CSU, Chico News

Professor’s Haircut Part of Fund-raiser for Cancer Support

Date: 03-13-2007

Joe Wills
Public Affairs

California State University, Chico Professor of Japanese Kimihiko Nomura, CSU, Chico’s Outstanding Teacher for 2006-07, is organizing a unique fund-raiser for cancer patients that will include cutting his distinctive, waist-length hair.

Tai Chi, origami, Japanese food, discussions of healthy eating and living, plus providing hair for cancer patients who need wigs, will be part of Inch by Inch: Sustaining Health Across Cultures Sunday, May 13, 6-9 p.m. in CSU,
Chico’s Bell Memorial Union Auditorium. The public is invited to attend for a donation of $10 ($6 for students).

In the weeks leading up to the event, Nomura and Japanese studies students will be soliciting local businesses and individuals to donate funds up to $500 for each inch of Nomura’s hair. For three feet of his hair, the total raised would be $18,000. Nomura, who has been growing his straight, black hair for several years, will donate the hair to Locks of Love, a nonprofit organization that provides wigs to cancer patients. Others will be encouraged to take part in a hair-cutting ceremony at the May 13 event and donate hair.

Proceeds for the event will benefit Cancer Connections, the local cancer support program through Enloe Cancer Center. A portion of the funds also will benefit the Japanese Program Scholarship Fund, which is available to any student who wishes to study Japanese at CSU, Chico.

"The Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures at CSU, Chico has been touched time and again by the reality of cancer," Nomura wrote in a statement announcing the fund-raising effort. "We have lost valued and beloved friends and family. Some of us live with cancer on a daily basis. We have seen that this is a disease that transcends cultural boundaries, and we are asking our diverse community to come together to consider how to sustain health across cultures.

"How can we live in a consciously healthful way?" Nomura wrote. "How can we support a sustainable way of life? How can we care for our loved ones who are living with cancer? How do we contribute to the quality of life of all our community members who are bravely facing the unexpected? The answer is grain by grain, life by life and inch by inch."

The program for the May 13 benefit includes a presentation on the healing power of art by Rebecca Senoglu, coordinator of the Enloe Cancer Center Cancer Support Program, and a demonstration and discussion of health and martial arts by Marilyn Bonney, Tai Chi and Qigong instructor and cancer survivor. Japanese food, origami and karaoke are also on the program.

Nomura was chosen for this year’s Outstanding Teacher in December. He has taught at CSU, Chico since 1991 and played a major role in developing a new minor in Japanese.

For more information about the event and fund-raising, contact Tami Marron, administrative support coordinator, Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures, at 898-5388.