Randolph-Macon College renewed its contract of affiliation with Ishinomaki Senshu University (ISU) in a virtual ceremony on Dec. 15, 2022. The institutional partnership with the university in Ishinomaki, Japan initially began in January 2018. The renewal extends the partnership for 10 years.
Through the Taylor Anderson Memorial Fund and the U.S.-Japan Council’s TOMODACHI Initiative, dozens of students and faculty from RMC and ISU have participated in summer exchange programs since 2015, with many Yellow Jackets completing Schapiro Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) projects in Japan. During the 2017-18 academic year, RMC hosted Yasushi Maruoka, a Fulbright Scholar-in-Residence from ISU who taught several courses throughout the year. Since the beginning of the pandemic, the two schools have held, and continue to hold, virtual language and culture exchange events for students.
“We are delighted to enter Year 6 of this extremely consequential institutional affiliation and look forward to many productive years ahead,” said Randolph-Macon President Robert Lindgren, who visited Ishinomaki and ISU himself in January 2017. “I truly believe that both of our outstanding institutions have benefited greatly from this significant partnership.”
This collaborative relationship honors the life of Taylor Anderson ’08, who was among the tens of thousands of casualties in the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami on March 11, 2011. Anderson graduated from RMC with a bachelor’s degree in international studies and minors in Asian studies and political science. After graduation, Anderson joined the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) program and taught English in the seaside town of Ishinomaki. When the earthquake struck, she made sure that her young students were returned safely to their families and was attempting to bicycle home as the tsunami swept in.
Anderson had a lifelong love of Japan and held the dream of being a bridge between Japan and the U.S. The renewal of the contract of affiliation between RMC and ISU carries on her legacy and continues to foster meaningful connections between the two nations.