Alumni Profile George Wakiji '63 B.A. Journalism

Alumni Profile George Wakiji '63 B.A. Journalism

By Linda Wah

Alumni Association V.P., Communications

Contributing Editor

George Wakiji's mission is to build a memorial to honor American
patriots of Japanese descent who served their country during World
War II. In October 1992, Congress authorized the building of the
memorial, and the government has donated federal land for its

Wakiji, who was recently appointed Executive Director of the National
Japanese-American Memorial Foundation, is responsible for raising
the funds to build the memorial. Since his appointment in 1995,
he has established a Board of Trustees comprising distinguished
members from various parts of the nation.

In 1957, Wakiji received a degree in Social Welfare from UCLA,
and later decided to return to school to pursue a journalism major.
In 1963, he graduated from Cal State L.A. with a B.A. in Journalism.

Wakiji was among the first Asian-Americans hired for a sales/marketing
job with TWA in the 1960s. He has had a long and distinguished
career in public relations including positions with the Peace
Corps and the Department of Labor. One of his most interesting
posts was as Country Director of the Kingdom of Tonga, which he
held for over three years. Wakiji is a veteran of the Korean Conflict.
He retired from the Department of Labor to take on his new position.

George Wakiji is a native of Pasadena. His wife, Betty, is from
Hokonaa, Hawaii. His daughter, Dana, is a television sportscaster
in Detroit. Most recently, he attended a 40-year reunion with
his colleagues who participated in Project India. Their camaraderie
was documented in Tom Morgan's book, Friends and Fellow Students.

Anyone who wishes to get involved with the National Japanese-American
Memorial Foundation, may contact George Wakiji at 2828 Pennsylvania
Avenue NW, Suite 305, Washington, D.C. 20007.