A Special Partnership

Randolph-Macon’s deep partnerships with institutions in Japan bring amazing educational opportunities at home and abroad for students and even the community at large. These partnerships have been strengthened and inspired by the memory of Taylor Anderson ‘08, who died in the 2011 tragedy of the Great East Earthquake and Tsunami.  

Taylor’s Legacy

While at RMC, Taylor pursued her passion for Japanese culture, majoring in international studies and minoring in Asian studies and political science. She first traveled to Tokyo, Japan during the January term and later studied the works of Japanese author Haruki Murakami as a summer research fellow under the Schapiro Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) program. Following graduation, Taylor returned to Japan to teach English to elementary school students in Ishinomaki as part of the Japan Exchange and Teaching Program. After the earthquake struck, Taylor made sure her young students were safely returned to their families. She was attempting to bicycle home as the tsunami swept in. Her love for Japan, its culture and people was the inspiration for the enduring partnership between the country of Japan, Randolph-Macon College and the people of Ishinomaki.

Each year, on the anniversary of her death 3/11, the RMC comes together to remember Taylor and the thousands who died in the earthquake and tsunami. With memorial projects like the 1,000 Origami Cranes project, RMC partners with other institutions to remember the victims and honor their lives.

Japanese Language and culture programs

In honor of Taylor, RMC forged a close relationship with the Embassy of Japan and in the years following the tragedy, this special partnership has resulted in numerous grants including a grant from the Japan Foundation Center for Global Partnership and from the U.S.-Japan Council’s TOMODACHI Initiative which helped to strengthen RMC’s Japanese language and culture programs. Special funds and partnerships now support travel to and from Japan, student research projects, and virtual student exchanges. 

Randolph-Macon also maintains active educational affiliations with sister institutions Kansai Gaidai University (Osaka); Rikkyo University (Tokyo); and Ishinomaki Senshu University (Miyagi)

Japanese studies students marching in parade while wearing summer yukata

Virginia Governor’s foreign language academy in Japanese

The Randolph-Macon Japanese studies program supports the Virginia Governor’s Foreign Language Academy in Japanese for high school students across Virginia. Held on campus each summer, taught by Randolph-Macon faculty, and staffed by Japanese studies students, the program allows RMC students to practice Japanese language and teaching skills in a real educational environment. 

buzzworthy The latest about RMC’s Connection to Japan

News Story categories: Japanese Studies

Hand-Crafted Bookshelf to Honor Taylor Anderson ‘08 Installed at McGraw-Page Library

Randolph-Macon College proudly welcomed Japanese artists Shinichi Endo and Ryoko Endo to its campus for a week of events that…

Andy and Jeanne Anderson, Shinichi and Ryoko Endo, and President Robert Lindgren pose together after the dedication of the Taylor Bunko

Randolph-Macon Renews Contract of Affiliation with Ishinomaki Senshu University

Randolph-Macon College renewed its contract of affiliation with Ishinomaki Senshu University (ISU) in a virtual ceremony on Dec. 15, 2022.…

President Lindgren signs a renewal of the contract of affiliation with Ishinomaki Senshu University
News Story categories: Asian Studies Japanese Studies

RMC Students Earn Prestigious Scholarships for Study Abroad

Two Randolph-Macon art students have been awarded prestigious scholarships to spend a semester abroad in Japan this fall.  Senior Ashton…

Lauryn McMeans in Japan