SMU community raises funds for Japan earthquake and tsunami victims

Japan quake relief T-shirt created for SMU fund-raising effortsThe Japanese Association at Southern Methodist University (JASMU) will raise funds for victims of the Japan earthquake and tsunami through an upcoming lecture and T-shirt sales.

The newly formed organization is led by Yuri Kimura, a Ph.D. candidate in the Huffington Department of Earth Sciences in Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences; Noritoshi Hiyama, who is pursuing an M.B.A. in the Cox School of Business; and Isaac Saito, who is pursuing an M.S. in systems engineering in Lyle School of Engineering.

“We hated seeing what was happening in our country, and we wanted to do something to help as quickly as possible,” Kimura says. “We hope others on the SMU campus and around Dallas will join us in our quest to raise funds for those in need in Japan.”

Two SMU faculty members with unique perspectives on the Japanese earthquake will speak at a public fund-raising lecture at 6 p.m. Tuesday, April 12, in Room 123, Fondren Science Building.

Dedman College Dean William Tsutsui was in Tokyo at the time of the earthquake as a member of the Japanese American Leadership Delegation. He will be joined by Brian Stump, Albritton Professor of Geological Sciences in Dedman College, a recognized seismology expert who leads a national university consortium funded by the National Science Foundation and works with the U.S. Geological Survey to manage global earthquake data.

Admission to the lecture is $10; SMU students will be admitted free with campus ID. Proceeds will benefit disaster relief efforts in Japan. RSVP online at the JASMU website.

In addition, JASMU will sell a fund-raising T-shirt designed by its members, priced at $20. The shirt features images of a crane and Mt. Fuji, both symbols of Japan, with a large wave symbolizing the recent disaster. “We hope that Japanese people will find a way to recover from the 2011 Japan earthquake just like cranes rising into the sun,” the students write on the JASMU homepage.

Half Price Books donated the assistance of its design team and covered the cost of the T-shirts and production, ensuring that all money raised through the T-shirts can go directly to relief efforts in Japan. The money will be given to the American Red Cross through SMU’s Institute for the Study of Earth and Man (ISEM).

The SMU community can buy the T-shirts for the first time during the Cox School of Business 7th Annual International Festival. Sales will take place 5:30-8:30 p.m. March 25 in the James M. Collins Executive Education Center.

Additional shirt sales will take place March 28, 29 and 31, and on April 1 and 8 from 11 a.m. to noon at the Hughes-Trigg Student Center. The shirts will go on sale from 2-6 p.m. April 9-10 at the Half Price Books Dallas flagship store, 5803 East Northwest Highway.

The shirts will also be available at the April 12 campus lecture and from SMU’s booth at the Earth Day Dallas event, April 22-23 in the Dallas Arts District.

For more information on the upcoming events, visit the Japanese Association at SMU website, or call Yuri Kimura at 214-909-0786.

Written by Christina Voss