We deeply appreciate the ongoing, deep commitment that our Japan Ducks have to the University of Oregon.”

Earlier this year, in another first for the UO, our faculty experts were chosen to lead a two-day workshop at Nagoya University, sponsored by the Japanese Ministry of Education’s Global 30 initiative.

This high-profile initiative aims to internationalize Japanese higher education by creating new English-language degree programs, recruiting international students, and providing opportunities for Japanese students to study abroad.

The UO team showed colleagues from twenty Japanese universities ways to polish English presentation skills and make the classroom more interactive.

“Our team brought their energy and expertise to the steep pedagogical challenges facing Japan’s signature program for the internationalization of higher education,” said Jeff Hanes, director of the UO’s Center for Asian Pacific Studies. “They made a significant impact.”