Kazuo '46 and Justyn (Wada) Tada '49

Kazuo and Justyn Tada believe that fate brought them to Nebraska Wesleyan University and they both felt it was a momentous event in their life. Kaz was attending the University of Washington in Seattle when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor. He was one of 120,000 of Japanese ancestry who were evacuated from the West Coast. He and his family were interned at the Minidoka Relocation Center in southern Idaho, one of ten evacuation centers in the western United States. One of the conditions of leaving the center was the acceptance as a student by a school. Unable to qualify for the quota of Japanese students at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln, Kaz was, however, accepted to Nebraska Wesleyan in their quota of 20. On the recommendation of a Methodist minister who was the main speaker at Justyn’s high school graduation, Justyn enrolled at Wesleyan. After meeting at Wesleyan, Justyn and Kaz were married in 1948 and have lived and worked in Lincoln ever since.

Kaz was employed for 46 years at the University of Nebraska, as manager of the photographic service, and later as senior buyer in the purchasing department. Justyn was employed at Havland Swanson, a women’s specialty store for 25 years, and later as office manager for a contract furniture dealership.

Throughout the years, they have both served as class representatives for reunion planning teams and the annual fund. Justyn also served on a planning team for a special “Boarding House” reunion for alumni who lived in local residences while in school, at a time when there were no dormitories on campus.

Kaz and Justyn remain grateful for the acceptance and support they received at Wesleyan from the administrators, faculty and fellow students. They believe that Wesleyan needs continued support from alums so that it can continue to be a place for aspiring minds and a place for friendships, learning and understanding.