Commencement
Past Honorary Degree Recipients

Ben Kayji Hara

  • Ben Kayji Hara was a graduate of Coleman Elementary School and Franklin High School. He was in his first year as a civil engineering student at Seattle University when he was sent to the Puyallup Assembly Center and then Minidoka.

    While in camp, he volunteered for the Military Intelligence School. He completed basic training at Camp Shelby and the Military Intelligence Service Language School at Camp Savage, Minnesota.

    He was a T/4 with the Special Troops, Allied Translator and Interpreter Section of the Supreme Commander of Allied Powers and served in the South Pacific campaign. He received the Presidential Unit Citation with two oak leaf clusters for participation in the New Guinea and Philippine Islands campaigns.

    While in service in Tokyo, he died Oct. 22, 1945. His body was returned to Seattle, and he is buried in the veteran's section of the Washelli Cemetery.