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Central Washington University
400 E. University Way
Ellensburg, WA 98926-7408
Phone: (509) 963-3612
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CWU Celebrates 25-year Partnership with Japan’s Shimane College

Since 1990, the University of Shimane Junior College (USJC), from Shimane, Japan, has enjoyed a rich and rewarding educational partnership with Central Washington University. Over the years, both universities have provided student and faculty exchanges, short-term summer groups, and students from Shimane coming and studying for up to four quarters with the University English as a Second Language (UESL) program. More than 600 Japanese students have taken part in the UESL program since it began.

“It is a very long and valued relationship,” said Sherri Fujita, director of UESL. “Over the years, our students, faculty, and administration have developed a tight-knit and supportive community, with a network that spans the globe.”

USJC Vice President Tsuyoshi Kishimoto and Professor Yoko Kodama will come to CWU on August 5 to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the partnership. They will arrive on campus with a group of 21 USJC students and their chaperones.

On August 7, the group will visit CWU’s Donald L Garrity Japanese Garden to discuss a possible site for a commemorative cherry tree. Originally, the UESL program wanted to plant a cherry tree to mark this occasion, but as this is not the right time of year, the group will indicate a likely spot for a future planting. The Japanese garden was established in 1990 through a $51,000 grant to CWU from the Japan World Exposition. The cherry tree is a revered cultural icon in Japan.

In September, the original landscape architect, world-renowned Masa Mizuno, will return to assess the site, oversee the tree planting, and advise on the continued care and maintenance of the garden.

Marilyn A. Levine, CWU provost and vice president for Academic and Student Life, and Ann B. Radwan, executive director of the Office of International Studies Program will host a Silver Jubilee reception for the students, their teachers, and chaperones at 2:00 p.m. on August 10 at the University Reception Center. There will be a formal ceremony to exchange gifts where CWU will present a picture of the Japanese garden, placed in a special CWU commemorative frame, and a certificate. The University of Shimane Junior College delegates will present a book they created that documents the relationship and all of the activities shared by CWU and USJC throughout the years.

Central Washington University has official ties with 38 universities around the world and each year hosts approximately 200 foreign students from countries such as China, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Korea, Indonesia, Mongolia, Sri Lanka, Germany, France, and the United Kingdom.

Media Contact: Valerie Chapman-Stockwell, Public Affairs, 509-963-1518,

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