JCMU Alumni Night at Meijer Gardens

JCMU held their second alumni event of the year on Tuesday, June 28th at the Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The event was open to all JCMU alumni, prospective students, and faculty from around the nation that help make study abroad possible for many of our students. The night began with a short formal program, with opening remarks given by the director of JCMU, Kate Simon.

IMG_3762Following this, the first winner of the Melville Memorial Scholarship, Quynh Hoang, gave a short speech about her time on the Teaching English in Japan (TEJ) program and studying in Hikone changed her life. Quynh was awarded the scholarship based on her academic excellence and her strong desire to utilize her study abroad experience as a stepping stone towards becoming a future educator. Established through the efforts of JCMU faculty, staff and alumni at JCMU’s 20th Anniversary Celebration, the Melville Endowed Scholarship Fund seeks to recognize Professor Harold “Mel” Melville’s legacy of cross-cultural engagement by providing financial assistance to Consortium students participating in JCMU’s diverse study abroad programs. Information for contributors can be found on the JCMU website, and donations to the fund can be made by mail, by phone or online.

IMG_3772JCMU was then happy to welcome Carol Johnson from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies (MIIS) at Monterey, California. MIIS, a top-tier graduate school that specializes in international professional education, highly values the global experiences JCMU alumni are equipped with. Because of this, Ms. Johnson was happy to inform those present that MIIS provides JCMU alumni with an automatic minimum $12,000/yr scholarship towards tuition. All MIIS students are trained to utilize their advanced language training in preparation for entering the ever-expanding international workforce. Please contact Ms. Johnson at carol.johnson@miis.edu if you are interested in furthering your international education at MIIS.

At the conclusion of the formal program, JCMU invited attendees to explore the beautiful Richard & Helen DeVos Japanese Garden at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park. The Japanese garden recently had its first year anniversary and is host to an extraordinary array of traditional Japanese arts, including a zen garden, an authentic tea house, Japanese cherry blossom trees, and so on. If you were unable to attend the event and have not yet been to Meijer Gardens, then we highly encourage you to stop by with family and friends and see for yourself the many awe-inspiring views the park has to offer!


JCMU would like to thank everyone who attended the JCMU Alumni Night at Frederik Meijer Gardens yesterday evening. JCMU gives special thanks to Quynh Hoang, our first Melville Scholar, Carol Johnson from Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey for coming all the way out from California to attend the event and talk about opportunities at MIIS, and Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park for allowing us to have this event at their beautiful venue.

Stay tuned for more details about our next alumni event in Detroit!


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