Imperial Valley Graduation

Five To Be Honored At IVC Graduation
Written by KXO Staff Report
Thursday, 10 June 2010

Five Japanese Americans whose college education was disrupted when they were interned during World War 2 will be honored Saturday at IVC’s Commencement Exercises.

Terry Koike (Poston 53-5-C), Hiroshi Kaku (Poston block 12), Emiko Kaku (Poston block 12), Sachiko Kaku (Poston block 12) and Arthur Kato (Poston 53-12-C) will be awarded Honorary Associate Degrees during the commencement. Family members of four of them will be in attendance to accept the degrees. Two of them, Hiroshi Katu and Kato, will be honored posthumously.

The five were students who either attended or planned to attend Central Junior College in El Centro or Brawley Junior College in Brawley when President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066 in February 1943 forcing over 120,000 Americans of Japanese ancestry to move from their homes and communities to internment camps. Sixty-two percent of these men, women and children were American-born citizens who were Nisei (second generation Japanese Americans) or Sansei (third generation Japanese Americans), and 2,567 Japanese American students were enrolled in California’s higher education institutions, both public and private.

Records from the California Nisei College Diploma Project assert that more than 1,200 Nisei students attended 44 junior and community colleges during the academic term immediately prior to Executive Order 9066.

In October 2009, Assembly Bill 37 authored by Assembly member Warren T. Furutani, became law. It provides for institutions of higher education in California, including community colleges, to award honorary degrees to Japanese American college students who were forcibly evacuated from their homes in 1942, interned in government camps, and as a result, were unable to complete their education.

The five former Imperial Valley students to receive the degrees Saturday were identified by the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s office
IVC will be hosting a special reception for the families of the honorees at 8 a.m. Saturday in the board room, prior to the commencement that begins at 10 a.m.

Source: http://kxoradio.com/content/view/7285/1/

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