News Releases

April 4, 2012
For Immediate Release
For additional information: 
Barbara Kerr, APR
Executive Director of Communications and Marketing
Telephone: 360-992-2921


A historic gift of friendship and beauty

Japanese Friendship Garden

On Thursday, April 19, Clark College will host the dedication ceremony for the Royce E. Pollard Japanese Friendship Garden as part of its 2012 Sakura Festival


VANCOUVER, Wash. — Clark College’s 2012 Sakura Festival will honor a historic gift of friendship and beauty as the college hosts the dedication ceremony for the Royce E. Pollard Japanese Friendship Garden. 

The dedication ceremony will be held on Thursday, April 19 at 1 p.m. at the garden, which is located next to the music building on Clark’s main campus. 

Dignitaries who are scheduled to attend include former Vancouver Mayor Royce Pollard; former Vancouver Mayor Bruce Hagensen; Vancouver Mayor Tim Leavitt; Takamichi Okabe, Consul General of Japan (Portland); and Tatsuo Ito, Executive Vice President, SEH America Inc.  

The ceremony will include a koto performance by Yukiko Vossen and a performance by the Clark College Women’s Ensemble. The koto, a stringed musical instrument, is the national instrument of Japan.

Blooming cherry tree and Cannell Library

From 2-4 p.m., the Sakura celebration will continue in the Gaiser Student Center, where guests will enjoy activities including a formal tea ceremony and calligraphy demonstration. Information about the Sakura Ceremony is available at

All events are free and open to the public.  The Sakura Festival is sponsored by Clark College, the City of Vancouver and the Vancouver Rotary. 

Clark College is located at 1933 Fort Vancouver Way, Vancouver. Driving directions and parking maps are available at

Individuals who need accommodation due to a disability in order to fully participate in this event should contact Clark College’s Disability Support Services Office at (360) 992-2314 or (360) 991-0901 (VP) or visit Gaiser Hall room 137. 

About the Royce E. Pollard Japanese Friendship Garden

2010 groundbreaking for the Japanese Friendship Garden
Dr. Chihiro Kanagawa, CEO of SEC (Shin-Etsu Chemical Co. Ltd.), extended an offer to establish a Japanese friendship garden in the city of Vancouver.

The city honored Clark College by proposing that the garden be created on Clark's main campus. 

Groundbreaking for the garden took place at Clark’s 2010 Sakura Festival. At the request of Dr. Kanagawa, the garden is being named in honor of former Vancouver Mayor Royce E. Pollard.

Murase Associates was selected for the design and construction work.  The site selected for the garden is just east of Clark's music building, which honors artistry and beauty. The location also places the garden near the plaque which honors the 100 Shirofugen cherry trees which were given to the City of Vancouver in honor of the 100th anniversary of Washington's statehood. That gift was also entrusted to the college.

Information about the garden is available at

Clark College President Robert K. Knight noted, "Our predecessors had the vision to embrace the gift of those magnificent cherry trees, and we are all the beneficiaries of that legacy. We are proud to have the opportunity to embrace another historic gift which will be cherished across our community for generations to come."