A Letter from our Director

To all of the members of our JCMU community,

As 2016 draws to a close, we pause to take a look back at another busy year. 2016 brought a number of firsts to JCMU: This was our first year administering the Michigan-Shiga High School Exchange Program, wherein fourteen Michigan high school students partnered with fourteen students from Shiga for a successful bi-national exchange. It was also the beginning of a new era for our English Language Program in Hikone, under the direction of newly-appointed Program Coordinator, Christopher Garth.

This was also our first year to host the Melville Memorial Scholarship competition! Our endowment, which has been years in the making, was activated early in 2016, allowing us to award two scholarships to students participating in our Teaching English in Japan career/culture hybrid program and our Summer Intensive Japanese Language program. In the years ahead, we look forward to awarding more scholarships to Michigan students, and helping to bring down the financial barriers to study abroad.

The activation of the Melville Memorial Endowment would not have been made possible without the generous contributions of hundreds of members of our JCMU community. Donations from alumni, former scholars, JCMU friends and businesses from both sides of the Pacific grew to form our endowment’s base, helping us reach the activation mark.

But our work is not done! Our next goal is to break the $100,000 threshold in 2017, just in time for the beginning of the 50th Anniversary Celebration of the Michigan-Shiga Sister State Relationship. We hope that you will consider making a charitable contribution to the Melville Memorial Scholarship Endowment in your year-end plans, and help boost us towards our goal and provide more scholarship funding for future JCMU students. Information for contributors can be found on the JCMU website, and donations to the fund can be made by mail, by phone or online. Contributions to the JCMU Melville Endowed Scholarship Fund may qualify for a federal tax deduction or State of Michigan tax credit for Michigan residents.

On behalf of the JCMU faculty and staff in both Japan and Michigan, we wish you a very happy holiday and a safe, happy and prosperous new year!


Kate E. Simon
Director, JCMU