Named Scholarships are a very special category of awards that are given in memory of, in honor of, or in tribute to individuals, groups or events. They are established with a minimum contribution of $20,000. The following are the 15 current Named Scholarships of the NSRCF.
The American Friends Service Committee Scholarship
established by the NSRCF Board of Directors
In 1982, the newly formed NSRCF presented its first gift, a donation to the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC). This award recognized the leading role played by the AFSC in the formation and work of the National Japanese American Student Relocation Council, the group that made it possible for more than 4,500 Nisei students to leave our country's wartime internment prison camps for college and universities throughout the United States.
In 2012, on the 30th anniversary of the Fund's first gift, the Board of the NSRCF gratefully established the American Friends Service Committee Named Scholarship. The Board intends the fund to stand as a permanent tribute to AFSC's visionary leadership. The AFSC overcame the challenges of wartime hatred, low funding and staffing, and the endless demands of federal, state and college and university regulations, to offer Nisei students unwavering encouragement and concrete assistance. Their aid opened the way for the Nisei and their families to leave the edges of our society, where they had been relegated, and enter into the mainstream of American life.
The Board hopes that the AFSC's example will forever encourage each of us to reach across divisions and prejudice to address injustice and to affirm our need for one another. When any among us, particularly our young people, are prevented from reaching their full potential, we are all diminished.
The Hiroko Fujita and Paul Fukami Scholarship
established by Joyce Fukami
Hiroko Fujita and Paul Fukami were of college age when they were interned during World War II. Hiroko, born in Hanford, California, was the fourth of eight children of Yoshiro and Toku Fujita. In 1942 Hiroko and her family boarded a train for the Jerome, Arkansas, internment camp where she remained until July 1943. Hiroko and her sister, Yasuko, left camp for Detroit to work at a dairy, while their sister, Aki, moved to Philadelphia to attend nursing school. Hiroko and Yasuko moved to Philadelphia to be near Aki and the rest of the family joined them in the summer of 1945. Paul Fukami was born in San Francisco, California, the eldest of four children of Teizo and Yojuku Fukami. Paul attended Lowell High School before he and his family were interned at Tanforan Assembly Center and then removed to Topaz, Utah. He served in the US Army from 1949 to 1950.
When the war was over, Hiroko moved to San Francisco and Paul and his family returned there too. The two met on a tennis court and were married in 1952 and moved to Pacifica, California, in 1957. Paul became part owner of Linda Mar Hardware and Hiroko raised three daughters. Hiroko eventually returned to work as an executive administrative assistant at the Western Region Headquarters of the US Postal Service. Paul and Hiroko continued to enjoy playing tennis together as well as golf and bowling. They loved to entertain family and friends and lived in Pacifica until Paul passed away in 1986. Hiroko passed away in 1993.
Although Hiroko and Paul did not benefit directly from the wartime National Japanese American Student Relocation Council, they believed deeply in the importance of a college education. It was their highest priority and expectation that their three daughters would graduate from college. Their dream was proudly fulfilled.
Daughter, Joyce Fukami wished to honor the memory of her parents and to help other parents fulfill their dreams of seeing their children graduate from college. Joyce served on the NSRCF Board of Directors from 2007 to 2011 and remains a loyal supporter.
The Michihiko and Bernice Hayashida Scholarship
established by the NSRCF Board of Directors
Michihiko “Mich” Hayashida was born in Berkeley, California, one of 12 children. His family was interned first at Tanforan, then at Topaz, Utah. He was able to leave the internment camp in 1943 with the help of the National Japanese American Student Relocation Council to attend Boston University. He counts among several important influences in his life his oldest brother Tetsuo; a classmate at Berkeley High School; and Eleanor Sekerak, a teacher at Topaz. Mich followed in his brother’s footsteps as a premed student, but after one year, he was called to military service. He returned in 1946, graduated, and then attended Boston University Medical School becoming a board-certified ophthalmologist. His practice eventually took him to Hawaii. Mich met his wife, Bernice, who is from Hawaii, while she was attending the Boston College School of Social Work.
