Although I had already graduated from a university in Tokyo, the environment in Walla Walla, both social and academic, was an entirely new experience for me at the time of my entering Whitman in 1960.
Given that, I gained tremendous experience through various involvements including Beta Theta Pi fraternity. The social skills I learned added to a foundation that has been a valuable asset in the pursuit of my career as an entrepreneur and also a business adviser to represent overseas interests to Japan's market.
I acquired language skill, especially reading speed, that also has been an asset. In particular, the kind guidance and tutoring offered by Dean Stevens and Dr. Stuart, who went out of their way, developed my understanding of true professionalism.1 Those gentlemen completely believed that it was their duty to make me understand why learning economics was important and to motivate my learning desire. All in all, the benefits from the living experience were of great value beyond the specific value of the knowledge from the academic study.
Thanks to my Whitman experience, I can today truly act as a bridge in cross cultural situations.
Kinji Yasu, '62
Kinji Yasu, '62, is yet another Whitman graduate with an entrepreneurial success story — in 1986, Yasu founded the international consulting company Intercontinental Resources. The Japan-based corporation works all over the world to promote and oversee business transactions including technology transfers, the introduction of new products, financial arrangements, real estate investments, and joint ventures.
As president and CEO of Intercontinental, Yasu is known for his personal commitment to achieving his client's objectives and has provided corporate representation services to many leading foreign companies. Yasu has also held a number of important positions with Crown Zellerbach International and the Nippon Kakoh Seishi Company.
An economics major at Whitman, Yasu obtained a law degree from Keio University, Japan. A member of the Whitman board of overseers since 1984, the Tokyo resident was one of the first Whitman graduates elected to serve from overseas.