JAPAN 2009

Letter from the Producer


What an opportunity! Yale volunteer leaders were able to share their talents and skills while enjoying unrivaled access to the educational, political, and cultural treasures of Japan. As Yale representatives we were able to bridge university cultures and share best practices in alumni relations with the University of Tokyo and UMIC – the University Management Initiatives Consortium – a cooperative of many Japanese universities coming together for the single purpose to learn about our alumni association practices at Yale.

Group photo of YaleGALE participants holding Yale Banner in front of old Japanese house in Chiori, Japan

Our educational exchange was multi-faceted, including both lectures and workshops. We conducted two morning sessions for the staff, faculty and alumni of the University of Tokyo that included 14 workshops that were jointly facilitated by a Yale alumnus and a Todai alumnus, and three sessions for UMIC – conferences in Tokyo and Kyoto for other universities eager to learn of our Western practices. Presentation topics included class and club activities, Yale Global Day of Service, AYA board governance and assemblies, Alumni Fund and other fundraising programs, shared interest group activities, and YaleGALE. For a short video of the YaleGALE Exchange, click here.

Our experience observing the Senate was fascinating. Many thanks to Senator Yoriko Kawaguchi, former Foreign Minister, Yale Grad School ’72 and recipient of the 2008 Yale Wilbur Cross Medal, for arranging the visit.

Group photo of YaleGALE participants with Yale Banner in front of Parliament in Tokyo, Japan

We were also able to focus on core purposes and meanings during our retreat at Chiiori thanks to Alex Kerr ’74. There are now 50 more admirers of Iori – an organization dedicated to preserving Japanese culture and ancient traditions. This opportunity will serve us well moving forward.


Kathy Edersheim ‘87
Producer, YaleGALE in Japan

Dates: June 27 – July 12, 2009
Delegation: 50 Yalies, family and friends
Program Producer: Kathy Edersheim ’87