The connections between Japan and the newly formed Massachusetts Agricultural College are an important part of the lore of UMass Amherst and are considered an early acknowledgment of the innovative spirit lying behind the Commonwealth's experiment in practical agricultural education. Supporters touted the fact that the Imperial Japanese government looked to MAC as a model for establishing their own agricultural college in 1876, and noted that President William Smith Clark and a string of MAC graduates such as William Wheeler, William Penn Brooks, and David P. Penhallow traveled to Japan to help the Sapporo Agricultural College (later Hokkaido University) get off the ground.
Less well known, however, is that the relationship with Hokkaido marked the beginning of international students coming here to study. During its first four decades of operation, MAC hosted a steady stream of international students, with the majority from Japan, Brazil, and Turkey. As early as 1873, Clark could boast in College's Annual Report, with only a little embellishment, that “every county of Massachusetts, and thirteen other States and nationalities, are represented in the College,” even while he complained that most applicants were not adequately prepared by our educational system for collegiate work. Clark also pointed out that Levi Stockbridge was already overseeing cultivation of a garden featuring over 100 varieties Japanese plants sent back to MAC by previous students who had returned home.
The first several international students to arrive at MAC came as members of the Select Class, students who did not pursue the full curriculum, but who otherwise participated fully in campus life for the time in which they were enrolled. The first such student, a Brazilian named Fiuza Barreto, arrived in 1870, followed by Geamon Youchi from Japan (entered 1871, although his status is unclear), and the Select Class of 1872, which included three Japanese students (Naito, Nomura, and Yamao) and a Spaniard (Codina).
Naito appears to have been the first international student to enroll as a regular MAC student, following his Select year by entering as a Freshman in 1873, however it was not until 1877 that MAC issued its first bachelor's degree to an international student: Raimundo Porto of Brazil.
Count Yataro Mishima ('88) published a letter on the Agriculture of Japan in the College Monthly, a student newspaper, for October 1887.
The first Japanese student graduate from MAC, Boonzo Hashiguchi, went on to a distinguished career that saw him become President of Sapporo Agricultural College.
|1872||SC||Yamao, Isnataro [listed in 1871 Index as Special Student]||Japan|
|1872||SC||Carter, Walter Edward [listed in 1872 Index as Select Student]||Ireland|
|1874||SC||Nakamisha, Masanogo [listed in 1873 Index as Special Student]||Japan|
|1878||SC||Carneiro, Manuel Dias||Brazil|
|1876||DNG||Wayesugi, Tall Katuyoshi||Japan|
|1878||SC||Delano, Julio Joaquin||Chile|
|DNG||Plaza, Enguerrando [listed in Index as freshman with class of 1880]||Chile|
|1881||Hashiguchi, Boonzo (later Pres. Sapporo Agric. College)||Japan|
|1883||Hevia, Alfred A.||Cuba|
|1883||Braune, Domingo H.||Brazil|
|1885||Almeida, Luciano Jose d.||Brazil|
|1885||Tekirian, Benoni O.||Turkey|
|1886||Ateshian, Osgan H.||Turkey|
|1887||Almeida, Augusto Luis de||Brazil|
|1887||Torelly, Firmino da Silva||Brazil|
|1890||Castro, Arthur de Moraes e||Brazil|
|1890||Herrero, Jose Maria||Cuba|
|1891||Lage, Oscar Vidal Barbosa||Brazil|
|1891||DNG||Volio, Enrique Tinoco||Costa Rica|
|1893||Tinoco, Luis A. T.||Brazil|
|1894||Grad||Thabu, Koli San||Burma|
|1895||Ballou, Henry A.||Barbados|
|1896||Sastre Veraud, Salome||Mexico|
|1896||2 yr||Manzanilla Montore, Lorenzo||Mexico|
|1897||2 yr||Canto, Jose Dolores Bolivar||Mexico|
|1897||2 yr||Sastre de Veraud, Cesar||Mexico|
|1898||2 yr||Dolores, Jose de los Santos, Canto Perez de Salamanca||Mexico|
|1898||Winter||Chiashi, Louie Yeizo||Japan|
|1898||Adjemian, Arvedis G.||Turkey|
|1900||Canto, Ysidro Herrera||Mexico|
|1900||Winter||Jejeian, Gabriel Solomon||Turkey|
|1900||Winter||Krikorian, Karakin Krikor||Turkey|
|1901||Tashjian, Dickran B.||Turkey|
|1901||Ovalle Barros, Julio Moises||Chile|
|1903||Nersessian, Paul N.||Turkey|
|1907||DNG||Liang, Ling Chi||China|
|1908||Liang, Lai Kwei||China|
|1909||Cardin, Patricio G.||Cuba|
|1909||Shamial, George M.||Syria|
|1909||Turner, Henry W.||Cuba|
|1911||DNG||Liang, Ying Chi||China|
- 2 yr = Two year course in Agriculture
- DNG = Did not graduate
- Grad = Enrolled as a postgraduate at the Experiment Station
- SC = Select Class
- Winter = Enrolled in the Winter Course
- Massachusetts Agricultural College Annual Report, 1873.
- Catalog of Graduates and Former Students of the Massachusetts Agricultural College (Amherst, 1916)