Mitzi Loftus: Personal Recollections from an Internment Camp Talk & Exhibit

COOS BAY, Ore.  Southwestern Oregon Community College is honored to welcome Mitzi Loftus back to Coos County for a special talk and exhibit. Ms. Loftus spent three years in a wartime internment camp in Tulelake, California during World War II and will be speaking about her experiences. Please join us for her presentation on May 27, 2018 at 7:00 pm in the Hales Center for the Performing Arts, on the Coos campus of Southwestern Oregon Community College, 1988 Newmark Ave., Coos Bay.

Ms. Loftus’ presentation is part of Graham Street Production’sArchitecture of Internment: The Buildup to Wartime Incarceration, hosted by Southwestern’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee. The traveling exhibition highlights the role of Oregonians in the decision to incarcerate 120,000 people of Japanese ancestry, of whom more than two-thirds were U.S. citizens. The display includes documents from 1941 and 1942 advocating for the exclusion and incarceration of Oregonian Japanese Americans, blueprints of potential assembly centers and internment camp locations such as racetracks and fairgrounds, and letters from Japanese Americans expressing their outrage about the injustice of internment. Southwestern will be hosting this exhibition from May 14 to May 28, 2018 in the Empire Hall Lobby. Ms. Loftus will bring the exhibition to a close with her personal reflections on wartime internment.

Mitzi Loftus was born in Hood River, Oregon and graduated from Hood River High School. She earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Oregon in 1954 and a master’s degree in 1960. She married and had three sons, all of whom graduated from Marshfield High School. Ms. Loftus has a remarkable teaching record, spanning multiple continents and several languages. She taught at Creswell High School for three years and in 1957 received a Fulbright award to teach English as a Foreign Language in Japan. She went on to teach French in Eugene in 1960 and began substitute teaching in Eugene and Coos Bay/North Bend for the following 30+ years, punctuated by a three-year interlude from 1969 to 1971 when she and her family lived in Germany. Ms. Loftus moved to Ashland in 2006, where she currently resides. Ms. Loftus has published a memoir of her life as a Japanese-American in Oregon titled, Made in Japan and Settled in Oregon.

For more information on the exhibition and Ms. Loftus’ presentation, please contact Sara Keene at 541-888-7127,

Mitzi Loftus Flyer