|Here is a brief chronology of CJAAA history:
1923: Nikkei Students Dorm & Japanese Students Club
In February 1923, a group of enterprising young Nikkei students at the University of California at Berkeley raised $13,000 to purchase a building on Euclid Avenue to house Nikkei students and serve as a meeting place for what became the Japanese Students Club. The next year, a great fire in Berkeley destroyed the dormitory. Eventually a new building was constructed at a cost of $32,000 from generous donations throughout the Japanese community in California.
1942: World War II
As a result of Executive Order 9066, which ordered the evacuation of all persons of Japanese ancestry from the West Coast, the Nikkei students were forced to leave the university and dormitory. Some joined their families in internment camps while others served in the U.S. armed forces. Meanwhile, the building was leased to the University Student Cooperative for use as a womens dormitory during World War II.
1948: Euclid Hall
After the war, the Japanese alumni group reclaimed the property and officially reopened it with the name Euclid Hall in 1948. The dormitory continued to house approximately 30 male students with preference given to Nisei from distant localities who otherwise did not have housing near campus.
1952: California Japanese Alumni Association
In 1952, the California Japanese Alumni Association (CJAA) was established as a nonprofit social organization. CJAA was formally deeded with Euclid Hall and assumed responsibility for its administration.
1972: Sale of Euclid Hall
During the 1960s, successful assimilation of Japanese Americans and changes in student life no longer made the operation of Euclid Hall profitable as a Nikkei dormitory. The Board decided to lease the building once again to the University Student Cooperative in 1967 and finally sold Euclid Hall to the USC for $72,500 in 1972. Together with prior operating surpluses the proceeds from the sale of Euclid Hall were used to create a $100,000 scholarship fund managed by the CJAA Board of Trustees.
1980s: Scholarship Awards
In 1980, CJAA was revitalized with a new commitment to honoring the memory of the Japanese American community that had supported the establishment of Euclid Hall and made its history possible. In 1984, the Board gave its first academic scholarships to deserving Japanese American students at the University of California at Berkeley. By the end of the decade, the organization had awarded over $70,000 in scholarships. In keeping with the times, the organization officially adopted the new name, California Japanese American Alumni Association.
1990s: Broadening the Scope
During the 1990s, CJAAA broadened its outreach and activities. In 1990, an internship program was launched to give UC Berkeley students the opportunity to gain experience in public service. Stipends were granted to students seeking work with a community service or nonprofit organization. In 1996, the Scholarship program was revamped and expanded to include applicants from any major plus graduate or post-graduate studies. The Mo Noguchi Memorial Award was created for the top scholarship recipient, and the George Kondo Memorial Award was established for community service. The Board also established an Education Abroad Program scholarship to help students pursue academic study in Japan. In addition, the CJAAA board supported Japanese American student and community events including: Tomodachi Cultural Night, Nikkei Ties that Bind Conference, Japanese-American Youth Conference, the Japanese American National Museum and more. CJAAA continues the tradition of hosting a Big Game Dinner when the Cal-Stanford game is played at home.
|If you are a graduate of the University of California, or a current student, and wish to support CJAAA by staying informed of our programs and activities, please join our membership.
CJAAA also accepts tax-deductible charitable contributions to its scholarship fund.