Patrick Hayashi is a Sansei who was born in 1944 in Topaz, Utah while his family was incarcerated in a World War II Japanese American prison camp. Prior to incarceration, his family lived in Hayward, California where they returned after Topaz closed. Hayashi went to grade and high school in Hayward before attending San Jose State University for college. He later transferred to the University of California, Berkeley. He took a hiatus from college but later returned to UC Berkeley, where he went on to earn with Bachelors, Masters, and Doctorate degrees. Hayashi also worked at UC Berkeley, starting as a mail carrier in 1966, working in the Special Programs Office, teaching in the Asian American Studies department, which he chaired from 1971-73, worked as an Analyst, Special Assistant to the Chancellor, and as Associate Vice Chancellor for Admissions and Enrollment where he became the highest ranking Asian Pacific Islander administrator in the UC system, and as the Associate President in the University of California, Office of the President before he retired in 2004. Since his retirement, Hayashi has become an artist and art collector, with a special interest in work inspired by Japanese American WWII incarceration. In this interview, Hayashi discusses his early life, family, family background, family’s experience during WII incarceration, their life leading up to incarceration, the impact it had on his family—particularly his mother, who died in 1955—and their life after returning to Hayward, family traditions and holidays, early education, involvement in tennis, attending San Jose State, transferring to UC Berkeley, beginning to work on campus as a mail career, returning as a student, tenure with the Asian American Studies department, pursuing his Masters and PhD, career at UC Berkeley, working with Chancellor Mike Heyman and UC President Richard Atkinson, debate over the SAT tests, National Merit Scholarship Program and efforts to exit the program, decision to retire, visiting Topaz and getting involved with the survivor and descendant community, becoming interested in collecting art, learning to paint, teaching summer workshops at the Topaz Museum, and reflections on his life and continued interest in art and the legacy of WWII Japanese American incarceration.




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