Bernice has actively volunteered in their five children’s classrooms and PTA, Kaiser Hospital, the Waikiki Aquarium, League of Women Voters Education Committee, as a docent at the Bishop Museum to visitors from Japan, and has been involved inseveralcommunity and neighborhood improvement and preservation projects. Mich says, “Despite all the problems and uncertainty brought on by our mass forced removal from the Pacific Coast, there were those not directly affected, who despite the disapproval or indifference of the majority, went out of their way to help us. In our time ofneed they came forward and enabled so many of us to continue our education. In doing so, they instilled in us a sense of responsibility to help others in need. The forced displacement of the Southeast Asians provided the opportunity to be actively involved in helping students to further their education."
The Nobu (Kumekawa) and Yosh Hibino Scholarship
established by Michihiko and Bernice Hayashida, the family and friends of Nobu and Yosh Hibino
Nobu Kumekawa Hibino (1921–1998) was the heart and soul of the Nisei Student Relocation Commemorative Fund. In 1942, Nobu was one semester away from graduating from UC Berkeley when her family was interned at Topaz, Utah. With the help of the National Japanese American Student Relocation Council, she left Topaz in 1943 to complete her last semester at Boston University. Yosh Hibino (1919-2011) was able to leave Topaz to earn his master;s degree from the University of Texas in Austin. He and Nobu married in Cambridge, Massachusetts and moved to Portland, Connecticut in 1951 where they raised their three children.
In 1980, along with the Nodas and Takayanagis, they established the Nisei Student Relocation Commemorative Fund to “extend a helping hand” in tribute to those who had done the same for them during those dark days of WWII. Besides being the driving force of the NSRCF for 18 years, Nobu dedicated her life to her family, community service, and involvement in the civil rights movement, housing, politics, education, and environmental issues. She started the first Head Start program in the state of Connecticut, and followed that accomplishment by becoming the first minority and first woman to serve on the board of a bank in that state.
Yosh was an equal partner in their nearly 55 years of marriage. In their early years in Portland, he was active in church youth groups and started the "midget" and "pony" football programs in 1956, making sure minority and underprivileged players were also included. He coached the pony team to the state championship in 1959. While working full-time with his business, Yosh put himself through Connecticut's School of Law night program and graduated with his JD in 1971. He volunteered many years with Middletown Legal Aid Services, Catholic Charities in Hartford and the Portland Housing Authority. In his later years, he volunteered with the Literacy Volunteers of Greater Middletown and delivered Meals on Wheels. In 2007 Yosh was proudly inducted into the Portland Sports Hall of Fame for his achievements with the town's football program. Yosh and Nobu also found time to travel taking 26 overseas trips in nearly as many years. As active as they were in so many endeavors, the NSRCF remained one of their proudest accomplishments.
Shim and Chiyo Hiraoka Scholarship
established by Ann Graybill Cook, Michael Hoshiko, family and friends
Were it not for working together in the legal office of the Gila River War Relocation Center in Arizona, the chances of Yoshimi Roger “Shim” Hiraoka and Lily Chiyoko Tsukahara ever crossing paths would have been highly unlikely. It was there that Shim, son of immigrant farmers of Del Rey, California, graduate of UC Berkeley and San Francisco Law School, and a California State Bar certified attorney met Santa Barbara-born Chiyo, daughter of immigrant produce house owners, who had worked her way through school honing her secretarial skills.
That encounter led to their internment camp wedding in 1943. Shim soon after enlisted with the 442nd Regimental Combat Team and participated in the famed “Rescue of the Lost Battalion” and the liberation of Bruyeres in France. Chiyo at just age 20 led seven family members out of Gila to the East Coast where she found work in Philadelphia as a nanny/housekeeper. During the day, Chiyo used her superb stenographic/secretarial skills at the National Japanese American Student Relocation Council, working for Field Director Tom Bodine.
At WWII's end, Shim and Chiyo made their way back to Fresno, California. They still faced prejudice because of their Japanese ancestry, but eventually found acceptance, raised three daughters, and assimilated. Shim established a sole law practice, became a Rotarian, Mason, VFW leader, and both were members of the Japanese Congregational Church. With children finally of age, Chiyo put those same superb skills to work at Fresno State College.
In 2000, the family learned that an NSRCF Tribute Fund had been established for them by life-long friend Ann Graybill Cook and Michael Hoshiko. Through the generosity and memorial gifts of family and friends, their fund reached the Named Scholarship level. We lost Shim in 2004, and Chiyo in 2013. Condensing their 61 years together is not easy. They represent to their family, now into its “Gosei” 5th generation, the strength, endurance, resiliency, and resolve of our Nisei forebears. They are missed and remembered with deep love and gratitude. Now with a Named Scholarship their story, this legacy, is cemented in perpetuity.
