2017 SYNKOA Golf Tournament: July 26, 2017

Join us for our annual SYNKOA Golf Tournament, benefiting the UWNAA Scholarship Fund!

This year we’ve made a slight change to our tournament.   No, it’ll still be the same fun filled day with friends at the Bellevue Golf Course and an Awards Dinner following at the Mandarin, but we’ve added hole sponsorships. This may not mean a lot to us but it can make a huge difference to a UW student receiving one of our UWNAA scholarships.  Here’s how it’ll work.  Simply sponsor a hole for $150 and your name will appear on a sign at the hole and your donation will go to scholarships.  Something you may want to consider is to sponsor a hole in memory of a loved one or special friend who has passed away. Honor that person and both names will be printed on the sign which will read “This hole sponsored by _______in memory of ________. “

The proceeds from hole sponsorships will be used to benefit the University of Washington Nikkei Alumni Association (UWNAA) scholarship program, to assist Japanese American students gain an education at the University of Washington.  Although hole sponsorship is a new feature this year, the SYNKOA GOLF TOURNAMENT has always been raising funds through optional donations.  As the name implies, donations are optional and are not required to participate in the tournament.  Donations are not imbedded in the registration fee or in the cost of the dinner at the Awards Banquet. Through optional donations, last year’s tournament raised $4361 making it possible to pay for one scholarship and more.  Hole sponsorship is being offered as an additional choice to financially support the scholarship fund, but either way, through hole sponsorship or the optional method, your generosity is greatly appreciated to continue the SYNKOA legacies.

And what are SYNKOA legacies?  First is education. In the 1920s local Issei community members, aware of the value of higher education for the future of their children, purchased a house near the U of W campus as a place for Japanese American students to live while attending the UW.  The Japanese American student’s organization and the students living at the House before WWII were known as the University Students Club. A name change was made after WWII when in 1946, the student organization and the House were renamed SYNKOA, a name coined from the last names of University Students Club students who fought and died in WWII.  SYNKOA resembled a Japanese American fraternity.  In 1962 the SYNKOA organization disbanded, the SYNKOA House was sold and a scholarship fund was created with the proceeds. The scholarship fund was managed by a corporate non-profit organization comprised of former SYNKOA students which over time evolved into the present day University of Washington Nikkei Alumni Association (UWNAA).  Golf is the second SYNKOA legacy.  Former SYNKOA students with a reputation for fun, organized and held their first SYNKOA Golf tournament in 1981.  Education and golf, two legacies that pair well.

We are deeply grateful for your generosity and loyal support making it possible to ensure that the SYNKOA legacies live on.  We wish you the best at the SYNKOA GOLF TOURNAMENT.

Tournament Committee:  Beth Kawahara, Jean Deguchi, Don Maekawa, Ron Nobuyama, Cho Shimizu

To sign up for the tournament, download the sign up form:  Synkoa Golf Invitation 2017

To sponsor a hole, please download the form: Synkoa Sponsor a Golf Hole Form

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2017 Memorial Day Service

Under unusual blue skies, the Nisei Veterans Committee and NVC Foundation held its 72nd annual Memorial Day service at Lake View Cemetery. The UWNAA along with other community organizations participated by laying floral wreaths at the base of a stone monument inscribed with the names of Nikkei soldiers killed in action while serving in the US Armed Forces.
Harold Taniguchi represented the UWNAA in the presentation of this beautiful purple and gold floral wreath. 
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MEMORIAL DAY SERVICE: MAY 27, 2013

Lil Hayashi, President Irene Mano, and Don Maekawa at the Memorial Day Service

Every Memorial Day, the local Nikkei community gathers at a  21 foot tall granite monument at the Lake View Cemetery to honor and pay tribute to the Nikkei war dead of Washington state. The names inscribed on the monument are the fallen Nikkei soldiers from the Spanish American War, WWII, Korean, Vietnam and Grenada wars. A formal program with speakers from the NVC/NVC Foundation, Nikkei community and other dignitaries was followed by the placing of floral wreaths from Nikkei community organizations at the base of the monument. The event was closed by the playing of Taps.

During the ceremony, a colorful wreath with purple and gold flowers and a ribbon that read  “UW Nikkei Alumni Assn/Synkoa”  was placed at the monument by Irene Mano and Don Maekawa representing the UWNAA. This is the 68th annual Memorial Day Service sponsored and organized by the Seattle NVC and NVC Foundation.

By Don Maekawa

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2012-13 Scholarship Winners

On October 20, 2012, we celebrated our five scholarship winners for 2012-13: Marjorie Chappel, Akemi Ikeda, Midori Ng, Jonathan Vance, and Jay Wolfer.

In addition to celebrating our scholarship winners, we also honored President Ken Sato, who has served as President of the University of Washington Nikkei Alumni Association for over 40 years.

Mark Mitsui was given the 2012 award for Distinguished Alumni and gave an inspirational and very informative key note talk.

Congratulations to all our honorees!

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Congratulations to our 2011-12 UWNAA Scholarship Winners!

Now accepting applications for our 2013 scholarships!

Here are some photos from the scholarship reception:


2011-2012 Scholarship Recipients


President, Ken Sato

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SAVE THE DATE: UW Nikkei Alumni Association Reunion, August 24, 2013

We are proud to announce that on August 24, 2013, 5-10PM, we will be celebrating our organization’s 91st year with a reunion party at the newly renovated HUB.

Please contact Lilian Hayashi at sroyhay1@hotmail.com for tickets and more information.

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Long Journey Home

Honorees gathered in front of Suzzallo Library for a class photo

UW 2008 Long Journey Home ceremony granting honorary degrees to UW Nikkei students of 1941-42 who were forced to leave the university due to E.O. 9066 in WW II.

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