State Center Community College

Help us honor former Japanese-American students!

The State Center Community College District (SCCCD) will present honorary degrees to all Japanese-Americans who were students during World War II and had their education disrupted by incarceration in internment camps.

Nisei students attending Reedley College or Fresno City College in 1941/1942 are eligible to receive the honorary degree.

Families of deceased former students may apply on behalf of their relatives to accept the honorary degree for them.

The colleges need your assistance in indentifying potential honorees.

If you know of any potential recipients, contact Deborah Ikeda at (559) 325-5214 or email deborah.ikeda@sccd.edu.

The colleges will validate the honoree's attendance and contact the family regarding the ceremony.

Please provide the potential honoree's first and last name, date of birth and any other names that may have been used (i.e. maiden name).
In addition, please provide contact information including your name, telephone number with area code, street address and email.

For more information about the SCCCD Japanese-American honorary degrees, please contact Deborah Ikeda by phone at (559) 325-5214 or by email at deborah.ikeda@scccd.edu


Dianne said...

Community colleges aim to honor WWII internees
Sunday, Jan. 31, 2010
By Cyndee Fontana / The Fresno Bee
California's community colleges have joined the movement to award honorary degrees to Japanese-American students forced into internment camps during World War II.
Locally, officials are searching for students who attended Fresno City College or Reedley College in 1941 or 1942. About 30 students of Japanese ancestry were enrolled at Reedley College at the time; the number at City College is unknown.
Deborah Ikeda, vice president of instruction and student services at the State Center Community College District, said officials haven't been able to find City College records before 1948. But they have a list of names from Reedley College.
Authorities hope to find students -- now likely in their 80s -- or family members to award the degrees. Relatives can accept a degree on behalf of a former student who has died.
Ikeda said many students may have completed course work only to be denied the chance to participate in graduation ceremonies. The district will offer that opportunity -- and the honorary degrees -- later this year.
"That is the intention: to let people march and go through graduation," Ikeda said.
The efforts of California's community college system are part of a widespread push in higher education circles to award honorary degrees to students whose studies were interrupted by the internment order. Several community college campuses have recognized that generation of Japanese-American students over the past few years.
Recently, some University of California and California State University campuses have awarded degrees. Fresno State handed out its first in December.
Assembly Member Warren Furutani, D-South Los Angeles County, sponsored legislation -- signed by the governor in October -- calling on the three public higher education systems to recognize students.
In February 1942 -- in the wake of the Pearl Harbor bombing -- President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed an executive order permitting the military to round up 120,000 Japanese-Americans on the West Coast and imprison them in camps with barbed wire and armed guards. College students were forced to abandon their studies.
According to the California Nisei College Diploma Project, more than 1,200 students of Japanese ancestry were attending 44 junior or community colleges just before the internment order.
In addition to City College and Reedley, the College of the Sequoias in Visalia was open at the time. COS officials say they will participate in the honorary degree program; no estimate of potential honorees was available.

Dianne said...

Reedley College(1941-1943)

Aoki, Atsuko
Asamoto, Nabora
Ashida, Yoneko
Fukushima, Tatsuko
Hamada, Fumiko
Hamada, Megumi Petty
Hamada, Tsugio
Hirata, Faye
Kamada, Mary
Kim, Gifford
Kitahara, Toru
Kitahata, Tayeko
Kumataka, Tomio
Masuda, John
Matsuoka, Yuriko
Mayeda, Jeanne
Mihara, Tomiye
Morayama, Masako
Nagao, Ayako
Nagare, Wayne
Nakamura, Masa
Nakashima, Betty Jane
Nakashima, Sadao
Nishimine, Alice
Renge, Chiaki
Sasaki, Aiko
Sasaki, Hanami
Shimizu, Mineto
Shimizu, Mitsuye
Shinn, Marie
Shiroma, Mary
Takata, Marcel
Tanaka, Chizuko
Tanaka, Emiko
Tanaka, Tadashi
Tanaka, Takako
Tanouye, George
Togioka, Joe
Umeda, Ben
Wake, Florence
Yamada, Hidemi
Yamada, Tasuku
Yamada, Tak
Yano, Mas
Yokota, Kim
Yokoyama, Chester
Yorizane, Akiko

Contact: Deborah Ikeda
email: deborah.ikeda@scccd.edu
or call 559.325.5214