UMUC celebrates 60 years in Asia

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YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan—This year, University of Maryland University College Asia (UMUC Asia) will celebrate 60 years of providing quality education to U.S. military members, their families, and eligible civilians with special celebrations throughout the year.

“Serving the higher education needs of the military is in our DNA, and we are most proud of this milestone in Asia,” stated Javier Miyares, President of UMUC. “Nothing is more central to our mission of serving working adults in Maryland and around the world than our commitment to the U.S. military, which began when we first sent faculty to military bases in Europe in 1949 and to Asia in 1956.”

On 17 September 1956, UMUC launched classes at 42 education centers in Japan and the Republic of Korea. More than 1,700 people signed up for 82 courses in 27 subjects. In 1963, professors were sent into the thick of fighting during the Vietnam War, making UMUC the very first university to send faculty to teach in war zones. Since then, UMUC has taught students throughout Asia and the Pacific, providing strong education programs from Seoul to Tokyo, Bangkok to Taipei, and even Woomera in Australia.

“Through the years, UMUC has had many, many dedicated men and women who have taught courses, provided support, and helped our military service members achieve their educational goals while serving their country,” said Gen. Lloyd “Milo” Miles (U.S. Army, Ret.), senior vice president for Global Military Operations at UMUC. “We celebrate this anniversary to honor those who have represented UMUC over these 60 years and to reaffirm our commitment to the military into the future.”

To celebrate 60 years in Asia, UMUC Asia held Spirit Week from 21-25 March and will host the events again in the fall, from 12-16 September. Spirit Week includes contests, student and faculty events, information briefings, trivia, and prize drawings.

“The events will be our way of saying thank you to those who have supported UMUC Asia through the years,” said Dr. Allan Berg, Vice President and Director of UMUC Asia. “We’re very proud of our record serving the educational needs of our troops for six decades.”

UMUC will also host two grand anniversary galas this April, both in the style of a military birthday ball at Yokota Air Base in Tokyo, Japan on April 8th, and USAG Yongsan in Seoul, South Korea on April 22nd. The parties are planned to coincide with the commencement ceremonies and are an opportunity for the university to give back and celebrate the accomplishments and contributions of the 2016 graduates as well as all current students, faculty, alumni, and others who have been a part of the university over the years. The celebratory evenings of dinner, dancing, and entertainment are no-cost and open to the general public. More information regarding the anniversary parties is available at

UMUC Asia offers quality undergraduate and graduate degrees – and hundreds of on-site and online courses – to students throughout Australia, Guam, Korea, Japan, and Singapore. UMUC is the leading provider of education for the U.S. military and the largest public university in the U.S. with over 80,000 enrollments worldwide.

60 Year Highlights of UMUC Asia:

  • 1956 - Classes begin at 42 education centers in Japan, Okinawa, and Korea
  • 1957 - UMUC Asia honors first gradates
  • 1963 - Start of classes in Saigon during the Vietnam War
  • 1975 - The university leaves Saigon following the conclusion of the war
  • 1981 - UMUC celebrates its 25th anniversary
  • 1994 - Launch of distance education online class program
  • 2006 – UMUC celebrates 50 years and the growth of distance education (online admissions make up 35% of Asia enrollments)
  • 2016 - UMUC Asia celebrates its 60th anniversary

For more 60th anniversary celebration details, contact a UMUC program coordinator at your location or visit UMUC Asia at

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