Updated: Monday, 22 Oct 2012, 12:48 AM EDT
Published : Friday, 19 Oct 2012, 3:53 PM EDT
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology will celebrate its 20-year exchange partnership with Japan’s Kanazawa Institute of Technology through a series of events on Friday, October 19 and Saturday, October 20, which reflect, educate and entertain.
A 19-member delegation of KIT administrators and educators will visit campus, Terre Haute and Indianapolis during the two-day trip. Leading the visiting group is the institute’s president, Ken-ichi Ishikawa.
Featured events are the dedication of a cherry tree grove, several educational workshops, a dinner in Indianapolis with members of the Japan-America Society of Indiana and a special musical concert in Rose-Hulman’s Hatfield Hall Theater.
Kanazawa Institute of Technology (KIT) is one of Japan’s leading educational institutions, specializing in developing engineers that contribute to engineering innovation while remaining flexible to the future advancement of science and technology. It was started as Hokuriku Dempa School in 1957, became Kanazawa Technical College in 1962 and was established as KIT in 1965.
Rose-Hulman is among 14 international universities in which KIT has engaged in student exchange programs.
Students expand their global horizons by learning Japanese on campus, and then taking a semester of language and culture courses in Japan. Rose-Hulman faculty members have also spent sabbaticals to teach at KIT, and the exchange has even extended to athletics as Rose-Hulman’s basketball and baseball teams have travelled for exhibition games against KIT and other Japanese teams.
The visiting KIT delegation will continue to learn more about Rose-Hulman by visiting Rose-Hulman Ventures and participating in a workshop on inverted classroom techniques, being led by Rose-Hulman faculty members. In return, the KIT educators will host a session on its state-of-the-art Yumekoho Laboratory, the “Factory of Dreams,” which several Rose-Hulman officials visited earlier this year.
“In our 20-year relationship with KIT, we have sent more than 300 faculty, staff, students and family members to visit, and in the future we hope to send even more,” stated Rose-Hulman President Robert A. Coons.
The cherry tree grove will be a permanent landmark to showcase the Rose-Hulman-KIT partnership, according to Coons. It is located near the White Chapel on the west side of campus, and contains 40 trees--symbolic of each year in the partnership for both colleges. The cherry tree is an exalted flowering plant in Japan, and the cherry blossom is a potent symbol equated with the evanescence of human life and epitomizes the transformation of Japanese culture throughout the ages.
“Cherry trees are a wonderful symbol of our friendship with Kanazawa Institute of Technology,” stated Coons. “I hope the relationship between our leading institutions will continue to blossom and bear fruit, and that we’ll develop ever stronger roots of friendship in the future.”
The weekend’s festivities will conclude on Saturday with a special concert by internationally acclaimed performer, Shunsuke Kimura, in Rose-Hulman’s Hatfield Hall Theater, starting at 7 p.m. Shunsuke will use traditional Japanese and western musical instruments in a show, titled “Insho,” that tells a variety of nostalgic stories that express the poetic image in nature, scenery and seasons with delicate nuance of color and sounds. Shunsuke performs on the flute and Tsugaru Shamisen, a Japanese three-string banjo-like instrument with a distinctive sound that was originally played by wandering blind artists. He will be joined by musicians performing the koto, the 13-string national instrument of Japan, along with violins and percussion instruments.
Tickets for Saturday’s show are free for Rose-Hulman students, faculty and staff members, while being $15 for the general public. Tickets are available until October 20 at the Hatfield Hall ticket office or by calling 812-877-8544. The ticket office is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays, noon to 5 p.m. on Saturdays and when the theater doors open at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday.
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