The Tama (Yoshimura) and Jiro Ishihara Scholarship
established by Jiro Ishihara, the NSRCF Board of Directors, and the family and friends of Tama and Jiro Ishihara
Tama Yoshimura Ishihara (1926–2005) of Concord, Massachusetts, joined the NSRC Fund board of directors in 1989 because she was a firm believer in the value of education as a necessary tool for success in America, especially for recent immigrant children. For 13 years she gave her time freely to help advance this notion. As board member Yutaka Kobayashi said, “I often wondered how it is that such a petite woman could muster up so much energy and spirit! It was always a pleasure to work with Tama because you knew that the job would get done and done well. It is my belief that Tama’s early experience helped shape her outlook on life. She was uprooted from her home by her own government at age 16 during WWII, her family forced to live in a horse stall at the Tanforan, California, race track, and then in barracks behind barbed wire fences in Topaz, Utah. She graduated from Topaz High School in 1943 and left the concentration camp to attend, and graduate with a degree in bacteriology, from Carroll College in Waukesha, Wisconsin." Tama’s college education was made possible because of the work of the National Japanese American Student Relocation Council.
Jiro "Jiggs" Ishihara (1925-2012) grew up in Los Angeles and was evacuated with his family first to the Santa Anita race track and then to Gila River, Arizona, an experience he described as "heat, dust and high school for me." Jiggs and his parents joined his two sisters in Chicago and he received his masgter's degree from Northwestern University. Jiggs and Tama settled in Concord, Massachusetts where they raised their three children. Jigss was always by Tama's side when it came to her volunteer work and commitment to the NSRCF. Although he was not a NSRCF board member, he came to every meeting and was an active participant. Jiggs was the moving force behind the idea of creating the NSRCF Named Fund special giving catagory. He also helped organize mounds of data for two "Phonathon" fundraisers. Tama and Jiggs embodied the spirit of ongaeshi - repaying a kindness received.
Yutaka and Maureen Kobayashi Scholarship
established by Maureen Kobayashi
Yutaka was born and raised in San Francisco. In 1942 he and his family were sent to the Topaz, Utah concentration camp. He was able to leave Topaz in January 1943 through the aid of the National Japanese American Student Relocation Council to attend college, eventually earning a Ph.D. in biochemistry. He is an expert in liquid scintillation counting, and retired from DuPont in 1995. Yutaka is an avid tennis player. In 2014 at the young age of 90, he achieved a longtime goal when the USTA ranked him the #1 U.S. tennis player in singles and doubles in that age group. Yutaka joined the board of the Nisei Student Relocation Commemorative Fund (NSRCF) in 1992, and served as its president from 1998 to 2002. He undertook a major revision of the by-laws; he and Maureen organized the Fund’s 20th anniversary celebration; he serves as the national liaison to the local scholarship awards committees, developed a "how to" manual for them; and produced a DVD about the NSRCF. Yutaka has also written a book, "A Nisei's American Odyssey" which chronicles his life, memories, observations and lessons learned about the internment experience. He continues to speak about this at churches, schools and various social groups.
During her professional life, Maureen headed the lab at New England Nuclear which synthesized radioactive nucleosides needed by research biochemists world-wide. When she hit the “glass ceiling,” she decided to attend night school, earned her MBA, and then switched to the finance department of the company. Maureen has dedicated much of her time, considerable energy and many skills to community service. She has been a president of the local American Cancer Society; hospice volunteer; science mentor at elementary and high schools; financial advisor to seniors; and English language speaking aide. Maureen is also a world traveler, hiker, biker, tennis player and swimmer. As a committed supporter of the NSRCF, and member of its Investment Committee, she was instrumental in lobbying the board to change to a very successful, yet responsible, investment strategy. Maureen wanted to establish this Scholarship Fund in tribute for all Yutaka has done for the NSRCF, but true to form, he insisted “we do it together.”
