Lakeland University Blog

Lakeland celebrates investment in Tokyo program

Lakeland celebrates investment in Tokyo program


Lakeland celebrates investment in Tokyo program

Lakeland University celebrated a transformational gift for its program in Tokyo, Japan, on Thursday as part of the Board of Trustees meeting.

The Jane P. Batten and David R. Black School for International Studies at Lakeland University Japan will serve as a beacon of cross-cultural understanding, critical thinking and strategic action in the heart of Tokyo.

The name honors Jane Parke Batten, who has provided a significant financial gift to support the international education partnership begun by Lakeland and Virginia Wesleyan University in 2020. The name also honors Lakeland President Emeritus David Black, two-time Lakeland president who was the visionary behind the partnership and currently serves as chair of the LUJ board.

Batten and Black were on campus as part of the celebration and were joined by Virginia Wesleyan President Scott D. Miller. All three spoke during a short luncheon program, along with Lakeland President Beth Borgen and LU Board of Trustees Chairperson Jeff Spence.

“We are kindred organizations, kindred spirits with similar values,” Spence said. “That’s what keeps us together. By working together, we can make a difference in this world. That’s what this relationship is all about.”

Batten, who together with her late husband, Frank Batten, Sr., founder and chairman of Landmark Communications, has played a major role in redefining the cultural and educational landscape of Virginia, said it was her first trip to Wisconsin.

“I’d heard so much about Lakeland from David Black and Scott,” she said. “I had met Beth, so I knew you had a very good president. I don’t know what I expected to find, but I am blown away by your school. The buildings, the terrain, the way your mission is so varied … it’s beautiful.”

Click here to read more about the Lakeland/VWU partnership and the Batten and Black School for International Studies.

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