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San Gabriel Valley Digest

Pomona : Multicultural Studies Fund

June 03, 1993

Cal Poly Pomona on June 13 will launch a $1-million campaign to establish an endowed chair in multicultural studies that will bear the name of a Japanese-American author who wrote about her experiences in an American internment camp during World War II.

Fund raising for the Michi Nishiura and Walter Weglyn Chair will begin at a garden reception and buffet supper that will cost $100 a person. Up to 400 people are expected to attend, including the Weglyns, who live in New York.

Cal Poly officials say the professorial chair will eventually lead to a new major called Gender, Ethnicity and Multicultural Studies. But they have no timeline on when the multicultural studies department will begin.

University officials say the Weglyns have long been interested in promoting cultural diversity and found a match in Cal Poly President Bob Suzuki, whose vision has been to make the Pomona campus more multicultural.

The new department will draw its curriculum from ethnic and women's studies, liberal arts, education and interdisciplinary studies.

Michi Nishiura Weglyn was born in California and as a teen-ager was placed in an internment camp. That experience led to her 1975 book, "Years of Infamy: The Untold Story of America's Concentration Camps."

She will receive an honorary doctor of humane letters degree during Cal Poly's commencement at 4:30 p.m. June 12. Information: (909) 869-2970.

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