Seven Decades After WWII Internment, Berkeley Students Graduate

Education interrupted by internment

Monday, Dec 14, 2009  |  Updated 2:49 PM PDT
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Seven Decades After WWII Internment, Berkeley Students Graduate

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Forty-two former University of California, Berkeley students have received their diplomas nearly seven decades after their studies were disrupted when they were sent to internment camps during World War II.

The Japanese Americans, now in their 80s, were awarded honorary degrees at a special ceremony at UC Berkeley on Sunday. The ceremony was also attended by family members of 78 other former students who had died or were not able to attend because of health reasons.

In 1942, the U.S. government sent about 120,000 people of Japanese descent to internment camps throughout the West.

Among them were more than 2,500 students enrolled in California public colleges and universities.

UC and California State University campuses are honoring them with honorary degrees over the next several months.

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