By Harry Mok
University of California campuses are still looking for Japanese American students who had their studies derailed by being interned during World War II. Ceremonies to award honorary degrees to the former students are set for December and spring 2010. The campuses want to honor as many people as possible and are still seeking potential recipients.
On July 16, 2009, the University of California Board of Regents agreed to grant special honorary degrees to Japanese American students who were enrolled at UC and never received a UC degree as a result of the internment.
Ceremonies to award the degrees have been scheduled at UC Berkeley, UC Davis, UCLA and UC San Francisco — the four campuses in existence at the time of the internment order. During the ceremonies, campuses also plan to acknowledge former students who were interned but returned to UC to finish their degree.
Former students who may be eligible, their families or friends are encouraged to contact individual UC campuses about receiving an honorary degree. Campus contacts and ceremony information can be found at http://honorary.universityofcalifornia.edu.
Approximately 700 UC students withdrew from school in 1942 when they and approximately 120,000 Japanese Americans on the West Coast were sent to internment camps.
Ceremonies and contact information:
When: Dec. 4, 3-6 p.m.
Where: Robertson Auditorium at Mission Bay
Contact: Maria Blandizzi
When: Dec. 12
Contact: Louise F. Uota
When: spring 2010, exact date TBD
Contact: Patricia Lippert
Harry Mok is a principal editor in the UC Office of the President's Integrated Communications group.