(Established by Joanne K. Kumekawa, friends, and family)
Ryozo Glenn Kumekawa played a critical role in the growth and development of the Nisei Student Relocation Commemorative Fund (NSRCF) for 21 years - as an involved supporter, a board member, and as president of the board. In 1992, Glenn was well-qualified to chair the Southern New England Awards Committee, having been responsible for designing the strategic use of federal funds for Rhode Island's response to the arrival of 12,000 Southeast Asian so-called “Boat People” needing relocation and resettlement assistance. In 1998, he joined the NSRCF board of directors, assuming the presidency in 2002. He focused his participation on the need to expand the funding base; seeking opportunities for corporate outreach; expanding the size and composition of the board; and raising discussion about the process by which scholarships are awarded. During his presidency, the Fund’s mission statement was further clarified, the board was restructured; levels of scholarship giving were expanded; grants were sought and received; new informational materials were developed; and the board of directors transitioned to a younger, more diverse group.
With a deep and abiding commitment to his beloved Rhode Island, Glenn was the Director of Planning of Warwick; Executive Assistant to the Governor for Policy and Program; and Executive Director of the Coalition of Northeast Governors (CONEG) Policy Research Center. He served on the Design Review Committee of the Capital Center Commission, to develop and preserve downtown Providence. He is a Professor Emeritus of the Intergovernmental Policy Analysis Program of the University of Rhode Island, and served as Chair of the Graduate Program of Community Planning and Area Department.
Glenn made the NSRCF board’s work a joy and a privilege. He steadfastly focused on the importance of the Fund’s efforts to commemorate the WWII evacuation and internment, and the generosity and goodness of people who reached across race differences and wartime hatred to offer a helping hand to young Japanese Americans. As one of those young Japanese Americans helped by the National Japanese American Student Relocation Council, he left the Topaz, Utah internment camp for college in Maine. Decades later he continues to inspire the board’s efforts to reach out in that same spirit of “ongaeshi” - repaying a kindness.
Colonel Joseph Y. Kurata Scholarship
established by Col. Joseph Y. Kurata
Colonel Joseph Y. Kurata was born in Lodi, California. He and his family were interned at Rohwer, Arkansas in 1942. When Joe left Rohwer he went to work in Cleveland, Ohio and was drafted into the Army in September 1944. He was awaiting shipment to Europe when Germany surrendered so he was sent instead to Camp Ritchie in Maryland with the first group of Nisei soldiers to receive counterintelligence (CIC) training for eventual duty in the Pacific. For Joe, this marked the beginning of a lifelong career in the Army.
Upon finishing CIC training, he and about 85 fellow Nisei soldiers shipped out to Japan for duty with the Occupation. Joe’s service also took him to Korea. Back stateside he attended the Army Intelligence School, the Army Command and General Staff School, and the Defense Intelligence School. Through the GI Bill he was able to achieve his aspiration of obtaining a college education from the University of Maryland's overseas extension and night classes. In Vietnam he served as CIC staff officer with Headquarters, Military Assistance Command.
After serving 32 years in the military, during which he rose from private to colonel, he retired in 1976 at the Presidio, San Francisco.
Joe met and married his late wife Shirley in Yokohama in 1946. He has three children and three grandchildren. He resides in San Francisco and was chapter president of the Army Counterintelligence Corps Veterans; a member of MIS NORCAL; a member of the Board of Directors of the Fort Point & Presidio Historical Association; and participated in discussions with the National Park Service hoping to preserve the Crissy Field hangar where the first MIS Language School class met in 1941. Joe also enjoyed being a fishing mentor to visiting grandchildren.
The 2015 Named Scholarship recipients’ stories reminded Joe of his own experiences as a child of immigrant parents. His parents taught their children to ignore the prevailing prejudice and discrimination against Asians and strive to study hard and excel academically. Joe said, “After reading the scholarship recipients' educational and career goals, I was inspired to support your worthy program.”
The Audrey Logan Scholarship
established by Kesaya Noda
Our life is love, and peace, and tenderness ... and helping one another up with a tender hand. - Isaac Pennington, 1667
Audrey Armour Logan described these words of an early Quaker as among her favorites. Born in Brooklyn, New York in 1916, she studied at Friends Academy in Locust Valley, Long Island, where she first encountered and embraced the Quaker faith that was to guide her throughout her life. After her graduation from Smith College, Audrey trained as a teacher at the Bank Street College of Education in New York City. She had a calling as an educator - a need to teach, a joy in it, and a true gift for reaching and helping her students. Audrey"taught," whether she was standing before a class of fourth-graders, guiding students as their elementary school librarian, establishing a teacher training institute, mentoring its students, or helping individual children and adults learn to read.
