El Camino College to Celebrate Spring with Annual Cherry Blossom Festival
El Camino College invites the community to celebrate spring at the 22nd Annual Cherry Blossom Festival, set for 1:15-2:15 p.m. March 31 at the Student Services Plaza., 16007 Crenshaw Boulevard, Torrance.
El Camino students from professor Rhea Lewitzki’s creative writing/poetry class will share their original haiku poetry at the event, and the professional taiko drum group Mujō Dream Flight will perform. Traditional Japanese refreshments will be served at this festival that commemorates friendship and the arrival of spring.
Each year, the “Dr. Nadine Ishitani Hata Memorial Cherry Blossom Festival” brings the college and community together. The festival is named after El Camino’s former vice president of academic affairs, who passed away in 2005. An internationally known scholar who was extremely involved in academia and community work, Dr. Hata was instrumental in bringing the cherry trees to campus 22 years ago. American Honda Motor Co., Inc. donated the trees as a traditional gesture of friendship, similar to the cherry trees given to the United States by Japan in 1912. American Honda also generously contributed to an endowed scholarship in Dr. Hata’s name in 2006.
This year, the Cherry Blossom Festival will include a plaque dedication ceremony to honor American Honda, in memory of Dr. Hata and the donation of the cherry trees. A longtime supporter of El Camino’s academic programs, American Honda’s assistance helps students access and complete their college education through scholarships and the South Bay Promise. The plaque will be placed among the trees, as a permanent part of the landscape.
“This wonderful El Camino tradition gives us an opportunity to honor Dr. Hata’s 34-year career at the college, where she supported many programs designed to help students succeed,” said El Camino College President Brenda Thames. “We also recognize American Honda as our dedicated community partner through the years. The cherry trees on our campus remind us of the enduring beauty of spring and friendship.”
The Cherry Blossom Festival is sponsored by the El Camino College Office of Title IX, Diversity, and Inclusion, the Humanities Division, and the Foundation.