Family of Late Alumna Yoshino (Murakami ’56) Nichols Visits Campus

June 30, 2016

Photo Courtesy | Kevin GraffALLIANCE, Ohio – The family of Yoshino (Murakami ’56) Nichols, whose scholarship has helped 12 Japanese students attend and graduate from the University of Mount Union, visited campus on Monday.

Members of the family who attended were husband Charles Nichols, sister Michiko Kashiwabara and daughter-in-law Dana Nichols.

The scholarship was established in Yoshino Murikami’s honor in 1968 after she passed away battling cancer, believed to be a result of the 1945 atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima during WWII.  She died January 13, 1966 at the age of 32.  The scholarship offers the opportunity for one student graduating from Hiroshima Jogakuin High School to study at Mount Union for the whole four years with the full tuition covered.  

“My sister’s talents flourished at Mount Union,” Michiko said, during her first visit to campus where her late sister studied 60 years ago.  “Ultimately, I decided to go to university to major in English literature after hearing her excitement.”

Former director of international admission and alumnus Harold Hall ’49 first met the family in 2008 and has worked with Mount Union, the Murakami and Nichols families and Hiroshima Jogakuin to help maintain its strong relationship today.

Dr. Naoko Oyabu-Mathis ’80, professor of sociology, was the third recipient of the Yoshino Murakami scholarship and helped organize the family’s visit to campus along with Dr. William Coleman, professor emeritus of communication.

The 12th Murakami Scholarship recipient, Yuki Oride, very successfully completed her work at Mount Union in May and Shizuka Kuramitsu has been chosen as the 13th recipient of the Murakami Scholarship.

Shizuka recently participated in the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization’s (CTBTO) Science and Diplomacy for Peace and Security Conference in Vienna, Austria in January 2016 and also participated in the Critical Issues Forum held in Hiroshima in March of 2015.

Shizuka and the past recipients of the scholarship now spread around the world will continue to carry on the legacy of Murakami on Mount Union’s campus and beyond through the opportunities the scholarship has given them.

“Mount Union is what brought her here and helped start our family,” Charles Nichols said. “Yoshi lived a full and complete life and fought every single day.”

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