Audrey is also remembred as a Quaker. She marched, organized, wrote letters, petitioned, protested, and voted, never hesitating to raise her voice in fierce protest if she felt anyone had been subject to unfairness. She fiercely championed those whom she felt had been wronged and enthusiastically supported the NSRCF until her death. When she died in 2008, she left behind three daughters; two stepdaughters;an all but formally adopted sixth "daughter;" scores of grateful former students; and the love between her and NSRCF founders Lafayette and Mayme Noda that continues to weave together her family and theirs to this day.
The Alice Abe Matsumoto Scholarship
established by friends of Alice Abe Matsumoto
Alice Abe Matsumoto (1920–1997) was the fourth of the six children of Toyoji and Yuka Abe of San Francisco. Alice was a student at the University of California at Berkeley when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor. Alice’s father, a leader in the Japanese American community of San Francisco and publisher of a Japanese language newspaper, was classified by the U.S. government as a dangerous enemy alien, and immediately arrested and placed in detention camps in Montana and Texas for the duration of the war. Alice, her mother, three sisters and a brother were interned in the Tanforan Assembly Center and then the Topaz Relocation Center in Utah. At the time her eldest brother was serving with the U.S. Army. With the help of the National Japanese American Student Relocation Council, Alice left Topaz to attend Temple University in Philadelphia and received her degree in Nutrition and Dietetics.
When her family moved to Minnesota in 1962 she became the head therapeutic dietitian at St. Joseph’s Hospital in St. Paul. She was an active member of the Minnesota Chapter of the American Dietetics Association and served on various committees to educate the public by giving lectures and demonstrations to promote optimal nutrition, health and well-being. She was active in her church, the St. Paul-Nagasaki Sister City organization, and the Como Park Japanese Garden board. She was ever mindful of the valuable assistance she received in 1943 from the Student Relocation Council to complete her education and the effect it had on her life. Alice’s close friend, Nobu Kumekawa Hibino said, “Alice’s many admiring friends remembered her unselfish concern and the love for others. She was quick to compliment people but reluctant to accept credit for all she did.” Alice believed in the goals of the NSRCF and was one of its earliest supporters.
The Hisaye Hamaoka Mochizuki Scholarship
established by Akio Mochizuki
Hisaye Hamoka was born in 1925 in Del Rey, California, the second of three daughters of Kyuhei and Kima Hamaoka, originally of Kumamoto, Japan. The family moved to Delano, California where the sisters attended segregated schools. In 1942, Hisaye was a student at Delano High School. Hisaye, her mother and sisters were evacuated to Merced Assembly Center and Amache (Granada) Relocation Center in Colorado. She graduated from high school in Amache. Hisaye applied to several universities from camp. She was not accepted to any of the universities to which she applied, but in 1944, with the help of the National Japanese American Student Relocation Council, she travelled to Minneapolis to see if the University of Minnesota would accept her for the Fall quarter. She matriculated in 1944 and graduated in 1948 with a degree in dietetics.
From 1948 to 1950, Hisaye was a dietetic intern at Highland Hospital. In 1950, she accepted a job as dietitian for the University of California, San Francisco’s Metabolic Unit where she designed special diets for research protocols and oversaw the research kitchen for 33 years. She married Akio Mochizuki in 1951. Tara, their only child was born a year later. Hisaye was always grateful for the help she received from the American Friends Service Committee, “the Quakers” as she called it, without whose help she may never have attended university.
established by the Murai Family
Koh and Mitsu Murai were the Issei parents of Dr. Kotaro Murai. When the war came, they were living in San Francisco and Kotaro was attending Berkeley. Because Koh was a newspaper owner and publisher, he was classified as a dangerous enemy alien, and sent to several detention centers — from Montana, to Santa Fe to Louisiana — before ending up at the Rohwer, AK internment camp. Kotaro and his mother were sent to Tanforan, but as one of the early students helped by the Student Relocation Council, he was released to continue his education at the University of Nebraska. He obtained his undergraduate and graduate degrees there. Kotaro was able to arrange for a job for his mother at the Franciscan Sisters Hospital in Lincoln, Nebraska.
