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When Japan was hit with a major earthquake and tsunami in mid-March, the Monterey Institute’s tight-knit international campus community banded together immediately in search of ways to help those affected. Led by a group of Japanese-American faculty, staff and students, the community mobilized to raise funds for the Japan Society of Northern California’s Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Relief Fund. Faculty and students set up donation tables at campus events and the weekly farmer’s market in downtown Monterey. The MIIS Student Council donated the proceeds from their annual Spring Follies show to the fundraising drive.

The total was impressive when the final tally came in this week. In a little more than a month’s time, the Monterey Institute campus community raised over $27,000 toward relief efforts in Japan. The total includes a generous $10,000 match pledged by the Miner Foundation.

Home to the Center for East Asian Studies led by Professor Tsuneo Akaha, the Monterey Institute offers graduate degrees in Japanese translation and interpretation and has 21 current students who are from Japan, and almost 500 alumni living in Japan. Thirty percent of the Institute student body are international students and half of the faculty are originally from countries other than the United States.

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Jason Warburg

Eva Gudbergsdottir