Commencement
Past Honorary Degree Recipients

Colette Yoshiko Kawaguchi

  • Colette Yoshiko Kawaguchi grew up in Seattle, one of five siblings and the fourth child of Densho and Mitsu Kawaguchi. She and her younger sister attended Mary knoll grade school, and Collette graduated from Immaculate Conception High School before enrolling at Seattle College. She remembers studying to become a nurse before being forced to leave school and her Seattle home and go to the temporary assembly center in Puyallup.

    Plucked from their Seattle roots, Colette and her family were soon incarcerated at Camp Minidoka in Central Idaho. From Camp, Colette ventured on to Chicago and remained in the Midwest for much of her adult life. She spent her career years editing copy as part of the advertising department of Montgomery Ward at the corporate offices. She stayed in Chicago until she retired from the company.

    Colette's older brother, John, died serving as a member of the highly decorated 442nd regimental combat team. Her younger sister, Joan, eventually called Colette back to the Seattle area to assist in the care of their aging parents. So, as a single, retired career woman, Colette returned to the Northwest and joined her family in the Renton area, before moving back into the city of Seattle about 10 years ago to care for her sister, Joan.

    Colette continues to enjoy active living arrangements at a senior living facility in the Pike Place Market neighborhood, not far in distance from the areas she knew so well in her much younger days.