College of Letters, Arts and Social Sciences


An Amazing Legacy

A message from Dr. Mary Danico,
Director of the Weglyn Endowed Chair

It has been over 19 years since one of the greatest minds and hearts left us. Michi Weglyn passed away in 1999 leaving a legacy of activism, hope, social justice work, and true inspiration to make our world a better place. At Cal Poly Pomona, we are honored to have an endowment that continues to work on behalf of Walter and Michi Weglyn.

President emeritus Bob Suzuki and Mrs. Agnes Suzuki, close friends of the Weglyns, were instrumental in gathering like-minded, civilly engaged community members to help launch this endowment. I am privileged to serve as the interim director of the endowment. My involvement with this endowment began with its launching in 2003 when I organized the first West and the Pacific Regional Association for Asian American Studies Conference at Cal Poly Pomona. Since then, we have had two endowed chairs, Dr. Jose Calderon and Enrique Ochoa, who worked tirelessly to support civic engagement, community service, and scholarship promoting social justice and peace.

The year 2009 marks the 10-year anniversary of Michi Weglyn's passing, and in tribute of her and Walter's lifetime work, we are devoting this academic year by honoring their memory and their commitment to social justice and peace.

We have an amazing academic year ahead of us addressing the varied social issues impacting our society. Here on the website, you will find the calendar for the academic year, but I wanted to point out a few highlights during winter, 2009. Phil Nash wrote a beautiful piece in Asian Week to the supporters and friends of Michi Weglyn, urging them to mark 2009 as The Year of Michi Weglyn. His writing inspired us to mobilize universities and high schools to read The Years of Infamy and on Remembrance Day, February 19, discuss the impact of this book on the redress movement and the larger impact the book has had for Japanese Americans and all Americans who are persecuted due to their race, gender, or sexuality.

In addition, on January 29, we'll have a special panel paying tribute to Michi and Walter. President emeritus Bob Suzuki, Dr. Franklin Odo, director of the Smithsonian APA program, Phil Nash, friend and literary will executor for Michi Weglyn, and Sharon Yamoto and Nancy Kapitanoff, biographers and filmmakers will speak about the life work and commitment of the Weglyns. In honor of Michi's ten-year anniversary of her passing, we are conducting a fundraiser to develop a much-needed student scholarship endowment. Recipients of these scholarships will be for students who study or work in the area of social justice and peace. Daniel Ho, three time Grammy award winner for Hawaiian music, will be performing to an intimate group of supporters after the panel and reception.

I hope you will consider attending or sending a gift to support the establishment of the scholarship endowment. This endowment will aid us in our efforts to continue building on Michi and Walter's life work.

As you can see, we have a wonderful year ahead of us. I hope to see you at the various events scheduled throughout the academic year and I look forward meeting and talking with you about how we can continue the work and legacy of Michi and Walter Weglyn.

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact me at: phone: 909-869-3895, email: or send your letters to: 3801 West Temple Blvd, Pomona CA 91768.