Japanese Businessman Helps Colorado State University Recover from Flood

News of the July 28 flash flood in Fort Collins reached across the Pacific Ocean to Japan and caught the interest of a corporate president who donated $10,000 and two elaborate dolls to the College of Engineering at Colorado State University.

Hajime Murahashi, president of Union Corp. of Gifu City, Japan, heard about the flood from his home in Japan, and started making inquiries to find out if an employee and his wife were safe. The employee, Jiro Nishigaki, was visiting Colorado State to study hydraulic engineering with Professor James Ruff through the International School for Water Resources. Nishigaki and his wife, in fact, were safe and had not experienced damage from the flood.

On Aug. 18, Murahashi visited the civil engineering department at Colorado State and, expressing sorrow over the extensive flood losses, donated $10,000 toward recovery efforts. The gift was the first donation to a new account established in the College of Engineering for overall flood donations.

"It was a remarkable and generous donation from Mr. Murahashi," said Neil Grigg, chairman of the department of civil engineering. "His gift will go a long way to help this department and the college recover from the devastating flood."

In addition to the $10,000, Murahashi gave two elaborately costumed dolls in glass cases, one to the department of civil engineering and the other to the university. The dolls were given in the spirit of international friendship and best wishes in recovering from the flood.

The Union Corporation engages in planning, environmental remediation, construction supervision, river research and other activities. Murahashi is past president of the Motosu Gifu Rotary Club in Gifu City.