Hattie Kawahara Colton

Hattie Kawahara Colton

Hattie Colton, a first-generation Japanese American, experienced life in an internment camp in Idaho in the middle of her college career. 

She had been attending college in Oregon when her family was forced to relocate in 1942 due to the government’s distrust of Japanese Americans during World War II. After their release, Colton went on to attend Mount Holyoke, where she majored in political science.

After graduation, she embarked on a long career with the Foreign Service Institute, a State Department-run foreign policy training center. Colton served as an associate dean and a Far East specialist.

Colton has received the State Department's Superior Honor Award. She has also been recognized as one of Mount Holyoke’s 50 most outstanding graduates with a Sesquicentennial Award.

Colton’s resilience and determination to complete her education despite the oppression she faced was inspirational, and her choice in profession demonstrated an admirable use of her knowledge and experiences for the greater good

Class Year: 
1943

Mount Holyoke College

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