Japanese university to celebrate 20th anniversary of exchange partnership with RIT

RIT to host week-long anniversary events

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The Kanazawa Institute of Technology (KIT) in Japan will celebrate the 20th anniversary of their international partnership with RIT in October.

To celebrate the anniversary, KIT President Ken-ichi Ishikawa, deans and administrators from the university will come to Rochester for a week-long visit and presidential symposium.

The partnership, signed in 1993, was one of former RIT President Albert Simone’s first international agreements as president of the university.

Since then, more than 100 faculty visits and exchanges have taken place and more than 200 students have been exchanged between the two universities. Between five and 10 RIT students study abroad at the KIT campus in Japan each summer. The exchange program allows students to learn and improve upon their language and communications skills, particularly in the science and technology fields. Participants are also immersed into the Japanese and American cultures through field trips and cultural programs. RIT and KIT faculty have benefited from the exchange through opportunities to teach, guest lecture and conduct collaborative research.

“Our special connection is rooted in our shared academic focus as technical institutes and our mutual commitment to international education,” says Jim Myers, associate provost of international education and global programs. “The depth of the partnership was reinforced in 2007, when Dr. Simone was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from KIT and now, in 2013, with the presidential symposium.”

There will be several events during the week that will be open to the RIT community.

At 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 8, RIT will host a campus symposium entitled “Musical Notes and Magical Knives” in the Ingle Auditorium in the Student Alumni Union. The event will serve as a celebration of creative expression, cultural awareness and international partnerships. RIT President Bill Destler will give a presentation on the banjo while KIT President Ishikawa will present on the history of Japanese sword making. Both presidents will explore how each instrument reflects the innovation and creative energy of their respective cultures.

The symposium is open to anyone in the RIT community and will go until 5 p.m. Following the event an hour-long reception will be held in the Fireside Lounge where both university presidents will partake in a partnership signing ceremony.

At 11 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 9, a partnership dedication ceremony will be held at the Tojo Garden near Gannett Hall. A Japanese-style stone bench will be dedicated in honor of the 20th anniversary of the RIT-KIT partnership.