Friends since 1876
In 1876, the University's third president, Dr. William Smith Clark, was invited to Japan to help establish Sapporo Agricultural College, modeled after the land-grant college in Amherst, (now Hokkaido University) in the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido.
In the late 1950s and early 1960s the U.S. State Department contracted
with the University of Massachusetts Amherst to help strengthen the
agricultural curriculum at Hokkaido. Through that program, 11 UMass
faculty went to Sapporo and 52 Japanese faculty and students received
advanced training in Amherst.
Partners since 1990
The Massachusetts Hokkaido relationship became official at the Yuki Matsuri (Snow Festival) in Sapporo in 1990. Governor Michael Dukakis simultaneously signed papers in the Massachusetts State House. In October 2005, both Hokkaido and Massachusetts celebrated the anniversary of the signing ceremony as has been the custom every five years.
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