Seventy-one years ago, then Park University president William Lindsay Young, D.D., LL.D., Litt.D. (all honorary), defied local community sentiment and enrolled 12 second-generation Japanese-American (Nisei) students into the University in cooperation with the U.S. government. The Nisei students escaped the horrors of assembly centers and internment camps across the country to attend Park from 1942-49.
A collection of original documents related to Park's Nisei (pronounced knee-say) students, photos and written interactions between the University and the community will be on display in an exhibit Monday, March 18, through Friday, April 26, in the Campanella Gallery on the University's Parkville Campus. In addition, five pieces from Lawrence, Kan., resident and world-renowned artist Roger Shimomura, will be on display. Shimomura, who was born in 1939, was interned as a small child at a camp in Minidoka, Idaho.
Curating this exhibit, "Park University as a Beacon of Hope: Nisei Students Escape Internment Camps to Attend College," are Park University faculty, staff and students: Donna Bachmann, professor and program coordinator of art, and director of Park's Campanella Gallery; Carolyn Elwess, Park University archivist, who oversees the University's Fishburn Archives and Special Collections; Timothy Westcott, Ph.D., associate professor of history; and Richard Jon Sperry, junior U.S. history major.
The Campanella Gallery is located inside the University's McAfee Memorial Library, within Park's Mabee Learning Center/Academic Underground. Admission is free. The Gallery is open 8 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Friday; 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday; and 4 to 9:30 p.m. Sunday.
For more information about the Nisei exhibit, contact Westcott at email@example.com or (816) 584-6364.