Whittier College President Sharon D. Herzberger's visit to Japan with an alumni party held at Tokyo American Club on January 14, 2016

Dr. Sharon D. Herzberger is the 14th president of Whittier College, USA and visited Japan. The College, standing on a hill overlooking the town of Los Angeles, has a long history since its founding by Quakers in 1887, and the students studying there are enlightened with the importance of life long learning journey instead of graduation. Osato Research Institute (ORI) has been related to Whittier College, as the ORI president, Mr. Hayashi is one of the trustees in charge of 'college administration', having his daughter Miss. Makiko Osato as an alumna (graduated 2013), too. We took the opportunity of Sharon's visit to Japan to set up her interview for a magazine and also to hold a reception inviting Whittier alumni and their friends on January 14, 2016.

View of Whittier College and LA

First, Sharon turned up at the ORI-guesthouse in Karuizawa, Nagano Prefecture, and got interviewed by the chief editor of an opera journal "ACT4". This interview will appear in its March issue.

Interview at ORI-Guesthouse in Karuizawa

Discussions with FPP researches
after the interview

That evening, an excellent piano concert was given by Mrs. Yoko Tokue for the reception at Tokyo American Club. She has been involved in many charity events, which included 5 charity concerts since 2001 for World Foundation Aids Research and Prevention, of which Japan office is located within Osato Research Institute.

Then, there was Mr. Hayashi's opening speech. He said "After the World War II, Japanese young students did not mind a 2-week voyage by ship to go abroad with an earnest feeling that they would restore and develop the Japanese economy by learning abroad. They tried to absorb the technology and scientific knowledge from the developed countries overseas to contribute to lift Japan's international standing economically. It looks that students nowadays don't have this passion even though only a 10-hour flight allows them to go abroad. I think less and less students have such a strong hungry spirit of learning overseas to acquire an international sense and contribute to Japan's further development. I very much wish for young Japanese people to be more active on the global stage. I took the great opportunity of Sharon's visit to hold this reception, wishing to share my thought with Whittier alumni, parents and friends, and I would like to ask you to appeal the significance of studying abroad to young people around you.

It was followed by a speech by Mr. Yanai, the former Ambassador to the United States, and Sharon's presentation.

Sharon first introduced that a new Science & Learning Center will open in September, thanks to enough donations. She has been leading the college as a President with both of boldness and sensitivity for more than ten years and started this project to enhance research facility for students as a compilation of her work. She also talked about her expectation toward students and her positive future view.

While all participants enjoyed chatting during meals and drinks, Mr. Hayashi introduced two guests, relatives of Chiune Sugihara, a Japanese diplomat from Gifu prefecture, known as the "Japanese Schindler". Then, his daughter-in-law Michi Sugihara and granddaughter Madoka Sugihara gave a brief speech each about their activity for adding "Chiune Sugihara Visas for Life" to UNESCO's Memory of the World Register.

At the end of the reception, the alumni introduced themselves and spoke about their brilliant student days of Whittier College. Everyone had a relaxing and friendly time all along the party.

Ms. Tokue's Concert
Opening speech of Mr. Hayashi
Speech by Mr. Yanai,
Former Ambassador to the U.S.
Sharon's presentation
Chatting time
Ms. Michi & Madoka Sugihara
giving a speech on "Chiune Sugihara Visas for Life
Commemorative photography of Whittier alumni