About USC's Nisei Students

At this year's Commencement ceremony, USC President C. L. Max Nikias will confer Honorary Baccalaureate and Honorary Master's degrees on Japanese-American former students who were interned during World War II.

Referred to as Nisei ("second generation" in Japanese, although the term refers to first-generation Japanese-Americans), the students at USC and many other universities were forced to abandon their studies in 1942 when President Franklin Roosevelt ordered the internment of American citizens of Japanese descent and Japanese nationals living along the Pacific Coast.

"We are privileged to honor the accomplishments and the dreams of the Nisei students who are highly deserving of receiving a college degree for the work they have done at USC," said USC President C. L. Max Nikias. "Through the years these students have been among the most passionate and dedicated members of the Trojan Family. We are honored that our Nisei students have an enduring devotion to USC and we want them to know that the university is also devoted to them."


Please click here for a list of questions and answers regarding Nisei participation in Commencement.



Those interested in registering to participate in the ceremony can fill out the application found here.



Honorary Degree Recipients:

Roland Y. Kamachi – Baccalaureate
Iwao George Kawakami – Baccalaureate
Yoshiteru Gary Kikawa – Baccalaureate
Yutaka Kody Kodama – Baccalaureate
Yuri Hirooka Kumai – Baccalaureate
George Mio – Baccalaureate
Ryo Munekata - Master's
Setsuko Matsunaga Nishi – Baccalaureate
Hitoshi George Sameshima – Baccalaureate
Satsuyo Watanabe Tanaka – Baccalaureate
Frank Takashi Tofukuji – Baccalaureate

Honorary Alumni Certificate Recipients (Posthumous):

John Masato Fujioka
Iwao Allen Harada
Tadashi Ochiai
Richard Otagaki
Takako Saito
Tommy Minoru Tanaka
Roy Hideo Yamamoto

Page last updated: Tuesday, May 8, 2012