March 01, 2006
With a welcome in Japanese, James P. Pellow, Executive Vice
President and COO, offered St. John’s University’s official
greetings on February 28 to forty-seven students from Tokyo who are
visiting St. John’s as part of a long-term exchange agreement with
Drawing appreciative applause at the afternoon reception, Mr.
Pellow opened his remarks with the traditional “Konnichiwa”
(pronounced Kone-nee-chee wah), Japanese for “Good
afternoon.” Also on hand were Glenn N. Sklarin, Vice
President for Enrollment Management, and Dr. David Blanchard,
Associate Director of Transfers and Articulations.
The visiting students filled a first-floor reception room in
Donovan Hall, on St. John's Queens campus. The students expressed
delight with their experience at St. John’s. In addition to
intensive English classes and discussions with St. John’s students,
they enjoyed a Broadway show and trips to New York City
A Growing Program
“On behalf of our President, Father Donald J. Harrington, and our
entire University, I’m delighted to welcome you to St. John’s,”
said Mr. Pellow. “We at St. John’s believe deeply in programs like
this, and we hope to continue building on the strength of this
program in particular.”
One of the visiting students, Yuka Funatsu, translated the
remarks into Japanese. Ms. Funatsu serves as one of the
group’s student leaders. Tomoya Maruyama, another student leader,
also helped translate.
Noting that this year’s group is “twice as big as last
year’s” contingent, Mr. Pellow said St. John’s hopes the
program continues to grow. Currently, students from Kokushikan come
to campus for several weeks of immersion in Intensive English
skills and U.S. culture.
“I want to share with you,” said Mr. Pellow, “our hope that,
along with language learning, we can continue to expand the
academic component, so that one day students from the U.S. can come
to your school for a degree, and you can come for a year or two of
study at an American university. This is something we will be
building over the years to come.”
This was the second group of Kokushikan University students to
visit St. John’s. The first
group comprised twenty-one students who came in February
2005 for a “cultural immersion” including Intensive English
courses. In January 2006, four St. John's students spent two
Kokushikan, learning Japanese, meeting Japanese students
and touring Tokyo.
A Long-Standing Agreement
The visits are part of a thirty-year-old exchange agreement between
St. John’s and Kokushikan University, which has 12,964 students on
three campuses in and around Tokyo. Established in 1975, the
agreement gained new vigor in 2004 when Dr. Wayne James, Executive
Director of International and Graduate Enrollment at St. John’s,
strengthened relations with Kokushikan officials.
In addition to inviting the Japanese students back to St.
John’s, Mr. Pellow said he looked forward to seeing them again
in April, when he visits Kokushikan during a tour of Southeast Asia
with Fr. Donald J. Harrington, C.M., President of St. John’s.
“I very much look forward to learning more about your university
and your culture,” said Mr. Pellow. “I hope I can do as well at
Kokushikan as you students have done here at St. John’s.”
We invite you to relive the warmth and collegiality of St.
John’s reception for the visiting Kokushikan University students by
viewing our Photo