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Todd Mildon, Mildon and Mildon LLC

Passion for Education ● Change Agent ● Visionary Strategist ● Thought Leader

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The Long Journey Home
Honoring UW Nikkei Students of 1941-42


Todd was an early supporter of the University of Washington's effort to award honorary degrees to its Japanese American students of 1941-1942.  These students were forcibly removed from their homes and shipped to internment camps by the U.S. government under Executive Order 9066.  Many of them never completed their studies. 


In February 2007, Todd joined a small group of faculty members, research librarians, and members of the Nikkei Alumni Association in an endeavor to award degrees to the UW students whose studies were interrupted.  With the leadership and support of many, including Todd and his staff, the movement grew steadily.  Eventually the UW faculty and staff who led the effort became known as the "Long Journey Home Planning Committee."  Todd served on the Committee through the successful completion of its work in May 2008. 


On May 18, 2008, the University called its Nikkei students back home.  In a ceremony attended by surviving students, the descendants of students who had passed away, and hundreds of family and friends, the University awarded its Japanese American students of 1941-42 the honorary Bachelor of Arts, honoris causa, nunc pro tunc. 


For more information, please see:


Degree ceremony:

Coverage in the Seattle PI (or a PDF of the PI front page)

UWTV webcast

Wikipedia article

KUOW story


Top Contributor to the Asian Community Award:

Letter from the Northwest Asian Weekly awarding members of the Long Journey Home Planning Committee the 2008 Top Contributors to the Asian Community Award


Japanese American Citizens League Award:

Speech at the Annual Installation Banquet and Awards Ceremony of the JACL, Seattle Chapter


2011 Reunion of the LJH Planning Committee

On November 30, 2011, the LJH Planning Committee gathered for a reunion and photo


Special thanks are due to Todd's colleagues in the UW Office of the Registrar who helped make this historic event possible:

Tina Miller

Tina Peterson

Marc Leavitt

Herb Johnson

Virjean Edwards (photo at degree ceremony)