Family travels from Japan to celebrate Family Weekend

From left, Kaede’s grandmother, father, Kaede, her grandfather and mother enjoy Family Weekend events on Sept. 15 at the Roaden University Center.(Photo by Carolina Hatfield)

The Sugano family travelled more than 6,500 miles from Tokyo, Japan, to celebrate Tech’s annual Family Weekend event starting Sept. 13 with their daughter Kaede.

Kaede Sugano, a freshman business information technology major, welcomed her parents and grandparents after they travelled 13 hours from Japan.

“Before coming to Family Weekend I wasn’t sure what we would do. We walked around the university and outside the campus we would eat dinner with our family and talk with each other. It was very fun,” Kaede said.

Kaede said her parents and grandparents were happy to see her comfortable here in a new environment and making a lot of friends.

“For my father and mother, it is the last time for them to go abroad, so it is important for them to see where she is,” Kaede’s father, Hiroyuki Sugano said.

Family weekend is an event planned by organizers in the Office of New Students and Family Programs, which provides supportive and engaging programs which help families stay connected to their student’s college experience, Courtney Brehm, assistant director of New Students and Family Programs, said.

Kaede spent the weekend taking her family around Cookeville, showing her parents where her classes are on campus and partaking in Family Weekend events.

The family said their favorite event was the football game against University of Virginia-Wise.

“Everybody did not understand the rules of the football game but me,” Hiroyuki said.

Kaede’s family was glad to see where she will spend the next few years, her dad said.

Kaede said she looked into many schools in America before coming to college, but her high school teacher recommended Tennessee Tech University.

Hiroyuki said today’s technology makes it easier to send their daughter abroad.

“Ten years back from now, there was no internet or anything we can use for communication, but every weekend my wife and Kaede have a chat. So it’s not as hard to send her here,” Hiroyuki said.