Kam Kuwata Award for Political Involvement

Kam Kuwata's passion for politics is legendary


It was a passion he shared with everyone around him, regardless of political party or ideology. Kam’s keen interest in politics developed at a young age. Kam studied political science at University of Southern California and volunteered for several Democratic campaigns and causes. He earned his degree in 1975 and, as a proud member of the Trojan Family, he generously gave back to his Alma Mater over the ensuing years.

The Unruh Institute of Politics at USC Dornsife College has benefited immensely from Kam’s generous participation in several programs hosted by the Institute. His most recent appearance was on the evening of November 17, 2010, when Kam took part in our post‐midterm election panel discussion about the California campaigns for governor, US Senate, and the state’s ballot propositions.

USC students stayed long after the program to talk informally with Kam and his fellow panelists. No one need underscore how valuable these interactions are to the students: encouraging their political voice, extending expertise and a longer‐view of the electoral politics, and fostering an enthusiasm for lively debate. Kam never forgot the importance of offering support and guidance to these young people and he always set an example of devotion to public service.

Beginning Spring 2012, the Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics at USC will offer an annual award for a student or students whose academic work, political involvement, and civic engagement has prepared him/her for the valuable experience of working on a political campaign. The Kam Kuwata USC award will be given to a student or students who have demonstrated a strong interest in campaign politics and provide them with financial support to work on behalf of a candidate or cause that inspires them.

In lieu of flowers, donations to the Kam Kuwata Award may be made to USC’s Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics. This award will honor Kam’s work and inspire young people to continue his legacy of public service and political advocacy.

To donate


Please make checks payable to The USC Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics, and indicate Kam Kuwata Award on the memo line of your check.  Thank you!

Mail to: USC Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics, University Park Campus, Von KleinSmid Center (VKC) Room 263, Los Angeles, California 90089‐0045. 

Phone: 213‐740‐8964
Web: www.usc.edu/unruh