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Clark College News and Events

March 11, 2009

For Immediate Release

For additional information: 

Barbara Kerr, Executive Director of
Communications and Marketing Telephone:  360-992-2921

E-mail:  bkerr@clark.edu



On Friday April 17, Clark College will host
the fourth annual Sakura Festival,
celebrating an international friendship


Clark College cherry trees

VANCOUVER, Wash. — To celebrate international friendship and the breathtaking cherry blossoms that arrive at Clark College each spring, the college will host its fourth annual Sakura Festival on Friday, April 17 from 2 to 5 p.m.

Modeled after the Japanese tradition of picnicking and celebrating the arrival of spring beneath the blossoming cherry trees, the Sakura Festival recognizes the international friendship between the City of Vancouver and its sister city, Joyo, Japan.

The festival, which is free and open to the public, will feature guest speakers, entertainment, displays and demonstrations at various locations on Clark College’s main campus.   Clark College is located at 1933 Fort Vancouver Way, Vancouver.  Driving directions and maps are available at www.clark.edu/maps.

Participants in the 2008 Sakura FestivalAt 2:00 p.m. participants will gather in the Penguin Student Lounge (Room 161 of the Penguin Union Building) for introductions and entertainment. Weather permitting, the group will then assemble under the historic cherry trees near the O’Connell Sports Center.  After a brief formal ceremony, participants will be treated to Japanese snacks and tea.

Throughout the afternoon, guests can enjoy displays and demonstrations by students and community groups in the Gaiser Student Center. 

On Earth Day 1990, a gift of 100 Shirofugen cherry trees from John Kageyama, President of America Kotobuki, was presented to the City of Vancouver to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Washington’s statehood. The trees were planted on Clark College’s main campus in Vancouver’s Central Park.

Clark College President Robert K. Knight said, “The Sakura Festival has become a great tradition for Clark College and the City of Vancouver, and it’s especially meaningful this year as we celebrate the college’s 75th anniversary. We’re proud to care for these beautiful trees and to host this event in partnership with our friends at the Vancouver Rotary as we celebrate spring and pay tribute to our sister-city relationship with Joyo, Japan.”

Sakura festival sponsors include Vancouver Rotary and the City of Vancouver, as well as Clark College’s Office of International Programs, the 75th Anniversary Committee, ENL and Japanese Instruction, and the Office of Student Life and Multicultural Affairs.

Embracing the future:  plans for a Japanese garden at Clark College

This year’s Sakura Festival takes place as plans for a Japanese garden at Clark College move forward.  During the 2009 State of the City address, Vancouver Mayor Royce Pollard announced that Chihiro Kanagawa, President & CEO of Shin-Etsu Chemical Company, the parent company of SEH, plans to donate “up to $1 million to pay for the design and construction of the Japanese Garden at Clark College.” 

Since seeking feedback from the college community last fall, the college has continued to work with the City of Vancouver on the project.  It now seems likely that construction would begin in late June 2010 with completion scheduled for late fall of 2010. 

That would enable the college to host a ribbon-cutting ceremony in April 2011 to coincide with the blooming of the cherry trees and the sixth annual Sakura Festival.

Our Community Supporters

The 2009 Sakura Festival is a highight of Clark College’s 75th anniversary celebration. Generous support from the community has enabled Clark College to host members of the college and the greater community at free or low-cost events throughout the year.  Individuals and organizations that have pledged their support include:

Platinum Sponsor – Arnerich, Massena and Associates
Gold Sponsor – The Columbian
Diamond Sponsors – iQ Credit Union, Legacy Health System and Bank of America
Other Contributions – Moss Adams, Julia Bakery, Burgerville, Corwin Beverage Company, Carol Curtis and George Welsh


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