MBA Students Launch Fundraising for Japan Relief

Berkeley MBA students who organized a spring break trek to Japan for classmates have canceled the trip and are now turning to fundraising for the earthquake-ravaged nation.

Trek organizers, who included eight Berkeley MBA students from Japan, have formed the Japan Relief Charity Drive, in collaboration with the broader full-time MBA Japanese community (whose homes and family members are all unharmed). Their two-pronged effort consists of fundraising events and creation of a web portal (Save Japan with Berkeley-Haas) that links to a Google site to donate to a variety of relief organizations, including the Japanese Red Cross Society, International Medical Corps, and UNICEF.

“The Japan community at Haas is devastated by the disaster and incredibly worried about the risk of secondary disasters such as the nuclear plant and aftershocks," says Taka Uenishi, MBA 12, one of the trek organizers. "We are all praying for the safety of those still missing and those who have lost everything.”

A fundraising drive on March 16 raised more than $2,500, with all proceeds going to the Japanese Red Cross Society. Students from or with close links to Japan plan to hold more events, supported by students and clubs from across Berkeley-Haas, including the Asian and European Business clubs, the Haas Partners Club, and the MBA Association. Says Uenishi, “We are deeply appreciative of Haas’ warm and immediate support, and feel privileged to be part of this school community.”

Dean Rich Lyons also sent a letter by email to the school's Japanese alumni to extend the Haas School's support as well as to the Haas community on campus. "One of our defining principles is Beyond Yourself. I’d like to encourage all of us to offer support where we can," Lyons wrote to the Haas community.

In addition, UC Berkeley Public Affairs Office created a list of several charitable organizations that are accepting donations to aid Japan quake and tsunami victims.

The Japan community at Haas holds a fundraising drive for the disaster-ravaged country in the school's Bank of America Forum. Pictured here from left to right are Yuko Morihiro, wife of Minh Tran, MBA 11 (not pictured), and Hiroko and Motoki Bandai, MBA 11.