When Koh left Rohwer at war’s end, they settled in Denver, and Mitsu continued working for the Franciscan Sisters there until she retired. Kotaro went on to receive his Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from the University of Minnesota, and began working at Pfizer in 1949. He spent his career there, and retired in 1988 as Senior Research Investigator in the Analytical Chemistry Department. He was part of the research group at Pfizer that developed the Terramycin and Tetracycline antibiotics, as well as several of the psychotropic drugs. In all their letters from camp — Kotaro’s parents kept repeating the theme of “study hard while you are young and always behave like a gentleman.”
established by friends and family of Kenji Murase
Dr. Kenji Murase (1920-2009) was the son of immigrant farmers in the Califonria Central Valley. After graduating at the top of his class at Reedley High School, he attended UCLA, then UC Berkeley. In 1942 his education was interrupted by the forced wartime incarceration of Japanese Americans. Kenji and his family were sent to Poston Camp in Arizona. In camp, he was City Editor for the camp newspaper and represented Camp III on the Poston Student Relocation Council. He was admitted to Wayne State University but was prohibited from enrolling when the Detroit City Council adopted a resolution stating that Japanese American students were not welcome, including Kenji Murase by name. With the help of the National Japanese American Student Relocation Council, Kenji finally left Poston for Haverford College and transferred to Temple University where he completed his bachelor's degree. He received his social workmaster's and doctoral degrees at Columbia University. In 1957 he was the first American Fulbright Scholar to Japan. In 1967 he was recruited for the new Graduate School of Social Work & Social Research at San Francisco State University where he taught for 23 years. In SanFrancisco he wrote the United Way proposal to fund United Japanese Community Services, the Japanese Community Youth Council, and Kimochi, Inc., a senior services program. He also conducted community needs assessments for planning the Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Northern California and the Kokoro Assisted Living Facility. For 22 years Kenji played a critical role on the board of directors of the Nisei Student Relocation Commemorative Fund. Kenji was married to Seiko Murase, also a social worker, for more than 40 years. Their three children, Emily, Miriam and Geoffrey, all residents of the San Francisco Bay Area, are very pleased to support a scholarship in the name of their late father.
Kaizo and Shizue Naka Scholarship Fund
established in memory by their children, Fumio Robert and Patricia Neilon Naka
My father, Kaizo Naka, was the firstborn son (born in 1884) of the landed gentry in Yasutake Mura on Kyushu. He emigrated from Japan to the United States with the help of George Shima (Ushijima), “the potato king,” possibly to help the farm in Stockton, California, with its finances. He entered Stanford University but found the periodic trips to Stockton taking up too much time so he transferred to the University of California at Berkeley where he received his BA and MA in economics. After working in Stockton on the farm and in New York City for the Mitsui Trading Company he returned to Japan to marry Shizue Kamegawa.
Shizue Kamegawa (born in 1895) was the oldest daughter of a family of philosophers. My mother spent her childhood, as many girls of wealthy families did during that period, learning the arts, some of her work I still have today. Upon graduation she taught mathematics at a girls school. After marriage and a short time on the farm in Yasutake, my parents moved to San Francisco where my father began working for the transpacific freight and passenger steamship company Toyo Kisen Kaisha. In 1926, when I was two-and-a-half years old, the family moved to Los Angeles where my father opened the new office of TKK as its manager. In May 1942 we were sent to the Manzanar internment camp in southern California.
I wanted to create this scholarship to honor my Issei parents and the emphasis they always placed on education and “giving back.” I remember my mother telling me that you can’t just take from society you have to give something back. But what she really said was, “You have to give back twice as much because someone won’t give anything.”
The Lafayette and Mayme Noda Scholarship
established by Walter N. Frank
A tribute by David and Kesaya E. Noda:
Our parents, Lafayette (1916-2013)and Mayme (1919–2006) Noda, were among the small group that originally founded the NSRC Fund. Born in California, in an intentional agricultural settlement of Japanese immigrants known as the Yamato Colony, they were imprisoned in Amache, Colorado and eventually settled in rural New Hampshire. Committed Quakers for more than 50 years, our parents are two people who — above all else — seek to live their faith, in matters large and small. They laugh, work, and have fun, but they never stop trying to make this world a better place.
