Viewpoints, Fall 2012 - Sauder School of Business

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Leadership is doing the right thing Responsibility. Loyalty. Duty to family and community. Respect for authority. Collective behaviour. Timeless words, used to describe timeless leadership, and leaders we respect and emulate. In fact, many leaders do exemplify these qualities. Classic as these words are, however, they were used to describe the character of Nisei, second-generation Japanese-Canadians, six of whom enrolled in the fledgling UBC Department of Commerce in 1941 under the first head of the department, Ellis Morrow. ALONG WITH UBC PIONEER HENRY ANGUS,

of 1942, 22,000 had been evacuated from

trumped discrimination—despite the rejection

Dr. Morrow championed the rights and

coastal BC.

of many students of Japanese-Canadian

participation of a growing number of Nisei

Despite this turmoil, Dr. Morrow’s “boys”—

ancestry from post-secondary studies such as

students hoping for opportunities in business.

the UBC Commerce class of 1942—graduated,

accounting and law. Dr. Morrow continued to

At a time when other realms of work were

and all but one were able to do so in Vancouver.

open doors for his students, even as they left

actively practicing discrimination, Dr. Morrow

But with a stroke of Prime Minister Mackenzie

BC for Ontario and Quebec, and over the years,

fostered strong ties with the downtown business

King’s pen, the hopes of six promising business

his “investment” was repaid with success. They

community, and personally invested in the

graduates had disappeared along with their

landed at Harvard, in senior government and

placement of his graduates with respected firms.

families and their belongings.

corporate positions, and in entrepreneurial

Described by some as a “benevolent father” figure, he fussed and fretted, and was distressed when he lost touch with his “boys,” as he called them. While such mentorship might seem commonplace within a small school at the time, it’s important to remember the backdrop of the day. With the bombing of Pearl Harbour in 1941, and World War II in full swing, the Canadian government demanded the removal of

“As we study leaders and their impact in this issue of Viewpoints, we need look no further than the roots of the Sauder School of Business itself...” Ellis Morrow never gave up on his students;

all “enemy aliens” from coastal areas of British

he followed their struggles, and strongly

Columbia. Hastings Park in Vancouver was a first

supported their aspirations beyond menial

roundup destination; there, more than 4,000

work and internment camp life. In time, all

lived in makeshift tents before being moved to

the boys left the camps to seek a better life in

internment camps in the BC interior. By October

Eastern Canada, where, on occasion, opportunity



ventures. They lived lives that embodied their Nisei character. They did their mentor proud. All are gone now, including Ellis Morrow. But as we study leaders and their impact in this issue of Viewpoints, we need look no further than the roots of the Sauder School of Business itself, where the character of leaders, present and future, is sketched, and where a school’s commitment to doing what is right helps build the right leaders for our time. ■