university of california searching for interned japanese american students

University of California campuses are looking for former Japanese American students who had their studies derailed by being interned during World War II: UC searches for interned Japanese American students.

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.

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. Many never returned to UC to finish their studies. Some eventually earned degrees from other universities, while others never returned to college.

On July 16, 2009, the University of California Board of Regents agreed to grant special honorary degrees to the hundreds of Japanese American students who were enrolled at the University but were forced to leave their studies 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 Executive Order 9066. During the ceremonies, campuses also plan to acknowledge students who were interned but returned to the University 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 here: UC Honorary Degrees.

UPDATE: San Diego State University is also among the many California colleges that are searching for former interned students to grant honorary degrees: SDSU seeks ex-internee students.

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