Lakeland University Blog

Significant gift will benefit Lakeland’s international program

Significant gift will benefit Lakeland’s international program


Significant gift will benefit Lakeland’s international program

Lakeland University is honoring two champions of education thanks to a generous gift that will benefit students studying at its Tokyo, Japan, campus.

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 University and Virginia Wesleyan University in 2020. The name also honors Lakeland President Emeritus David Black, who was the visionary behind the partnership and currently serves as chair of the LUJ board.

Students pursuing an associate or bachelor’s degree at Lakeland’s Tokyo campus can transfer to Lakeland’s Wisconsin campus or the VWU campus to complete their four-year degree, providing students with short- and long-term study abroad opportunities while immersing themselves in American culture. Likewise, Lakeland and Virginia Wesleyan students can study abroad at the Tokyo campus.

Batten & Black students who choose to study in America can engage in internships at the parent campuses in Wisconsin and Virginia, bridging the gap between academic theory and professional practice. The Batten & Black School’s commitment to practical, real-world experience is underscored by its policy allowing most students to complete short-term studies in the U.S. at no additional tuition cost.

“The Batten & Black School for International Studies at Lakeland University Japan is a global platform for change-makers,” said Lakeland President Beth Borgen. “With its enhanced partnerships and opportunities, the school is poised to shape leaders who are ready to tackle the world’s most pressing challenges with intelligence, empathy and strategic vision.”

VWU President Scott D. Miller said, “VWU has operated a center at LUJ since 2020, providing unique study abroad opportunities for all scholars in our elite Batten Honors College. President Borgen’s vision to programmatically grow and strengthen this relationship with the addition of the Batten & Black School is consistent with our shared mission of producing globally impactful leaders.”

Students meeting the requirements will earn the transcript designation of Batten & Black School of International Studies Fellows.

Jane Batten, 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. Her interest in Virginia Wesleyan was kindled when her daughter enrolled as a freshman in 1978. Jane Batten came on the VWU Board of Trustees in 1981, served as board chair from 1995-1998 and became a trustee emerita in 2015. VWU presented her with an honorary Doctor of Laws degree in 2006.

Black twice served as Lakeland’s president and was instrumental in the creation of Lakeland’s Japan campus in 1990. Lakeland is one of just two American universities with a campus in Japan.

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