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Gift from Chubu University supports renovation

ATHENS, Ohio (June 19, 2004) -- Thanks to a bicentennial gift from Japan?s Chubu University, the building that houses Ohio University?s Center for International Studies has been renovated and expanded. The refurbished building was dedicated as the ?Yamada International House? at a morning ceremony at the house on Saturday, June 19.

Yamada House ribbon cutting?This gift is a symbol of the strength of our relationship with Japan and it also symbolizes our international connections,? said Josep Rota, associate provost for international programs and director of the Center for International Studies. ?It will always be a recognition of the friendship and generosity of former Chubu University chancellor and president, Kazuo Yamada, who passed away in 2000.?


The renovation and expansion of Burson House, which has been the home to the Center for International Studies for more than 40 years, was made possible by a gift of 100 million yen, or approximately $850,000 from Chubu University in honor of its late chancellor Kazuo Yamada. Construction has recently been completedand the building was renamed Yamada International House at the dedication ceremony.


?This renovation and expansion will finally give the center the space we needed to do our work. It will allow us to project an image to the local and the global communities of the importance that international studies and programs has always had in our institution,? said Rota. ?It will also be important for the productivity and the morale of the many faculty members, administrators, staff and students who will call the beautiful new Yamada International House our academic home.?


Special guests representing Chubu University at the Yamada International House dedication included: Atsuo Iiyoshi, president of Chubu University; Ryozo Ohnishi, president of the board of trustees; Tajiro Nonaka, director of the Center for International Programs; Yuko Yamada, assistant director for international programs; Eiko Miura, sister of Kazuo Yamada; and Yuri Kim, niece of Kazuo Yamada.


Dedication activities included a ribbon-cutting, unveiling of a plaque honoring Kazuo Yamada, remarks by the presidents of both universities and Ohio University President Emeritus Charles Ping and a tour of the building.


?This building honors Chancellor and President Yamada, whose memory we all cherish and also honors a relationship between educational institutions and the two, the man and that relationship are intertwined,? said Ohio University President Emeritus Charles Ping.


Ohio University?s Center for International Studies is home to five graduate programs and an undergraduate degree. The center also coordinates many international agreements, coordinates the U.S. Fulbright program, houses a Peace Corps recruiting office and the Ohio Valley International Council.


The two-story Burson House was built in 1920 and occupied by the Burson family. Ohio University bought the house in 1969. The recent renovation and expansion will more than double Burson House's space to approximately 10,000 square feet. The building?s addition houses a seminar room, a resource room for international outreach materials, office space for visiting professors and the Chubu University Room, which will provide space for visiting Chubu faculty and students and will feature Japanese art.


?I am very pleased to participate in the relationship ceremony of the Yamada House today,? Iiyoshi said. ?It is our great pleasure to see that the Yamada House has been named for our former president and I?m sure the house will be a symbol of the commemoration and the strong ties between the two universities.?


?I am very glad to celebrate the renovation and extension of the Burson House to become the Yamada International House as the result of a corporation between Ohio University and Chubu University,? Ohnishi said. ?I don?t know of any other examples of such a close relationship between universities in the United States and Japan. I am proud that we have been able to promptly contribute to the completion of this house.?


Ohio University's relationship with Chubu University in Kasugai, Japan, spans more than 30 years. In 1973, a formal exchange agreement was signed by the two universities, and since then more than 30 Ohio University faculty members from various disciplines have taught at Chubu under Kohei Miura Visiting Professorships, named in honor of Chubu's founder. Last year, Ohio University?s Russ College of Engineering hosted the first visiting professor from Chubu University. In addition, more than 850 undergraduate and graduate students from both universities have participated in annual exchange programs.


?We observed with great delight as Chubu has grown and developed during the past 30 years and our relationship with them has benefited Ohio University as well,? Glidden said. ?We will also honor Yamada?s memory by continuing our significant relationship with Chubu and finding ways to expand that relationship in the future. I envision more exchanges between our institutions, more research collaborations and the continuation of the Miura Professorship and the Ohio University Professorship that brings a Chubu professor here each year.?   


To commemorate Ohio University's 175th anniversary, Chubu donated 175 cherry trees, which were planted along the Hocking River. Chubu has provided more trees to bring the total to 200 in honor of this year's bicentennial. In 1993, when the two universities marked the 20th anniversary of their agreement, Ohio University sent an identical replica of Cutler Hall's cupola to Chubu University. Last year, on the 30th anniversary, a painting of a winter Ohio University campus scene was presented to Chubu.

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Media Contact: Jennifer Cochran, Center for International Studies assistant director for communication, (740) 593-1842 or cochraj1@ohio.edu

Editors: Photos from the event are available online at

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