Chubu University President Okitsugu Yamashita and fellow staffers are presented with a watercolor painting by Ohio University President Roderick J. McDavis. The painting was created by OHIO Executive Vice President and Provost Pam Benoit.

Chubu University President Okitsugu Yamashita (center) and fellow staffers are presented with a watercolor painting by Ohio University President Roderick J. McDavis (left). The painting was created by OHIO Executive Vice President and Provost Pam Benoit.

Photo courtesy of: OHIO President's Office

Chubu University President Okitsugu Yamashita holds the watercolor painting created by Executive Vice President and Provost Pam Benoit.

Chubu University President Okitsugu Yamashita holds the watercolor painting of cherry trees created by OHIO Executive Vice President and Provost Pam Benoit.

Photo courtesy of: President's Office

The OHIO delegation meets with the Chubu University president and faculty members.

The OHIO delegation meets with Chubu University president and faculty members as part of the university's 50th anniversary celebration.

Photo courtesy of: President's Office

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OHIO delegation celebrates Chubu University’s 50-year legacy and 40-year partnership


Celebrations abound in Kasugai City, Japan this week, marking the 50th anniversary of Chubu University, one of Ohio University’s three strategic international partners.

OHIO’s attending delegation, which includes President Roderick J. McDavis and Executive Vice President and Provost Pam Benoit, is largely focused on the past 40 years — the duration of Ohio University’s revered collaboration with Chubu University.  

The benefits of the four-decade relationship served as the foundation for McDavis’ presentation on international cooperation in higher education, which he delivered during a marquee event in the week-long anniversary celebration.

“Over a span of 40 years, this partnership has afforded language training and cultural exposure for countless students,” McDavis said. “Through academic exchange, we have grown and enriched our respective communities, leading to enhanced campus diversity and improved visibility for both institutions. By collaborating with an institution halfway around the world, we have improved our ability to attract, train and retain the best, the brightest and the boldest talent from around the world.”

Collaboration between OHIO and Chubu University traces back to 1973 with programs that are today known as the Kohei Miura and the Robert Glidden Visiting Professors program. This fall, seven OHIO students traveled to Chubu University to learn a second language and experience the rich cultural immersion of study abroad.

“They build their knowledge base about the history, culture and global influence of Japan, the United States, and their rich relationship,” said OHIO Vice Provost for Global Affairs and International Studies Lorna Jean Edmonds. “Students add to the cultural diversity of campus and in the classroom, bringing another perspective on the dialogue about global and domestic issues. Through exchange, they also meet many other international students who attend the universities for an international experience leading to new friendships, understanding and opportunities all over the world.”

With each passing milestone, OHIO has presented a token of appreciation for Chubu University’s partnership. When the two universities marked the 20th anniversary of their agreement, OHIO sent an identical replica of Cutler Hall’s cupola to Chubu University, and in 2003 for the 30th anniversary, a painting of an OHIO winter campus scene was presented to Chubu University. In preparation for this trip, Benoit produced a water color of OHIO’s Yoshino cherry trees, which she presented to Chubu University President Okitsugu Yamashita on Wednesday.

The cherry trees, which were first gifted to OHIO from Chubu University in 1979, are a celebrated hallmark of the Athens campus and the most visible reminder of the universities’ long standing international collaboration. The partnership also is honored through OHIO’s Yamada International House, which was dedicated in 2004 following a large gift from Chubu University in honor of its late chancellor Kazuo Yamada. The Yamada International House is now home to OHIO’s interdisciplinary Center for International Studies.

“In celebrating the 50th anniversary of Chubu’s founding, Ohio University seeks to honor our collaboration and underscore the value it holds for global leadership development,” McDavis said Thursday. “Together we will meet the demands of contemporary society in the next 50 years, and beyond.”