Tsuda College, BMC’s Japanese Sister School, Escapes Serious Damage, but not Power and Water Shortages

Posted March 22nd, 2011 at 12:38 pm.

Tsuda College, the Japanese women’s college founded by Bryn Mawr alumna Umeko Tsuda in 1900, survived the devastating earthquake and tsunami of March 11 with minimal permanent damage to its students, faculty, staff, and infrastructure, Bryn Mawr President Jane McAuliffe reports after reaching out to Tsuda President Masako Iino.

Tsuda has, however, been affected by interruptions to the gas, electricity, and water supplies to its campus in Kodaira, a western district of metropolitan Tokyo. Safety concerns prompted by these shortages have forced officials to cancel all events scheduled to occur in March, including the College’s commencement ceremony. Iino plans to hand diplomas to graduating seniors personally.

One Tsuda College student is at Bryn Mawr this semester, participating in an academic exchange program, and three other students from Japan are among the international-student population at Bryn Mawr. All have learned that their families are safe.

Officials at Tsuda College are now deciding whether to go forward with the entrance ceremony, scheduled for early April, that welcomes incoming students. Water and gas supplies to the area are once again steady; electrical blackouts, of shorter duration than those immediately following the tsunami, continue to affect the campus. Several major universities in the Tokyo area have already canceled the entrance ceremony, which, along with commencement, is a highlight of the academic year.

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