Former professor wins Mondale Award

by Nicole Vulcan

Dr. Neal Gault Jr. followed in the footsteps of former Vice President Walter F. Mondale when he was presented with the second annual Japan America Society of Minnesota’s Mondale Award. The event, which also served as a fund-raiser for the society’s Mondale Scholarship Fund, was held Monday at the Radisson Hotel in St. Paul.
Gault, former University Medical School professor and dean emeritus of the school, was given the award for distinguished service in fostering closer ties between Japan and Minnesota. He is preceded in winning the award by Mondale, the former U.S. Ambassador to Japan, and his wife Joan. State Sen. Ted Mondale represented his parents and presented the award.
Dr. Gault has accomplished much in his efforts to establish ties between the two countries. He was the second American to receive the Japan Medical Association’s Supreme Award for a successful Postgraduate Medical Education program he directed at Okinawa Hospital. Partly because of Gault’s contributions, the program has risen to be the third best residency program in Japan.
“I think that I got more than I gave,” Gault said of his accomplishments. “The world is so small now, you have to live internationally.”
Gault also helped rehabilitate the Seoul Korea National University Medical School and was a consultant to the China Medical Board. He is one of few Minnesotans to receive a medal for distinguished service from the emperor of Japan. The former professor was also appointed Honorary Consul General of Japan at Minnesota in 1987, a position he held until 1993.
“Dr. Gault is a very special person with close ties to Japan,” said Evan Williams, honorary consul general of Japan. “He is the ideal recipient (of the award).”
The Japan America Society of Minnesota works to foster ties between Japan and Minnesota in many ways. Since 1955, the cities of St. Paul and Nagasaki have had a sister city program that is supported by the society. The organization also hosts Japanese officials when they come to the state, and promotes Japanese and American artists in both countries.