Japan Relief

March 17, 2011

To the Washington University community:

Over the past week, we have been watching the enormous tragedy unfold in Japan in the wake of the catastrophic earthquake and tsunami. My thoughts and prayers are with those who have been profoundly affected, and I know all in this community have sympathy for those who have been directly affected. As recovery efforts continue, many at Washington University have raised important questions about the impact this has had on our community and how we, as an institution, can offer assistance to our Japanese friends both here and in Japan. On behalf of the university, I write you now to address these questions.

On March 11, we had several groups of students and faculty traveling in Japan. We were quickly able to make contact with all of them and were assured of their safety. Some have chosen to return to the United States, while others have decided to remain. We will continue to closely monitor the situation and work to maintain contact with those individuals.

Washington University and Japan have enjoyed close ties over many decades. We are proud that many of our most distinguished graduates have been of Japanese heritage. Today, nearly 500 Washington University alumni live in Japan. We also have many faculty and staff who were born in Japan, some whom still have close family living there. Over the past few days we have heard from many of those individuals, and we know that this disaster has been understandably devastating for them.

If you or someone you know is experiencing personal difficulties in dealing with this tragedy, I encourage you to take advantage of the counseling resources available for students through the Student Health Services on the Danforth and Medical Campuses, and for our faculty and staff through our Employee Assistance Program.

I am extremely proud of our community and the way in which we come together to support one another during difficult times. Over the coming weeks, please take care of one another, especially those in our family who are from Japan. I have asked the Office of Public Affairs to create this special web page that will contain helpful resources as well as updated information about ways members of our community can become directly involved in supporting the relief and recovery efforts. Please consider doing whatever you can to help.

Sincerely yours,
MSW Signature
Mark S. Wrighton

"Fukushima: The Science and Health Effects of the Nuclear Disaster in Japan"
A presentation by Washington University professors Henry Royal and Lee Sobotka
Every day brings more dire news about the problems occurring in the Fukushima nuclear power plant. To help clarify the increasingly confusing situation, Washington University's scientists and experts in nuclear and radiation — Lee Sobotka, professor of chemistry and physics in Arts & Sciences; and Henry Royal, professor of radiology in the School of Medicine — offered their expertise on the scientific and technical aspects behind the volatile conditions inside the four buildings housing the damaged reactors. Watch the presentation

Relief Efforts

For members of the Washington University community who wish to communicate their relief activity, please submit plans to the Gephardt Institute's Community Service Office via their submission form. Relief efforts will be posted on this website and in the Community Service Connection weekly email newsletter. If you would like assistance developing plans for your effort, please contact Stephanie Kurtzman, Director of the Community Service Office & Associate Director of the Gephardt Institute.

Current Events at Washington University

Free Long-distance Phone Calls to Japan

PAETEC, WUSTL's long distance carrier, is offering free long-distance phone calls to Japan through Monday, April 11, 2011, for the WUSTL community. To use this free service, you must use a WUSTL authorization code and call from a WUSTL 933 or 935 phone number or use a WUSTL-issued PAETEC calling card. This service is available to the entire WUSTL community, including at the Medical School, by using a PAETEC calling card. To request a card or for more information, contact Telecommunications Services at (314) 935-5005 or telecom@wustl.edu

"Don't Give Up, Japan" t-shirt is now available on-line

JHH (Japanese Happy Hour), a scientific study group of Japanese researchers started on-line sale of custom-designed t-shirt. Online orders are available at JHH website. The t-shirt is $15 and a shipping fee will be applied. JHH will donate all of the proceeds to organizations that support relief efforts in Japan.

Past Events at Washington University

WUSPA, the Washington University Spouses & Partners Association, and JHH, the Japanese Happy Hour, held relief fund raising events, "Don't Give Up, Japan!" on Wednesday, March 23 at the SeaShell Lobby, McDonnell Science Building. WUSPA and JHH held "Bake & Craft" and "T-shirt" sales, respectively. Cookies, crafts, and T-shirts all sold out quickly. The total funds raised reached approximately $7,500, and 100% of the proceeds will be donated to Japan earthquake tsunami relief organizations. (WUSPA designated $2754 to Japan Society, JHH designated $3194 to organizations including Japanese Red Cross, and an additional $448 were collected by student volunteers ). All three groups express deep thanks to people who donated funds and supported this event.

Heisei Japan Club, students, staff, faculty, and friends of Washington University Danforth Campus organized fundraising events. There were T-shirts and handmade Japanese bookmarks for sale, and a booth where you could have your name written in Japanese calligraphy for purchase. For purchases, a campus card reader will be available. For more information, please visit Facebook event, Japan Earthquake/Tsunami Relief Fundraiser.

  • Craft and T-shirts Sale, March 21-25, 11:00am-2:00pm
    (Craft sale only on Monday, March 21)

The Heisei Japan Club staffed tables March 21-25. Help Japan with a contribution of any size and receive a button to wear showing your support. Proceeds benefit Direct Relief International (http://www.directrelief.org).