As a biochemist at Dartmouth Medical School, Lafayette successfully isolated and studied the enzymes that are now used to diagnose heart attacks and other diseases. Mayme was a gifted educator and musician who taught in several local schools and performed with a medieval consort. Longtime political activists, they “retired” but Lafayette continued to work hard on their pick-your-own blueberry and Christmas tree farm. As founders of the NSRCF, they, like so many who are involved, wanted to help others — as they were once helped. This is a responsibility they never questioned. It was always their deep pleasure.
The Gladys Ishida Stone Scholarship
established by Gladys Ishida Stone
Gladys Ishida Stone, a longtime NSRCF supporter, was helped by the Student Relocation Council to attend Washington University in St. Louis. The following is an excerpt from a tribute given in her memory by Mead Stone, 2/17/95:
Gladys came into my life 33 years ago in marriage to my father, Greg Stone. To me, in 1962, Gladys was a beautiful woman of depth and understanding; the chairperson of the department of History and the Social Sciences at the University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point. She possessed a political strength that eventually succeeded through endurance and the absolute correctness of her sense of both social and personal injustice and responsibility — for others. She brought fun into our home, softened our humor and lived with a variety of nicknames running from Grady to Griddles and back again — as if we were endlessly trying to find a label, word, name, or symbol to express the woman she was. Dr. Gladys Stone, Professor Emeritus of Sociology: we came home to Gladys. She was a woman who endured many personal and social hardships without complaint, with dignity,discipline and love.
The Michi Nishiura Weglyn Scholarship
established by the NSRCF Board of Directors
Michi Nishiura Weglyn (1926–1999), author of Years of Infamy: The Untold Story of America’s Concentration Camps, was an ardent supporter of the NSRCF. She was born in Stockton, California and interned at Gila River, Arizona. With the help of the National Japanese American Student Relocation Council, she was able to leave Gila River to attend college. In 1997 Mrs. Weglyn wrote about the NSRCF awards ceremony held in New York City the year before:
"As I sat there watching the radiant faces of the youthful awardees, I found myself being transported back in time to the desert prison camp of Gila and recalling the joy I myself had felt a half century back, on being told that, thanks to the resolute efforts of countless dedicated Caucasians who cared, I had received a scholarship to Mount Holyoke College. In that audience filled with proud family members and friends of those being honored, I sat with my heart full. As I watched some of the now legendary leaders of the NSRCF, I felt immense pride in the caliber of our own extraordinary Nisei, like Nobu Hibino and Lafayette Noda, who, through decades of hard work and sacrifice, have kept alive that legacy of giving and caring, exemplifying — like those wartime benefactors who had once come to our rescue — the finer ideals of mankind."
Michi Weglyn herself exemplified the “extraordinary Nisei” by nearly single-handedly giving impetus to the national movement for redress and reparations for the wartime internment with the publication of her book. Up until herpassing she continued to lobby for compensation for Japanese American railroad workers, Japanese Latin Americans and anyone else who was denied redress for any reason. May her contributions to the struggle for justice never be forgotten.
The Kay Yamashita Scholarship
established by Yutaka Kobayashi
Kay Yamashita was interned first at Tanforan, then at Topaz, Utah. She was one of the first Nisei to join the staff of the Student Relocation Council, and played a key role in it. After the war Kay settled in Chicago, working with the World Student Service Fund and as registrar at the University of Illinois. The following is an excerpt written by Yutaka Kobayashi in remembrance of Kay, 5/30/95:
I remember Kay as a friend, as a mother confessor, as a cheerleader and as a mover. I was only a kid of 18 in Tanforan when she told me that I could go to college in New York when I did not have a dime in pocket. I was to leave in September of 1942, but could not get clearance from the armed services. My dilemma continued until January of 1943 when Kay managed to get an emergency clearance for me to go to Alfred University in New York. She escorted me out of camp amid all the dust and cold and ushered me into an unknown world. I think about how Kay quietly and tirelessly went about planting the seeds that were to change the status of the Nisei generation in our society forever. This thin slip of a woman who had the vision, the conviction and the hopes of our success. This woman who had the faith that the Nisei would overcome the adversities thrust upon us by the circumstances of war. She was the one who gave us hope, calmed our fears, and showed us the way. In my history book, Kay Yamashita is the patron saint of the Nisei collegians of World War II. She is truly a legend in our time.