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GSE Announces $2.5 Million Gift

Japanese Family Tsuzuki Endows Chair in Childhood Development

By Andrew A. Green

The Graduate School of Education (GSE) recently announced a $2.5 million gift from Yashuhisa and Kimiko Tsuzuki to establish the Sadae Tsuzuki Professorship, which will focus on the study of early childhood development.

The gift to the GSE is a part of a $3.5 million gift to the University by the Tsuzukis, according to Dudley F. Blodget '67, dean of development at the GSE.

The gift was, in many ways, a lucky break for the GSE, Blodget said. The Tsuzukis, themselves interested in education, decided to make a large gift to Harvard on their own without being approached by any University officials.

Kimiko Tsuzuki has long been interested in early childhood development, Blodget said. Encouraging her to pursue that interest, one of the family's advisers, who holds a degree from Harvard and is familiar with the GSE, encouraged the couple to give to Harvard.

The pair visited over the winter and met with faculty members and University officials, including President Neil L. Rudenstine. Blodget said that Rudenstine was instrumental in convincing the Tsuzukis to designate a large part of their gift to the GSE.

"Every campaign has a certain amount of serendipity," Blodget said. "This is definitely an example of that."

Blodget said he has visited the couple twice in Japan and has been impressed with their commitment to education. Their concern, he said, stems from an overall interest in Japan in the educational system.

"The Japanese business community has taken a serious interest in trying to reform Japanese schooling which they see as falling behind in certain areas," Blodget said. "They are great at applications of knowledge, but not as good on the creative side, which is where we do well."

This concern made the United States--and the GSE in particular--the best place for the Tsuzukis to give their money, Blodget said.

"A lot of the things Japan is looking for are the things we do well here at the School of Education," he said.

At the moment, this gift is the largest one given to the GSE during the University's ongoing $2.1 billion capital campaign, Blodget said.

While the large gift is encouraging, Blodget said, it is somewhat frustrating that the lead gift to the GSE for this campaign is significantly lower than the largest gift received by any of Harvard's other schools.

Even smaller schools like the Graduate School of Design and the Divinity School have posted gifts several times larger than this one, he said. "You have to start somewhere," Blodget said.

With the University just over the half-way mark in its campaign, the GSE has raised about $37 million of its $60 million goal. Despite its standing at just ahead of half of its goal, the GSE will struggle to reach the $60 million mark, Blodget said.

"We've already reached out to our friends and our alumni base isn't as deep as some of the other schools," he said

This concern made the United States--and the GSE in particular--the best place for the Tsuzukis to give their money, Blodget said.

"A lot of the things Japan is looking for are the things we do well here at the School of Education," he said.

At the moment, this gift is the largest one given to the GSE during the University's ongoing $2.1 billion capital campaign, Blodget said.

While the large gift is encouraging, Blodget said, it is somewhat frustrating that the lead gift to the GSE for this campaign is significantly lower than the largest gift received by any of Harvard's other schools.

Even smaller schools like the Graduate School of Design and the Divinity School have posted gifts several times larger than this one, he said. "You have to start somewhere," Blodget said.

With the University just over the half-way mark in its campaign, the GSE has raised about $37 million of its $60 million goal. Despite its standing at just ahead of half of its goal, the GSE will struggle to reach the $60 million mark, Blodget said.

"We've already reached out to our friends and our alumni base isn't as deep as some of the other schools," he said

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