  • Monday, March 21 – Friday, March 25, 11am-2pm
    Danforth University Center Edison Family Courtyard
  • Tuesday, March 22 – Friday, March 25, 5-7pm
    Bear's Den, South 40

JHH (Japanese Happy Hour), a scientific study group of Japanese researchers, sold custom-designed t-shirts to benefit relief efforts in Japan. The t-shirts were available near the WUPSA Bake & Craft Sale and are available for future orders if enough people are interested. For more information about the shirts, please contact JapaneseHappyHour@gmail.com. All of the money raised will be donated to organization(s) that help relief activities in Japan including Japanese Red Cross Society (http://www.jrc.or.jp/english/), Direct Relief International (http://www.directrelief.org/), and Japan Society (http://www.japansociety.org/earthquake).

  • T-Shirt Sale, Wednesday, March 23, 11:00am-2:00pm
    SeaShell Lobby, McDonnell Science Building, Medical Campus

WU Anime Film Festival - Screened Omohide Poroporo (Only Yesterday). Donations were be gathered. Chris Born sold CDs of original music for $10 each and will donate all proceeds to relief efforts.

  • Thursday, March 24, 7-9PM, Busch Hall 202, Danforth Campus

Park Mudd College Council & Heisei Japan Club will host a Tsunami Fundraising Dinner & Paper Crane Making event. There will be a charge of $5 for food during the event, and red velvet, chocolate, and vanilla cupcakes being sold as well! CASH ONLY. All proceeds from the dinner will go to the American Red Cross relief effort, and every crane made will raise $2 to Architecture for Humanity. The food is being provided by Bon Appetit & Congress of the South 40. Every 15 members who attend from each Residential College will get 5 bonus points for Res College Olympics!!

  • Tuesday, March 29, 5:00-7:00pm
    College Hall, South 40, Danforth Campus

The Heisei Japan Club and Rina Matsumoto will be hosting the "Jammin' for Japan Benefit Show." We have confirmation from WU jugglers, PL4Y, Deliverance, Sensasians, The Pikers, The Ghost Lights, WuCypher, and The Greenleafs. A full list will be posted by Wednesday. Proceeds will benefit Direct Relief International (http://www.directrelief.org).

  • Jammin' for Japan Benefit Show, Thursday March 31, 7:00-8:30pm
    May Auditorium, Simon Hall, Danforth Campus

"Fukushima: The Science and Health Effects of the Nuclear Disaster in Japan"
Presenters: Lee Sobotka, PhD, professor of chemistry and physics in Arts & Sciences; Henry Royal, MD, professor of radiology, associate director of Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology. Presentation will focus on the scientific and technical aspects of the nuclear disaster. For information contact Assembly Series at 314-935-4620.

  • Friday, April 1, 4:00pm
    Lab Sciences room 300, Danforth Campus

JHH will have one more "Don't Give Up, Japan" t-shirt fundraising sale based on the large interest. This custom-designed t-shirt will be available with more sizes. Two locations are available to purchase shirts. To pick up shirts that were pre-ordered on March 23, please go to the Sea Shell Lobby. For more information about the shirts, please email JapaneseHappyHour@gmail.com. All proceeds will be donated to organizations that help relief efforts in Japan.

  • Wednesday, April 6, 11:00am-2:00pm
    Sea Shell Lobby in McDonnell Science Building, Medical Campus
    CSRB Link by the North Elevators, Medical Campus

The second t-shirt sale raised approximately $6,140 and 100% of the proceeds will be donated to Japan earthquake tsunami relief organizations, including Japanese Red Cross Society, Direct Relief International, and Japan Society. JHH wishes to express deep thanks to people who volunteered and donated at this event.

Post 3/11: Reflecting on the Great East Japan Earthquake

When: April 28, 3 p.m.
Where: DUC 276

On March 11, the Tôhoku region of Japan was struck by a massive 9.0 magnitude earthquake and a resulting tsunami. The combined effects caused catastrophic loss of life and property and crippled the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant, one of the world's largest.

Numerous accounts emerged across all media outlets, both foreign and domestic. At times conflicting, confusing, and hyperbolic, the coverage left many in Japan and abroad unsure of what to think and extremely anxious about prospects for the future.

In an attempt to foster better understanding of the situation in its many dimensions, please join us for a panel discussion of post 3/11 Japan, which will engage a group of experts representing a range of disciplines in a discussion of the 'disaster sciences' (chiefly involving plate tectonics and nuclear/radiation matters); the evolving socio-economic aftermath; historical antecedents; and commentary on matters cultural and political. We will also consider the ongoing relief effort, and how best to contribute to it.

Panelists include:

  • Robert Charity, research professor of chemistry
  • Rebecca Copeland, professor of Japanese language and literature
  • Marvin Marcus, professor of Japanese language and literature
  • Yuima Mizutani, graduate student, Counseling Program, University of Missouri St. Louis
  • Michael E. Wysession, associate professor of earth & planetary sciences

Donation Boxes

In order to support the earthquake/tsunami relief effort in the Northeastern region of Japan, there will be three donation boxes set up around the Medical School campus at the following locations until Friday, April 8:

  • Genome Center, 5th Floor, Break room
  • South Building, 3rd. Floor, Developmental Biology Office
  • BJCIH, 9th Floor, Administrative Office

All proceeds will be sent to the Japanese Red Cross. For any questions, please e-mail hyashiro@wustl.edu.


Those wishing to donate funds have many choices, a number of which have been published on news media and other websites, such as these:

Counseling Resources

For those in the Washington University community who may require additional assistance in coping with the tragedy in Japan, please see the following resources:

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Japan Relief