More to Josai program story


It was heartwarming to read that someone new is working so hard to keep the Josai exchange program alive (March 30).

It would have made your story even more poignant had you mentioned that the sister-school program was begun by a SHHS 1971 graduate, Harold Merzenich, and his mother, Martina Merzenich of Sweet Home.

I worked for Josai for a number of years during my nearly 30 years in Japan, and the Josai-SHHS exchange was an outgrowth of the summer home-stay program my mother and I designed and managed for many years.

SHHS’s George Wenzel, was very supportive of the program and helped us forge the relationship during the first two years. My mother traveled to Tokyo at her own expense as the first envoy from Sweet Home and spoke before the entire student body at Josai’s Ikebukuro campus, inaugurating the relationship between the two schools.

My mother, who passed away recently, would be very happy to know that the program she worked so hard to create has survived.

Harold Merzenich Smith

Las Cruces, N.M.