A delegation from Rochester Institute of Technology, led by President Bill Destler, will travel next week to Hamamatsu, Japan, to meet with dignitaries in a Sister City cultural exchange. On behalf of Rochester Mayor Robert J. Duffy, a 1993 RIT alumnus, Destler will present Hamamatsu Mayor Yasutomo Suzuki on Dec. 9 with greetings and gifts from Rochester. Hamamastu is one of 11 Sister Cities for Rochester.
In 2006, Hamamatsu and Rochester reaffirmed and expanded the original Sister Cities Agreement of 1996 to strengthen their ties and further broaden exchange. Hamamatsu, with a population of 820,000, is known as an industrial city, especially for the manufacture of musical instruments and motorcycles. Its major corporations include Honda Motor Corp., Suzuki Motor Corp., Yamaha Corp., Kawai Musical Instruments Co., and Roland Corp.
“It is an honor for RIT to represent Rochester in this cultural exchange program,” says Destler. “The world is getting smaller and we have a tremendous partner in the city of Hamamatsu. It is a city with extraordinary people, culture and economic vitality. For all of Rochester, we would like to strengthen these ties.”
“The extensive international connections of the Rochester region are a critical element in the vitality of our culture, educational institutions and economy,” says Duffy.
“Hamamatsu and Rochester have been strong partners in cultural exchange,” adds Duffy. “Our expanding Sister Cities ties offer both communities great promise for equal success in the areas of education, technology and economic development. RIT’s outreach creates an outstanding opportunity to strengthen that promise.”
The trip to Hamamatsu is part of a larger strategic trip to Japan for the RIT delegation. For example, Destler will meet with the Nippon Foundation of Japan with Alan Hurwitz, president of RIT’s National Technical Institute for the Deaf, and James DeCaro, director of NTID’s Postsecondary Education Network (PEN) International. Lisa Cauda, RIT vice president for development and alumni relations, also joins the delegation.
Since 2001, the Nippon Foundation has contributed nearly $9.1 million to NTID’s PEN International. This project is aimed at enhancing university-level education for deaf and hard of hearing individuals—particularly those in the Pacific Rim.
The RIT delegation will also meet with Tsukuba College of Technology/Tianjin Technical College for the Deaf.
The week will wrap up Dec. 12 with an RIT Tokyo alumni chapter event. RIT has more than 100 active alumni living in Japan.