March 2014 | Return to issue home

From the Vice Provost and Dean

Dean Betsy Wilson / Photo by Cass Redstone It was in the Suzzallo Library Reading Room in 1942 where Gordon K. Hirabayashi, a UW student who eventually earned three degrees at UW, resisted the curfew imposed on anyone of Japanese descent. Later, he refused to report for the incarceration ordered by Executive Order 9066, becoming one of the few people to legally oppose the incarceration of Japanese Americans.

It was not until 1987 that his convictions would be overturned by Judge Mary Schroeder of the Ninth Circuit Court. Judge Schroeder, Roger Daniels and others spoke at Kane Hall recently to commemorate the 2014 Day of Remembrance held by American Ethnic Studies and campus partners.

Hirabayashi’s surviving family donated his papers, hand-penned letters, photographs and his Presidential Medal of Freedom, awarded posthumously by President Obama in 2012, to Libraries Special Collections where they are now open to scholarly research.

I don’t know if Gordon Hirabayashi anticipated the mark on history he would make when he turned around to go back to Suzzallo to study with his classmates. But when I walk up the Grand Staircase of Suzzallo Library, I am reminded of his quiet courage.

Photo: Lizabeth (Betsy) Wilson, Vice Provost and Dean of University Libraries, by Cass Redstone.

March 2014 | Return to issue home


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Upcoming EVENTS

April 15: Part one of the Seattle Arts & Lectures Series with John Delaney from the UW School of Oceanography: Our Global Ocean: The Ultimate Planetary Life Support System--New Approaches to an Old Ocean.

May 1: Dangerous Crossings: Race, Species and Nature in a Multicultural Age. An exploration of how to address multiple worldviews that vary in cultural acceptance with Professor Claire Jean Kim.

May 31: UW Day with the Sounders. Enjoy discounted tickets to see the Sounders take on Real Salt Lake. A portion of ticket sales goes to UW scholarship programs.

More upcoming events


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