The Harvard Foundation unveiled the portrait of Kiyo Morimoto, former director of the Bureau of Study Counsel in the Dunster House Dining Room last week (Feb 1). Morimoto served the bureau from 1958 to 1985 and is remembered as as a widely respected counselor by generations of students. A thoughtful listener, he offered soft-spoken, helpful advice and guidance. Morimoto was a native of Pocatello, Idaho, where he worked with his parents as a tenant potato farmer. He enlisted in the U.S. Army the day after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, and was assigned to the all Japanese-American 442nd Regimental Combat Team. For his service in France and Italy, Morimoto won the Silver Star and Purple Heart.
Morimoto attended Idaho State College on the G.I. Bill where he received his bachelor’s degree in 1950. In 1952, he received his master’s degree from Boston University. He began his work at Harvard as a counselor at the Bureau of Study Counsel in 1958 and became a member of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, and a lecturer on education. He served on the original Advisory Committee of the Harvard Foundation for Intercultural and Race Relations from 1981 to 1985.
Morimoto died in 2004 at the age of 86. “Kiyo Morimoto enabled generations of students to adjust to the Harvard College academic experience and guided them through the challenges that are often attendant to the convergence of young adulthood, self-actualization, and achievement,” said S. Allen Counter, director of the Harvard Foundation, “I am proud to have known this wise and gentle man who, like many of us at Harvard, dedicated his life and career to the well-being and educational enrichment of our students.”