AMHERST, Mass. - On Wed., Sept. 13, the University of Massachusetts will host a number of events honoring both the 125th anniversary of the relationship between UMass and Hokkaido University in Japan, and the 10th anniversary of the "sister state" relationship between Hokkaido prefecture and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
The day begins at 10:30 a.m. with a visit to the gravesite of William S. Clark, located in West Cemetery in Amherst. Clark was instrumental in both the founding of Massachusetts Agricultural College (later to become UMass), and Hokkaido University, and served at various times as president of both schools. UMass Associate Provost for Planning and Assessment Bryan Harvey will speak at the event, and will be joined by numerous dignitaries from both schools, including Hokkaido University President Norihito Tambo and UMass Chancellor David K. Scott.
Following the gravesite event, a convocation honoring President Tambo will take place from noon to 1 p.m. at the William S. Clark Memorial, located at the intersection of Clark Hill Road and East Pleasant Street near Butterfield residence hall. UMass President William M. Bulger will confer an honorary degree on President Tambo, and will be joined by members of the honorary degree program committee, including State Sen. Stanley Rosenberg, D-Amherst; State Rep. Ellen Story, D-Amherst; Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Cora B. Marrett, and Associate Provost for International Programs Barbara B. Burn.
Also honored at the convocation will be members of both the Hokkaido/Massachusetts Society (HOMAS), and the Massachusetts/Hokkaido Sister State Association. In addition, the convocation will include a performance of "Yachiyo" (Eight Thousand Generations), a poem for posterity set to music by Japanese composer Nakao Tozan (1876-1956). Taking part in the performance will be both Nakajim Seizan, head of the Shin Tozan Ryu music school in Sapporo, Japan, and UMass alumna Mary Ellen Miller, an exchange student at Hokkaido University from 1982-83, and currently director of faculty and students at the Community Music School in Springfield.
Following the convocation, participants will visit both the Lyman Collection at the W.E.B. Du Bois Library on campus (which includes many botanical specimens brought from Japan by Clark), and an exhibit of artwork by UMass and Hokkaido students at the Student Union Gallery. The day will conclude with a private dinner honoring President Tambo, which will take place at Chancellor Scott''s home, Hillside.