apalsa seeks former hastings law students and family for honorary degree

Passing along this press release... The Asian Pacific American Law Students Association at the University of California Hastings College of the Law is trying to locate former Japanese American Hastings students (or the families of Hastings students) who were interned during World War II.

Hastings will award honorary degrees at this year's commencement ceremony to former students enrolled during the 1941-1942 academic year whose legal education was interrupted as a result of Executive Order 9066.

Approximately 700 students enrolled at Hastings and four other University of California campuses were among the 120,000 Japanese Americans sent to internment camps across the United States. After their release, many of these students earned degrees, but some never completed their education.

In October 2009, the governor signed AB37, which requested the University of California "confer an honorary degree upon each person, living or deceased, who was forced to leave his or her postsecondary studies as a result of federal Executive Order 9066 which caused the incarceration of individuals of Japanese ancestry during World War II."

In December 2009, in recognition of the injustice suffered by these students and their tremendous resilience, UC Berkeley, UC Davis, UCLA, and UCSF began awarding honorary degrees to former internees who were enrolled at their respective campus.

With the help of Hastings alumni, the Administration, and the Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Northern California, APALSA has identified ten former Hastings students who are either eligible for the honorary degree or will be otherwise honored at the 2011 Commencement:

Victor Senjiro ABE
Toshio ANDO
Abe Megumi FUJI
Harry GOZA
Pearl Virginia MAYEDA
Roy Gancho MITA
James Hiroshi OGISAKA
Clark Kuichi SAITO

APALSA is currently in the process of locating and notifying these individuals or their families of this recognition. For logistical purposes, information regarding potential recipients must be transmitted to the Hastings administration as soon as possible. The importance of locating these honorees so that they can be appropriately acknowledged is APALSA's top priority.

If you know any of the individuals listed or their family members, or if you are aware of someone who may be eligible to receive an honorary degree, please contact Stephanie Kang at kangs@uchastings.edu. And spread the word.

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