HomeNewsIsland & CoastVIU plans to award honorary degrees at convocation in June 

VIU plans to award honorary degrees at convocation in June 

Two honorary doctorates will be handed out during the convocation ceremonies at Vancouver Island University this month.  

Educator and ant-racism activist, Masako Fukawa and philanthropist, Randle Jones received a phone call from the university’s president Dr. Deborah Saucier to inform them of the honorary doctorates for their work in their field. 

Fukawa says although she is not an academic, she was in utter shock when the call came to selecting her for this prestigious award.  

“I was speechless when President Saucier called,” says Fukawa. “I am thankful for this award because it is an opportunity to begin dialogue on Asian-Canadians and their contributions to Vancouver Island.  

Fukawa says the award also signifies a chance to right past wrongs and move forward in the Asian Canadian community. 

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“I think I would like to see more support, and acknowledgement, in the work Asian Canadians to,” she says. “I feel they were ignored, and this award is a chance for me to raise their profile a bit.” 

According to a release from Vancouver Island, Fukawa has co-authored several books outlining these achievements by Japanese Canadians on the island even going as far to having one of them [which she co-authored with her husband] getting recognized with a Canada-Japan Literary Award by the Canada Council.  

She says despite being awarded a doctorate she is not an academic and is just trying to represent her work, background, and culture passionately, and as accurately as she possibly can.  

“All my writings have been based on my interest in trying to train my history,” she says.  “I have been very dedicated to exploring my history, and I believe this is how it all came about.” 

Fukawa will be presented with her doctorate on June 22. 

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