University of Washington Asst. to the Dean, Robert O’Brien, to Oberlin College Secretary to the President, Miss Ruth T. Forsythe, 22 August 1942. Correspondence Series, 2/7 Ernest H. Wilkins, Box 58, Nisei folder, Oberlin College Archives.


Letter image

August 22, 1942

Miss Ruth T. Forsythe
Secretary to the President
Oberlin College
Oberlin, Ohio

My dear Miss Forsythe:

A great deal has happened in student relocation since my visit to your office in Oberlin last April. The work which we carried on individually from the University of Washington has been coordinated under the National Student Relocation Council.

At present we are quite concerned with getting community acceptance for the excellent Nisei students whom Oberlin has accepted. I am particularly concerned that Bill Makino, Kenji Okuda, gain community acceptance in time to get to Oberlin for the Fall term. I am wondering if it would be possible for you to get a statement similar to the one below from Mayor Cummings and send it Airmail to Miss Trudy King, 2538 Channing Way, Berkeley, California. This would materially help, not only the two students from the University of Washington, but those whom John B. Schwertman wrote about on August 14.

Let me thank you again for the very pleasant visit I had at my old alma mater.

Sincerely,

ROBERT W. O’BRIEN
Assistant to the Dean
University of Washington

RWO: pjh

"We are not aware of any local condition which would make it inadvisable for Bill Makino and Kenji Okuda who are American citizens of Japanese ancestry and who are fully accepted for admission by Oberlin College, to live as students in this community."

Or perhaps his own spontaneous statement: "Anyone whom the college accepted we’d take without question."

RWO