Monday, September 13, 2010

Leaving a Mark on the University of Washington (UW)

Photos by Lori Call © Alabastro Photography
Mark Emmert after six years of having been the University of Washington President has accepted the honorable position of President of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). In a farewell event at Kane Hall last week, many acknowleged his contributions to the history of the university. He is leaving the University of Washington having many achievements including creating new colleges: the UW College of the Environment and the Department of Global Health, which was done in collaboration with the School of Medicine and the School of Public Health and with tremendous support from the Gates Foundation.

In words said at this event, President Emmert built a diverse administration based on merit and knowledge-based perspectives. In addition, his focus on social justice and responsibility led to the Long Journey Home event, in which Nikkei graduates of 1941-1942, who had been denied the opportunity to complete their higher-education at the UW during World War II, were honored with degrees .  This also served as an opportunity to recognize present and future generations of Japanese Americans and more broadly the Asian American community. The University of Washington was the first university to advocate providing honorary degrees to the Nikkei graduates of 1941-1942. Other universities, such as Berkeley, have since followed the leadership of the UW. (Note: You can read more about Japansese American history at Densho)

Photos by Lori Call © Alabastro Photography
Phyllis Wise will take on the role as President of the University of Washington. It's definitely a first, since she will be the first Asian American woman to hold the position. His wife, DeLaine, accomplished herself, will be leaving with Mark after having made contributions to the community in terms of environmental sustainability and wildlife preservation.

Congratulations to Mark, DeLaine and Phyllis on their new roles.

Thanks to the University of Washington, the Executive Development Institute, and UnionBank for organizing the program. Special thanks to community leaders Ted Yamamura, a former NAAAP Seattle President, Diane Adachi, Dr. Testu Kashima, Dennis Yamashita, and Dr. Phyllis Wise for their speeches.

Gil Gido
NAAAP Seattle

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