Fourteen students and three professors at Cottey College have returned to Nevada after a memorable Spring break visit to Japan. International business professor Kanji Watanabe says the group arrived in the island nation five days before the 8.8 earthquake rocked Japan. The Cottey group was touring Nagano, 200 miles from Sendai City and did not realize the magnitude of the quake until they tried to catch a train back to Tokyo. Watanabe says the quake and its 20 aftershocks left the students a bit rattled but they remained calm and spent time notifying family members that they were safe. The group left Japan the Sunday after the earthquake.

Cottey public information officer Steve Reed says a Cottey student from Japan was part of the college’s Spring break trip to Paris, France and was a bit nervous until she learned that her family was safe.

Cottey College, a two-year college for young women, was founded at Nevada in 1884 by Virginia Alice Cottey.